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Old
08-15-2010, 07:31 AM
  #1
Flyerfan808
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League to Challenge Pronger Contract

http://www.csnphilly.com/08/11/10/Da...043&feedID=704

Quote:
The Flyers remain under investigation by the NHL because of Chris Pronger’s seven-year, $34.45 million contract, which went into effect July 1 of this summer.

Deputy NHL Commissioner Bill Daly, responding to Tuesday’s story on CSNPhilly.com, said the matter is not closed, even though multiple sources said league representatives met with Flyers officials in Philadelphia last fall to review the contract and never took any action.

“[It’s] still under investigation,” Daly wrote in an e-mail to CSNPhilly.com. “No timetable and no deadline. Yes, the contract can be de-registered in the event a circumvention is found. Nothing is different than before [Ilya] Kovalchuk ruling.”

Flyers president Peter Luukko said on Tuesday the organization stands behind the legality of Pronger’s deal and believes it does not hold relevance to the Kovalchuk deal, which was struck down earlier this week by arbitrator Richard Bloch.

As part of the ruling voiding the 17-year, $102 million deal Kovalchuk signed with New Jersey, Bloch referenced Pronger’s contract -- among others -- as one which appears to have also circumvented the CBA.

The CBA contains complex and contradictory language which provides a timetable for rejecting contracts prior to the start of the season, but also states that the Commissioner can challenge any contract, at any point in its lifetime, if he feels a circumvention has occurred.
This whole situation feels like a witch hunt to me, but what does everyone think will come of this? Should we be worried?


Last edited by MiamiScreamingEagles: 08-15-2010 at 11:53 AM.
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08-15-2010, 07:48 AM
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Can you post the link to your article, please and thank you.

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08-15-2010, 08:15 AM
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I think it is a bit silly, only because it is a +35 contract. If he had signed it under the set of rules applying to contracts for players under 35 (which is what I think Holmgren intended to do), then it would make sense to challenge it. As it is, we're on the hook for the full dollar amount of the contract and full term.

The only thing I could see Bettman wanting to challenge it about is the possibility of claiming false injury or something...

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08-15-2010, 08:25 AM
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I hope they do challenge it. On one condition. The old Ed Snider would come out for 1 last fight and rip the league to shreds.

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08-15-2010, 08:26 AM
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The Hossa and Luongo contract will be ripped up way before the Pronger one.

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08-15-2010, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by I am The Mush View Post
I think it is a bit silly, only because it is a +35 contract. If he had signed it under the set of rules applying to contracts for players under 35 (which is what I think Holmgren intended to do), then it would make sense to challenge it. As it is, we're on the hook for the full dollar amount of the contract and full term.

The only thing I could see Bettman wanting to challenge it about is the possibility of claiming false injury or something...
Agree 100%. Comparing 35+ contracts with the others is like comparing apples and oranges.

Also, it's a given that Pronger won't play the last 2 years of that contract. He'll land on the LTIR and that's the only thing the league could have a problem with (and still have no case).

My advise to the NHL is to work out a CBA next time that is actually worth more than the paper it is printed on.

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08-15-2010, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCannon18 View Post
The Hossa and Luongo contract will be ripped up way before the Pronger one.
Hossa is already a year in and on the Championship Team. The league's Western pretty boys will not get harmed.

The Canucks went to the NHL and asked if their contract with Luongo would be okay before it was signed.

The Flyers do not have either of those legs to stand on. In fact, the only leg that the Flyers have to stand on is the fact that the contract CANNOT IN ANY POSSIBLE WAY BE CAP CIRCUMVENTION. Even if Pronger retires it's not cap circumvention. It's doing exactly what the 35+ rule was designed to do.

EDIT: In fact, there's no law saying the Flyers can't negotiate while Pronger is already under contract.

