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07-21-2012, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
There's so much misunderstanding about "cap circumvention." People need to realize two things:

1. The only reason that Kovalchuk's initial contract was nullified was that it had him playing cheaply until age 44. It's highly unlikely that he'll play that long, yet the contract was able to use those years to lower the cap hit. After the arbitrator rejected the contract, the NHL and NHLPA agreed on amendments to the current CBA so that years past age 40 can't be used for cap calculation and years after age 35 count for a minimum of $1M against the cap. NJ made a few minor changes to comply with those amendments, mainly chopping off a few years, and the new contract was accepted by the NHL. It's still a heavily front-loaded contract. Being heavily front-loaded is not the problem. The problem is exploiting the likelihood of a player's retirement to get away with a lower cap hit. Weber's contract takes him to age 40. It fully complies with the amendments that the NHL and NHLPA agreed to and, on top of that, there's every expectation that he'll play until age 40, especially since he's a defenseman.

2. The CBA does not concern itself with "calendar years." It concerns itself with "contract years," which end on the last day of June. The fact that Weber will make $27M in the first calendar year and the fact that the CBA doesn't allow a player to be paid more than $14M per contract year are not in conflict. Calendar years and contract years are apples and oranges. All that the CBA cares about is that Weber isn't paid more than $14M between now and next June 30th, which he's not, and that he's not paid more than $14M between next July 1st and the following June 30th, which he's not. Again, there is no cap circumvention here. Blogs and posts which suggest that there is are wrong.

Neither of these points means that you can't personally dislike Weber's contract and want ones like it to be done away with. It's just that if you're expecting it to be rejected because the initial Kovalchuk contract was or the CBA says this and that, you need to realize that the comparisons are inaccurate. Now, this doesn't rule out the NHL stepping in and making another effective-immediately rule change, like they did with Kovalchuk, but Weber's contract complies with the existing rules.
If they were gonna do that, they the probably would have done it for Parise and Suter's contract. The NHL making this contract void is a pipedream.

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