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Around the League (Kovalchuk decision delayed until Friday)

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Old
07-21-2010, 10:16 AM
  #1
Levitate
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Around the League (Kovalchuk decision delayed until Friday)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bojanglez View Post
Not true at all. Chelios is a fitness freak no doubt. But don't defenseman get banged up more? What kind of evidence do you have for this? As I feel like defenseman do a ton more dirty work, on average I would assume have shorter careers.

Kovalchuk is clearly in shape as well. If the desire is there, there is no reason why he can't play till that age.

I'm not saying he will do it. But its 100% possible.
I think it's mainly because defensemen can still be more useful at 40+ years of age than forwards can be.

Also I don't doubt that Kovalchuk will be able to play hockey at age 44, I doubt that he'll be NHL caliber no matter what kind of shape he's in.

And if he's on the ice as a fourth line forward getting 5 minutes of icetime per game at age 44 and a $6+ mill cap hit, do you really think the Devils would just keep throwing him out there? No, he'll get bought out or sent down to the AHL, which is what this is boiling down to.

edit: I mean, I can rephrase: the odds of Kovalchuk playing at age 44 and being any kind of use on the ice at all are exceedingly slim.

Yes you can bring up all of the exceptions that we've seen (which is like, 3 players in the history of the NHL that have played beyond the age of 43) but you're not being realistic, just pointing out that there's a tiny sliver of a chance that Kovalchuk could possibly be the 4th person to ever play in the NHL at the age of 44.

Most players in the NHL are fitness freaks at this point. It's not like they just give up when they hit their late 30's and let their fitness level go to ****. Their bodies just aren't capable of playing a the pro level regardless of their level of fitness and then no team wants to sign them because they can get younger players to do much better jobs.

The odds of Kovalchuk being an anomaly here are very very small

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07-21-2010, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rvdnsx View Post
Wow, Devils fans are so blinded by this. Kovalchuk will not play until he is 40, let alone 44. If you look at the year by year breakdown of his contract, you can tell when he is going to bolt. He'll leave as soon as he isn't making market value in his mind for that particular season. Why work when you've already made over 90% of your money in the frontend of your contract? Kovalchuk isn't stupid, this deal benefits him as far as compensation he wanted. His true cap hit is around $9 million if you exclude the last 6 years where he'd probably be making below league minimum at that point.

The league should just implement a term limit on contracts and these would be avoidable, say in the 6-7 year range. I will agree that the Hossa, Luongo and Franzen deals are similar but definitely not as blatant as this one. Unfortunately, the Devils will probably just modify the deal just enough so that he'll get maybe a bit less money frontend and a little more backend with a slightly higher cap hit. What would be great would be the NHL implementing a modified rule regarding these contracts before the next CBA like they did when they implemented the "Avery Rule" a mere 24-48 hours after the incident. Let's see how much Kovalchuk would wanna sign with the Devils then for 7 years at a $6M cap hit!
We could argue all day about whether a guy could plat at 44 or not. I'd argue history tells you it is possible and has been done before. You'd argue the contrary. Agree to disagree.

However, the "Avery Rule" and the CBA cannot be compared in the sense that you have done so. The NHL has the right to change it's rules if it feels it's necessary. I agree that it was unfair that they altered the rule in the middle of a season, and that's coming from a Devils fan. But the CBA cannot be altered, as it's a binding legal contract that BY LAW cannot be changed until it expires, or until BOTH parties agree to do so. So comparing a league rule with a collectively bargained and binding contract between two partners makes absolutely no sense.

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07-21-2010, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by WozzyBearRU View Post
That's not accurate. In the press conferecne yesterday when asked about his age at the end of the deal, he stated "Hopefully, I will keep myself in shape to still be able to play.

Those are the only public statements he's made in regards to his age at the end of the deal. So unless you or the NHL has a recording of him saying something to the contrary behind closed doors, these "sources" have yet to reveal themselves.

Like I said, I doubt he'll be playing when he's 44. But it's not beyond the realm of possibility, especially when you consider that the league had a guy who was 48 playing last season (Chelios). So good luck proving that he definitely won't be playing.
so what about Lou going up there and basically while saying it shouldnt be allowed under the CBA? If they have every intention of Kovy playing all those years why would Lou say something like that?

