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The Drums of War - NHL Nixes Kovalchuk Deal (Part 4)

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Old
07-22-2010, 11:42 PM
  #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrodeursCups View Post
My understanding is that if it goes to arbitration and we lose, then we could face fines/loss of draft pick(s).
This is not true. The explanation is lengthy, but I think it's worth it.

The current situation is that the NHLPA has 5 days to file a grievance before this goes an arbitrator who will decide the whole thing in 48 hours. Of course, there is no time limit on how long it'll take NHL and PA to agree on an arbitrator, so this will drag out.

In the CBA, the procedure that outlines this - and is being followed - is Section 11.6. Specifically, the rejection falls under Article 11.6.(a).(i). Section 11.6.(a).(i).(x) and (y) both spell out what the next steps are after a contract rejection. The text for what happens if the arbitration finds that the rejection is valid is in Section 11.6.(a).(iii).

Quote:
If the Arbitrator sustains the League's rejection of any such SPC or Offer Sheet, as the case may be, pursuant to subsection (i) above, then the Arbitrator shall order that the rejected SPC or Offer Sheet, as the case may be, will, immediately upon the League's receipt of the Arbitrator's decision, be deemed null and void ab initio (i.e., the Player's Free Agency and/or contractual status shall revert to the status he held prior to signing his SPC or Offer Sheet, as the case may be), and the Player shall not be entitled to any of the rights or benefits provided for under the rejected SPC or Offer Sheet, as the case may be, other than the right to be paid such Paragraph 1 Salary and Bonuses (other than Signing, Roster or Reporting Bonuses, if any) earned during the period, if any, such Player played for the Club pursuant to such SPC.
In short, the NHL wins, Kovalchuk becomes a UFA, and life moves on. The Devils can certainly try to sign him but it will likely have to be a for a different deal. Personally, I've read nothing in Article 50 that shows this contract to be invalid and every use of the "circumvention" by commenters on my site, on other sites, on boards, etc. don't seem to actually have any hard evidence of this. Funny how just asking for facts seem to rile up people.

Anyway, now, there are penalties listed which include giving up picks, cap penalties, possible suspensions, etc. - in Section 26.13. That's part of a totally different process, and comes after the league investigates a contract for circumvention (Section 26.11) and after all parties have what is called a Joint Discussion on Possible Circumvention; that's defined in Section 26.12 and I'm bolding the end for emphasis.

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26.12 Joint Discussions on Possible Circumventions. Each Investigator shall notify the other after he has concluded an investigation under Section 26.10. Within three (3) days after such notification, and prior to the Investigator's issuance of a report concerning the results of such investigation, the parties shall meet and confer to try to resolve the matter. If the parties reach a resolution, the Investigator reserves the discretion as to whether to issue a report concerning the alleged Circumvention. If the matter is not resolved, the Investigator shall issue a report concerning the alleged Circumvention. Neither the NHL nor NHLPA may commence any action before the System Arbitrator pursuant to Section 26.13 below prior to the parties having met and conferred pursuant to this Section 26.12.
The NHL can't go straight the arbitration where if their rejection is sustained by a "Systems Arbitrator," then they can enforce penalties. Not at least without sitting down with the Devils and trying to work this out per Section 26.12. Given that there is no current evidence of an investigation, much less this article being carried out, the procedures being followed is Section 11.6 and just that.

Moreover, nowhere, and I mean nowhere, in Section 11.6 does it call out Section 26 or any sort of penalty. I can see how Section 26.3 may apply since it "defines" circumvention (and laughably so, but that's a personal opinion); but nothing else in there would carry over unless the NHL tries to pull a fast one on a lot of people. As quoted of Section 11.6.(a).(iii), if the NHL wins the arbitration, Kovalchuk goes back to being an UFA and the Devils can just re-sign him under some other deal. There is no penalty called out in Section 11.6, so that would be that.

If I am wrong, then please show me what I am missing or misunderstanding. I'm not trying to pick on just this throwaway comment, it's something I've been mulling over all day.

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07-22-2010, 11:43 PM
  #102
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"Ilya, I gotta let you know that the league might not allow this contract."
"Oh, you mean like when they investigated the Hossa and Luongo deals? lol. What colour tie do you think I should wear for the press conference?"

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07-22-2010, 11:44 PM
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saugus View Post
I don't know. It's a dangerous game Lou is playing, either way.


does RG have the guts to pull it off?


Last edited by njdevsfn95: 07-22-2010 at 11:49 PM.
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07-22-2010, 11:46 PM
  #104
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I really hope someone writes a book about this when it's all said and done. I sure as hell would buy it.

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07-22-2010, 11:46 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by PariseforPresident View Post
Yes, but the Kings will get back in and out of it 5 more times.
Innuendo.

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07-22-2010, 11:48 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by kiwidevil View Post
If by some way we don't win this arbitration and the contract is deemed void. Can we just sign him to a different contract afterward?
i mean that seems like the next logical step. i mean t would be absolutely absurd for the league to just penalize us and have it as the end of discussion. i mean barring somebody doesnt try to light a fire under the leagues ass right from the get go. and on top of that, do u think they would ever say, "okay now your punishment is that you cant sign the now FA ilya kovalchuk?"