If I were them, I'd have offer Pronger the following 35+ contract in case the NHL struck down the first one:

2010-11: 7.20m
2011-12: 7.20m
2012-13: 7.00m
2013-14: 7.00m
2014-15: 4.00m
2015-16: 1.03m
2017-17: 1.03m
CAP HIT: 4.92m

As opposed to this which it was before:

2010-11: 7.60m
2011-12: 7.60m
2012-13: 7.20m
2013-14: 7.00m
2014-15: 4.00m
2015-16: 0.53m
2017-17: 0.53m
CAP HIT: 4.92m


Last edited by CS: 08-15-2010 at 09:53 AM.
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08-15-2010, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Hossa is already a year in and on the Championship Team. The league's Western pretty boys will not get harmed.

The Canucks went to the NHL and asked if their contract with Luongo would be okay before it was signed.

The Flyers do not have either of those legs to stand on. In fact, the only leg that the Flyers have to stand on is the fact that the contract CANNOT IN ANY POSSIBLE WAY BE CAP CIRCUMVENTION. Even if Pronger retires it's not cap circumvention. It's doing exactly what the 35+ rule was designed to do.
Of course it's cap circumvention even if he retires.
His contract has a drastically decreasing salary structure and is designed that way to lower the cap hit. Even if the cap hit remains if he retires, it's still circumventing the "spirit of the cap".

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08-15-2010, 09:56 AM
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This has nothing to do with the 35+ Rule. The Flyers are not going to get out of it because of it.

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08-15-2010, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikke View Post
Of course it's cap circumvention even if he retires.
His contract has a drastically decreasing salary structure and is designed that way to lower the cap hit. Even if the cap hit remains if he retires, it's still circumventing the "spirit of the cap".
No it's not because no cap is actually being circumvented.

I've already had this argument on the mainboard against a ton of people. I already know the outcome of this argument. You don't win it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Like I said, cap circumvention is based on the exploitation of cap space in a scenario where you do not end up spreading evenly the amount of cap space to the amount of salary issued.

All of these contracts are perfectly legal because there is nothing in the CBA that states you cannot alter the amount of true salary paid by year during the course of a contract. That's what creates frontloaded and backloaded contracts. By terms of the CBA, they are not illegal.

What is being investigated is the possibility that some teams are frontloading contracts, which pays a player the majority of his salary in the early years, so that the cap is spread over a longer number of years, including a number of years after said player has retired. Should the player retire, that is cap circumvention only because the full cap hit is taken on by the NHL as a whole (it does not have to be a specific team and that's very important.)

Now, unless you want to outlaw trades almost completely, there are going to be frontloaded and backloaded contracts that are moved.

This is where Pronger comes in.

Pronger's deal, because is a 35+ contract, has no risk of cap circumvention. There is absolutely zero. Should he retire, the team he belongs to continues with the full cap hit.

Now, some brought up that a trade and retire to a team struggling to reach the cap floor is possible. Unfortunately for those few souls, a trade is not cap circumvention. If you were say that Pronger cannot be traded, then you would have to say that salary dump trades, which happen all of the time, are to be outlawed.

Now, what the NHL could do, is add a stipulation to the 35+ contract clause that says a player on a 35+ contract cannot be traded, but that does not fall into the realm of cap circumvention. That is it's own separate entity. Granted, based on the spirit of the law, the 35+ part of the CBA is designed specifically to prevent cap circumvention. (That's why it's hilarious that people still think that Pronger's contract is cap circumvention because it literally can't be.) Would the NHL do that? Possibly, but it's hardly grounds for throwing out Pronger's valid NHL 35+ contract.

Now, we all should know (mostly because I just explained it AGAIN) that Pronger's contract, based on the CBA, cannot possibly circumvent the cap.

Based on the spirit of the law though, the Flyers can in theory circumvent the cap by doing a trade-and-retire with Pronger, but not only do I think that the Flyers won't do that, I also believe that to prove or even speculate something like this would be nearly impossible to do. The potential Pronger trade-and-retire deals with so many factors including situation, possible suitors, the value imposed, etc. It's a lot different, if not entirely, for projecting the possibility for a retirement on a contract based on age. It's a whole different animal.