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07-21-2010, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WozzyBearRU View Post
We could argue all day about whether a guy could plat at 44 or not. I'd argue history tells you it is possible and has been done before. You'd argue the contrary. Agree to disagree.

However, the "Avery Rule" and the CBA cannot be compared in the sense that you have done so. The NHL has the right to change it's rules if it feels it's necessary. I agree that it was unfair that they altered the rule in the middle of a season, and that's coming from a Devils fan. But the CBA cannot be altered, as it's a binding legal contract that BY LAW cannot be changed until it expires, or until BOTH parties agree to do so. So comparing a league rule with a collectively bargained and binding contract between two partners makes absolutely no sense.
As so many wonderful Devils fans pointed out about the Avery Rule, it has nothing to do with altering the rules. It has to do with interpreting the rules.

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07-21-2010, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Banks3rdLineCenter View Post
Courts don't do subtle. Courts interpret the laws as written. The laws as written allow for these types of contracts. The NHL has allowed these type of contracts. The NHL is going to state that there is an intention to circumvent the cap here. That intention was there with the other deals as well.
Lamoriello's comments today were hardly subtle. The rules are in place for the league to investigate any rule they want to. The "laws" are written there.

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07-21-2010, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by nyr2417 View Post
Deals 100% voidable and enforceable, and not just because the nhl thinks its wrong. It's actually in the rules....

It's clear in Article 50.7 here: http://www.nhl.com/cba/2005-CBA.pdf
Which basically says that year by year changes in the structure of a contract can't be more than 50% of the lower of the first two years of the contract.

So we look at the contract here http://capgeek.com/players/display.php?id=339
50% of the $6m is $3m, so the jump of $6m to $11.5m clearly violates this.
Wrong. Increase cannot be by more than 100%. DECREASE cannot be by more than 50%.

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07-21-2010, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
I think it's mainly because defensemen can still be more useful at 40+ years of age than forwards can be.

Also I don't doubt that Kovalchuk will be able to play hockey at age 44, I doubt that he'll be NHL caliber no matter what kind of shape he's in.

And if he's on the ice as a fourth line forward getting 5 minutes of icetime per game at age 44 and a $6+ mill cap hit, do you really think the Devils would just keep throwing him out there? No, he'll get bought out or sent down to the AHL, which is what this is boiling down to.

edit: I mean, I can rephrase: the odds of Kovalchuk playing at age 44 and being any kind of use on the ice at all are exceedingly slim.

Yes you can bring up all of the exceptions that we've seen (which is like, 3 players in the history of the NHL that have played beyond the age of 43) but you're not being realistic, just pointing out that there's a tiny sliver of a chance that Kovalchuk could possibly be the 4th person to ever play in the NHL at the age of 44.

Most players in the NHL are fitness freaks at this point. It's not like they just give up when they hit their late 30's and let their fitness level go to ****. Their bodies just aren't capable of playing a the pro level regardless of their level of fitness and then no team wants to sign them because they can get younger players to do much better jobs.

The odds of Kovalchuk being an anomaly here are very very small
Yup, and even more so for a pure goal scorer like Kovy.

Many of the forwards who have had NHL careers beyond the age of 40 have done so because they had another dimension to their game beyond scoring. Players such as Larionov, Messier, and Gary Roberts played a solid two-way game and could still kill penalties if they weren't putting up points. And then there are the playmakers like Oates who were no longer scoring goals but could rack up the assists. If Kovalchuk were to play into his 40s, he would have to adapt into a two-way player and rely more on setting up his fellow linemates.

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07-21-2010, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allstar3970 View Post
so what about Lou going up there and basically while saying it shouldnt be allowed under the CBA? If they have every intention of Kovy playing all those years why would Lou say something like that?
I agree that it likely should not be permitted under the CBA. But technically, it's within the rules, and that is what Lou is saying.

Unfortunately, the precedent has been set with the Hossa, Franzen, Zetterberg, Luongo and Pronger deals. So if the league approved those deals, I don't see how they can not approve this one. This is selective enforcement by the NHL.