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07-22-2010, 11:50 PM
  #107
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I'm going to dim my homer shades for a second and say that while I believe we'd win in arbitration, it's certainly not even close to guaranteed and to think it is is a step or two above foolish on the dumb-scale.

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07-22-2010, 11:50 PM
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno Devil View Post
i mean that seems like the next logical step. i mean t would be absolutely absurd for the league to just penalize us and have it as the end of discussion. i mean barring somebody doesnt try to light a fire under the leagues ass right from the get go. and on top of that, do u think they would ever say, "okay now your punishment is that you cant sign the now FA ilya kovalchuk?"
Per the rules and regulations of the CBA, not unless I'm missing something here.

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07-22-2010, 11:51 PM
  #109
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Originally Posted by jkrdevil View Post
Which brings me to the next point. Can you violate the "spirit" of the CBA if the methods used was known about during the drafting and basically intentionally left open?
This may end up being a key point. If it goes to arbitration, and we see other GM's being called for testimony, then probably the answer is "no". However, I personally would tell Bettman "Good luck" if he thinks he's going to win based on the "spirit" of the CBA!

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07-22-2010, 11:52 PM
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saugus View Post
It does a few things for both parties. It makes sure that both Kovy and the Devils are publicly committed to each other. Or like you said, it might have been a bluff, and Lou was gambling that they wouldn't reject it after the Devils made such a big deal of it. But then his comments after the presser make no sense, because that sounded like he was daring the NHL to reject the contract.
No, that bit only works assuming Kovy/Grossman are in the dark and DONT know the deal has been rejected. But now "sources say" has also clarified that Kovy/Grossmen also knew it was rejected.

Makes. No. Sense.

Either it was an elaborate bluff and all parties knew, or it's could, not would, and "Sources day" botches another one.

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07-22-2010, 11:53 PM
  #111
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that was a fantastic post.

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07-22-2010, 11:56 PM
  #112
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Note - when I emailed Daly, he referred me specifically to 11.6(a)(1)(c), but he did also refer me "more generally" to the provisions in Article 26.

That said, there's been no official investigation started to my knowledge, so that was probably just for the first few generic sections about what a circumvention is, etc.

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07-22-2010, 11:57 PM
  #113
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I just feel that if Grossman didn't know, he'd issue some sort of statement trying to save some face and try to distance Kovy from the Devils. They had to know it was probably going to be rejected and had another deal in place. Who really knows though. It could just be a huge bluff.

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07-22-2010, 11:58 PM
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njdevsfn95 View Post
that was a fantastic post.
Thanks. It's a preview of what I'll write tomorrow on my own site, admittedly. A portion, if you will, but an important one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
Note - when I emailed Daly, he referred me specifically to 11.6(a)(1)(c), but he did also refer me "more generally" to the provisions in Article 26.
I'm stunned that a high-level NHL exec is revealing details to a random e-mail he wouldn't otherwise release to the public. That aside, he's right. The rejection can be done for circumvention Still, the process happening now is in line with 11.6 and that's crucial with respect to what could happen to the Devils going forward.

I assumed that Article 26.3 would be in play because how else can an arbitration hearing on a contract due to supposed "cap circumvention" happen without going through said definition of "circumvention." 26.3 is both detailed and vague even with a non-exhaustive list of examples. That's probably what Daly meant since the later provisions wouldn't apply.

26.13 (Systems Arbitrator rules on circumvention) doesn't happen until 26.12 is satisfied, and 26.12 can't possibly happen without an investigation in 26.10 unless one can somehow have a joint discussion on something that wasn't formally done. I'd be honestly shocked if the NHL investigates a deal it already rejected; so until there's proof of there being an investigation and a joint discussion, this can't go through the route of 26.13 per the CBA. Daly was smart to be specific on one and not the other if only to lead you to think how grave the results could be. Really, the worst is that Kovalchuk goes to UFA again, the NHL looks strong, the Devils may not look so great but they can either re-sign Kovalchuk or move on (which I don't think would be so bad, really).


Last edited by DevilFisch: 07-23-2010 at 12:07 AM.
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Old
07-23-2010, 12:01 AM
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashing Lights View Post
I just feel that if Grossman didn't know, he'd issue some sort of statement trying to save some face and try to distance Kovy from the Devils. They had to know it was probably going to be rejected and had another deal in place. Who really knows though. It could just be a huge bluff.
At this point, we have to assume that both Grossman and Lou were pretty sure this would be coming, or at least aware of the possibility, and as such they wouldn't have done it if they weren't confident they'd win in arbitration. Moreover, it could explain some of why it took so long for a contract to get hammered out.

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07-23-2010, 12:01 AM
  #116
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Originally Posted by DevilFisch View Post
Thanks. It's a preview of what I'll write tomorrow on my own site, admittedly. A portion, if you will, but an important one.
ive always seen that blog linked on Puck Daddy's Puck Headlines..but since i usually read that at school (work), i just stay on Yahoo to be safe.

tomorrow i'll check it out for real, but at least link it here...if you can.