So not only are the Flyers, regardless of what happens to Pronger, not circumventing any cap (even if Pronger retires from the NHL regardless of team affiliation), but it'd be nearly impossible to prove that the Flyers foresaw a set of circumstances so that they already have a deal in place to move Pronger as soon as he is ready to retire.

Not only would they probably have to pay a fortune just to move Pronger if he expects to retire, but if they really did foresee this enough to plan in advance, there should be a significant and severe punishment from the NHL. How the NHL would prove it after the fact though is beyond me.

So no, there is absolutely ZERO possibility of Pronger's contract being cap circumvention regardless of the circumstances.
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=808188&page=7

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08-15-2010, 09:58 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWO View Post
I hope they do challenge it. On one condition. The old Ed Snider would come out for 1 last fight and rip the league to shreds.
This.

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08-15-2010, 10:08 AM
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There are some fears on the NHL side that if Bettman screws with the Flyers on this that the next CBA is going to be a DISASTER to put together since Eddy S. has been a huge ally to the league it would almost certainly cause a rift between Owners and the NHL and would give the NHLPA a whole lot more leverage in negotiations since the Owners side would very likely be splintered.

The NHL would NOT be able to withstand another PR nightmare like what happened the last time. Bettman better OK the Pronger contract and soon or Snider is going to tear the league apart.

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08-15-2010, 10:26 AM
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I'm sure people will disagree with aspects of shafer's arguement, but its probably similar to what the flyers would say. Except they'd obviously polish it up and add some legalese.

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08-15-2010, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
I'm sure people will disagree with aspects of shafer's arguement, but its probably similar to what the flyers would say. Except they'd obviously polish it up and add some legalese.
People disagreeing with me is the cool thing to do these days.

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08-15-2010, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
People disagreeing with me is the cool thing to do these days.

The deal is no doubt within the rules. The thing is i dont think the flyers knew the rules completely when they signed him and figured if he does retire they are off the hook. IMO they treid to circumvent the cap and failed, now the deal as is is kosher.


Last edited by GKJ: 08-15-2010 at 11:40 AM.
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08-15-2010, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
People disagreeing with me is the cool thing to do these days.
No, it's not the cool thing, it's that you're consistently wrong.

Pronger's contract is a cap circumvention, as is a lot of these other contracts. They're just not as bad as Kovalchuk's, which was so blatant that they finally got a leg to stand on. Now, the NHL/PA did allow that to happen, it still follows the guidelines of what's in the CPA, but if you think Pronger's contract isn't structured so that they can get around the cap, that's just silly.

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08-15-2010, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514 View Post
No, it's not the cool thing, it's that you're consistently wrong.

Pronger's contract is a cap circumvention, as is a lot of these other contracts. They're just not as bad as Kovalchuk's, which was so blatant that they finally got a leg to stand on. Now, the NHL/PA did allow that to happen, it still follows the guidelines of what's in the CPA, but if you think Pronger's contract isn't structured so that they can get around the cap, that's just silly.
I'd love for you to explain bold then, if I'm constantly wrong.


Last edited by CS: 08-15-2010 at 11:28 AM.
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08-15-2010, 11:49 AM
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I don't think this is cap circumvention at all, at least not in nearly the same way as all these other ridiculous contracts.

Anyways, it's all just posturing by the league most likely.

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08-15-2010, 11:50 AM
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This is a joke! The last thing the leage wants to do is piss off Snider when a new CBA is coming up. I don't think Prongers contract is circumventing the cap because the full pay out of the contract is going against the cap regardless if Pronger retires or not. Yes the contract drastically decreases in year 6 and 7 but who's to say that Prongers play is still worth 5 million when he's 40. In fact it could be worth the 500,000 or whatever the amount is so the NHL doesn't really have a starting point. Now if our G.M was actually not handicapped he would have circumvented the cap correctly, but instead he kid of gave the NHL no biases for a contract challenge without even knowing it. But hell I would love for the NHL to continue to target the Pronger contract, just so we can see Snider rip the leage a new ******* one more time!