All that said, this issue is going to be a such a Cluster.... in the next CBA negotiation. Expect a lockout at this rate.

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07-21-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banks3rdLineCenter View Post
Eh, you raise good points. To me though, degree doesn't factor into it. The intent and purpose of Kovy's deal is exactly the same as Savard, Hossa, etc. The degree of cap circumvention doesn't matter. Circumvention is circumvention. The league didn't use the circumvention clause on the other deals, IMO, they can't use it on this one.

If the Devils decide to fight this they will point to those deals. The NHL won't be able to say they weren't as blatant. They'll have to admit that, at the time, they acknowledged that those deals weren't circumventing the cap. If those didn't (which they obviously did and which Kovalchuk's obviously does) than neither does this one.

They should have done this from the start. At this point, I don't think this is even about Kovalchuk. This is about the even more ludicrous deals that are on the horizon. Stamkos and Doughty 25 years each.
1) Why not? This deal IS more blatant, as pointed out by BRF.
2) The deals are mutually exclusive. They have no bearing on one another. The NHL isn't like a court, which is hemmed in by precedent, which can be overturned regardless, if they choose to do so.

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07-21-2010, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WozzyBearRU View Post
All that said, this issue is going to be a such a Cluster.... in the next CBA negotiation. Expect a lockout at this rate.
The stupid thing is that the GMs and owners are the ones making these deals, but they're also the ones who run the league and who Bettman answers to (the owners, anyways).

They demanded a salary cap, then went about trying to find ways around it.

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07-21-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
The stupid thing is that the GMs and owners are the ones making these deals, but they're also the ones who run the league and who Bettman answers to (the owners, anyways).

They demanded a salary cap, then went about trying to find ways around it.
Great point...

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07-21-2010, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
The stupid thing is that the GMs and owners are the ones making these deals, but they're also the ones who run the league and who Bettman answers to (the owners, anyways).

They demanded a salary cap, then went about trying to find ways around it.
This happens between business owners all the time. Parties sign a contract, everything is hunky dory, and then they start trying to finds ways out of/around it. Not very surprising.

Also, notice how cash-heavy teams have been giving out these contracts (Chi, Det, Philly, NJD). I'm sure it was small-market owners pushing for the cap much harder than big markets.

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07-21-2010, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandNewDream View Post
1) Why not? This deal IS more blatant, as pointed out by BRF.
2) The deals are mutually exclusive. They have no bearing on one another. The NHL isn't like a court, which is hemmed in by precedent, which can be overturned regardless, if they choose to do so.
Yes but that's what arbitrators jobs are, to solve based on precedent. It'll probably never get to that point though, NJ will probably submit a modified deal with less years and a higher cap hit. It would be great if the NHL stepped in and imposed a term limit on contracts going forward.

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07-21-2010, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
The stupid thing is that the GMs and owners are the ones making these deals, but they're also the ones who run the league and who Bettman answers to (the owners, anyways).

They demanded a salary cap, then went about trying to find ways around it.

The irony is a little thick, isn't it?

It is the difference between the collective interests of the owners which says the league needs a cap and revenue sharing to insure all teams can compete and the individual interests of specific owners who have the resources to pay very large salaries but need to get around the cap.

You have to remember that there are still huge differences in the resources available to different teams. Not every team could do the Kovy deal because they wouldn't actually be able to pay him the 11-12M in actual salary in those middle years of the contract. There are teams that have trouble spending to the cap floor because they just don't have the money.

One way around this is to not focus on the length of the contract, but on how you calculate the cap hit. Rather than average the cap hit over the entire contract, maybe you say "cap hit = salary in a given year" or "cap hit = avg salary in 3yr increments" or something like that. Then you could say, go ahead and sign a guy for 25 years, but in years 1 through 5 your cap hit is going to be the actual salary...

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07-21-2010, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rvdnsx View Post
Yes but that's what arbitrators jobs are, to solve based on precedent. It'll probably never get to that point though, NJ will probably submit a modified deal with less years and a higher cap hit. It would be great if the NHL stepped in and imposed a term limit on contracts going forward.
They can solve it based on precedent, or, closer to my point, they can distinguish the prior cases. The fact is, this deal looks and feels worse. When you do a little bit more digging, it becomes more apparent.

