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07-15-2012, 11:14 PM
  #7
Finlandia WOAT
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The problem with the Kovalchuk contract wasn't necessarily that it had the throwaway years tacked onto it. The problem was that, with the way it was structured, the Devils had little incentive to keep Kovalchuk around while he was making League minimum at the age of 40+. Kovy was going to have a 7 million dollar cap hit while making League minimum in salary and (most likely) producing at a low level. The Devils had large incentive to buy him out, and Kovalchuk had large incentive to either go to Russia or get another contract.

Signing a contract that is not intended to be fulfilled by either party is a blatant CBA violation.

You can argue that this applies to all contracts with throwaway years, and I would agree with you. But the problem is that the NHL had to convince an unbiased arbitrator that this was the case, and Kovy version 1 was such a leap past the line in the sand that the NHL decided to make it a test case.

I hope that the NHL sits down with the NHLPA and hammers out an agreement to limit throwaway years.

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