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08-15-2010, 11:54 AM
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Can you post the link to your article, please and thank you.
It appears to be an article from CSN dated August 11.

http://www.csnphilly.com/08/11/10/Da...043&feedID=704

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08-15-2010, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Hossa is already a year in and on the Championship Team. The league's Western pretty boys will not get harmed.

The Canucks went to the NHL and asked if their contract with Luongo would be okay before it was signed.

The Flyers do not have either of those legs to stand on. In fact, the only leg that the Flyers have to stand on is the fact that the contract CANNOT IN ANY POSSIBLE WAY BE CAP CIRCUMVENTION. Even if Pronger retires it's not cap circumvention. It's doing exactly what the 35+ rule was designed to do.

EDIT: In fact, there's no law saying the Flyers can't negotiate while Pronger is already under contract.
I don't believe you can re-negotiate a contract until the final year of your existing contract. So I don't know if that can really go down.

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08-15-2010, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
I'd love for you to explain bold then, if I'm constantly wrong.
I just did.

You keep bringing up this 35+ Rule, which we don't even know if the Flyers knew about it, but it is completely irrelevant. The 35+ Rule isn't going to save them, if they even need saving.

Pronger is being paid over $34M over 7 years, with just over $1 in the last two years. That's cap circumvention. Moreover, Chris Pronger would never reduce himself to play for the league minimum at age 41, he'd sooner retire. We all know that. Chris Chelios was getting paid more into his 40s.

With that said, it's still within the rules of the CBA, as demonstrated by other teams doing similar contracts. Rick Nash, when he signed his contract extension, went back to the Blue Jackets and asked for an extra year, just to lower his cap hit (this is documented). That's still cap circumvention, but was ok'd.

These contract where they're getting paid peanuts in the least 2 or 3 years of the deal are done deliberately to get around the cap. The obvious intention here is to trade 12 2nd round draft picks to the Islanders if Pronger is going to retire, but the league is not going to wait 5 years just in case he doesn't finish the contract.

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08-15-2010, 12:01 PM
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Well, this sucks. But what can you do?

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08-15-2010, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
I'd love for you to explain bold then, if I'm constantly wrong.
I think the problem is that people have two different definitions of what cap "circumvention" is.

KJ thinks it's circumvention because Pronger's cap hit is a million or so lower than it should be for the majority of the contract because of blatant use of extra years to thin it out.

You think it isn't because despite that being true, if Pronger retires with 3 years left in the deal, the Flyers are on the hook for 4.9something Million a year as a cap penalty basically.

IMO, we're not circumventing anything if we can potentially end up with a hit that big from a 39 (or 40) year old player. There are other options to be explored (trading contract to team needing to hit cap floor, buying out remainder of contract), but as it stands...I think the fact that it's a 35+ contract makes it different than Luongo's and Hossa's.

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08-15-2010, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrindamoursNose View Post
I think the problem is that people have two different definitions of what cap "circumvention" is.

KJ thinks it's circumvention because Pronger's cap hit is a million or so lower than it should be for the majority of the contract because of blatant use of extra years to thin it out.

You think it isn't because despite that being true, if Pronger retires with 3 years left in the deal, the Flyers are on the hook for 4.9something Million a year as a cap penalty basically.

IMO, we're not circumventing anything if we can potentially end up with a hit that big from a 39 (or 40) year old player. There are other options to be explored (trading contract to team needing to hit cap floor, buying out remainder of contract), but as it stands...I think the fact that it's a 35+ contract makes it different than Luongo's and Hossa's.
For me, it's also the years too. Signing a player for 7 years with the last one or two as "circumvention years" compared to signing a player to 12 years is a lot different for me.

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