In comparing the Savard, Richards, Luongo, Hossa, Keith and Zetterberg deals to Kovy's, ONLY the Savard deal drops so low as to bring into consideration the league minimum.

Should Savard actually be playing in the final two years of his contract, the contract states his salary at $525k, the league minimum. That number would have to go up along with the league minimum, possibly altering his cap hit. Kovalchuk's deal calls for $550k in the final four years. That also raises the league minimum issue, which is set until 2011-12 at $525k. In the new CBA, with other proposed changes (no guaranteed K's, no long-term deals) the minimum will likely go up.

The other contracts are cushioned in the final years by numbers not below $1m. Besides, Richards' deal isn't even comparable because it takes him to 35.

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07-21-2010, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by BrandNewDream View Post
This happens between business owners all the time. Parties sign a contract, everything is hunky dory, and then they start trying to finds ways out of/around it. Not very surprising.

Also, notice how cash-heavy teams have been giving out these contracts (Chi, Det, Philly, NJD). I'm sure it was small-market owners pushing for the cap much harder than big markets.
It's not surprising, just ********.

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07-21-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandNewDream View Post

Also, notice how cash-heavy teams have been giving out these contracts (Chi, Det, Philly, NJD). I'm sure it was small-market owners pushing for the cap much harder than big markets.
Lol at the Devils being a cash Heavy team....

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07-21-2010, 11:26 AM
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Lol at the Devils being a cash Heavy team....
They've spent close to the cap every single year. They don't act like a small market team.

Somehow, they make it work.

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07-21-2010, 11:26 AM
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All I know right now is that this is all VERY ENTERTAINING at the expense of the Devils and their obnoxious fans

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07-21-2010, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BrandNewDream View Post
They've spent close to the cap every single year. They don't act like a small market team.

Somehow, they make it work.

What Ive heard is that Lou hated this deal from the get go , but the ownership told him they had to do it to fill seats and to get deeper playoff revenue out of the new facility in Newark.

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07-21-2010, 11:37 AM
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If u get caught speeding going say 75mph in 65mph zone & get a ticket but the police cars video shows multiple cars before you going 70mph does that make your speeding now legal?

I just think that not-veto'ing other contracts doesn't mean that this 1 isn't illegal. It just shows an idiot commish IMO.

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07-21-2010, 11:39 AM
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What Ive heard is that Lou hated this deal from the get go , but the ownership told him they had to do it to fill seats and to get deeper playoff revenue out of the new facility in Newark.
Where'd you hear that from?

I wonder how NJ ownership would feel about Lou snubbing them like that

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07-21-2010, 11:39 AM
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What Ive heard is that Lou hated this deal from the get go , but the ownership told him they had to do it to fill seats and to get deeper playoff revenue out of the new facility in Newark.
That was pretty apparent. All of Lou's comments yesterday pointed directly towards Vanderbeek.

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07-21-2010, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
The stupid thing is that the GMs and owners are the ones making these deals, but they're also the ones who run the league and who Bettman answers to (the owners, anyways).

They demanded a salary cap, then went about trying to find ways around it.
The beauty will be when they blame the players in 2012 when there's another lockout. "We need protection from the greedy players!"

Oh, and to the point of who wanted the salary cap: Boston was the biggest advocate (signed Chara to $8m per, Savard has a Kovalchuk type contract), Chicago was a another proponent (Hossa, Keith). When JFJ of Toronto pleaded with the owners to reconsider the cap, Snyder and Clarke (Pronger) shouted him down in front of everyone.

The most vocal against the lockout and cap were the Rangers and Leafs. It actually makes sense as they are the two teams who conduct business as if it were 10 years ago while everyone else that wanted these rules probably foresaw the opportunity to exploit those rules.

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07-21-2010, 11:44 AM
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What Ive heard is that Lou hated this deal from the get go , but the ownership told him they had to do it to fill seats and to get deeper playoff revenue out of the new facility in Newark.
Well, let the "Dolanization" of NJD begin then.

What's next? Is Vanderbeek going to head down to practice and start giving Kovy some advice on his shot?

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