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07-23-2010, 12:02 AM
  #117
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How many threads have we had total on Kovy now? We had 5 on the rumours of the trade and then the trade itself way back in February, another 11 during the long Kovy watch, 2 or 3 for the signing and press conference, and now at least 4 more for the rejection. Wow.

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07-23-2010, 12:04 AM
  #118
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I really hope someone writes a book about this when it's all said and done. I sure as hell would buy it.

license to ill by helene (nothelen) elliot

chapter 1: "**** yo couch atlanta"

chapter 2: " enterprise: we'll pick you up"

chapter 3: "pregame shots with zharky"

chapter 4: "yayo: the prophet"

even chapters 5-37: "fit for a king"

odd chapters 5-37; "swamp logging"

chapter 38: "dinner with mess"

chapter 39: "illya hits the allstar game"

chapter 40: "bleeding blue"

chapter 41: "a kings ransom"

chapter 42: " a deal with the devil"

chapter 43-46: "other cliche headlines involving or pertaining to the number 6, the devil, the swap, snooki and all other members of the jersey shore as a place or hit tv series."

to be continued

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07-23-2010, 12:05 AM
  #119
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Originally Posted by Saugus View Post
How many threads have we had total on Kovy now? We had 5 on the rumours of the trade and then the trade itself way back in February, another 11 during the long Kovy watch, 2 or 3 for the signing and press conference, and now at least 4 more for the rejection. Wow.
do the math.

1 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 6

or was it

1 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 5

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07-23-2010, 12:10 AM
  #120
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This is the 18th Kovalchuk thread.

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Old
07-23-2010, 12:10 AM
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njdevsfn95 View Post
ive always seen that blog linked on Puck Daddy's Puck Headlines..but since i usually read that at school (work), i just stay on Yahoo to be safe.

tomorrow i'll check it out for real, but at least link it here...if you can.
I didn't know I could link my own blog, In Lou We Trust, on here, given how that's usually frowned upon. For what it's worth, ILWT is clean. It may be filled with some more stupid comments given that people don't take well to being challenged to define much less prove "circumvention" among other statements.

Honestly, I have 0 issue with this contract, Hossa's contract, Lecavalier's contract, etc. If the Kings offer Doughty a 20 year deal with a tail as big as a whale but fits under Article 50.7 and he wants it and signs it, then I would have no problem with that. If it's all good per Article 50, then it's good. The NHL and PA agreed to this system of average annual value defining cap hits where the only control is in how it's structured. This isn't even a loophole, this is the actual system. Truly we can say: Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Yet, some still think saying "OH WHAT IF (team x) SIGNS (player y) TO A (length z) DEAL" is an actual argument. Shame.

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07-23-2010, 12:11 AM
  #122
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lol. That's pretty much the Kovalchuk deal I mocked up about 2 months ago. Dont feel like looking for the thread, but that's pretty close. I had $10M years instead of $10.5M years is the only difference, but I kept Waddell's offers intact and framed shenanigans around them.
yeah, it looks more like the Hossa contract and something that has been deemed "acceptable".

there's still a little difference in that the spread of $10.5M over the cap hit of $6.8M
is bigger than the spread of Hossa's $7.9M over the cap hit of $5.275M. but, somewhat explainable because there's middling years in there that bring the average of the big part down a little bit.

still, it would probably be most similiar to the Hossa deal at a $10M or a $9.5M big number.

so, how about this?

$9.5M
$9.5M
$9.5M
$9.5M
$9.5M
$9.5M
$9.5M
$9.5M
$9.5M
$7M
$4M
$2.0M
$1.5M
$1M
$1M

again, 15/$102M

this one is awesome and totally foolproof. the maximum contract is not *that* far away from the cap hit.

when you look at these, you start to realize that ours looks really shady in comparison, and both parties did a bad job here, the Devils by going for too little cap, and Kovalchuk by being not flexible enough in the maximum salary he gets. you still get the money either way, doofus.

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07-23-2010, 12:12 AM
  #123
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we'll win the arbitration hearing, this is bettmans advisor.


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07-23-2010, 12:12 AM
  #124
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Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
At this point, we have to assume that both Grossman and Lou were pretty sure this would be coming, or at least aware of the possibility, and as such they wouldn't have done it if they weren't confident they'd win in arbitration. Moreover, it could explain some of why it took so long for a contract to get hammered out.
I agree. If Grossman didn't know and they felt the Devils misled them, I think you'd see a statement where Grossman explains they were misled by the Devils, they tried to make it work, and he'd like his client to explore other options when he is eligible to hit the open market again. He might be hated by Devils fans but whatever team he signed with, their fans wouldn't care and would welcome him with open arms.

A problem that Grossman would run into is the Kings would have him to themselves or he'd have to explore the KHL as an option. Either way, I don't think he sees anything close to 100m. Their best option is to work it out with the Devils and that's what is probably going to happen. I don't believe they weren't prepared for this or at the very least, didn't think it would get rejected. Bottom line, Kovy is going to be a Devil for a long time.

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07-23-2010, 12:14 AM
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZ Pops View Post
This is the 18th Kovalchuk thread.
I think it's more than that. 20 something, at least.

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