The NHL won the case and Kovalchuk’s contract was wiped out. Which is awesome, because seriously, that contract was ridiculous.
Now, however, the NHL is going to town investigating all those other ridiculous contracts that have been signed but haven’t kicked in yet (Luongo, Pronger, Savard). And while I a) think the teams should be forced to keep them instead of getting the cap relief that would come with voiding them because it’s their own faults for signing such stupid deals in the first place and b) sincerely hope this doesn’t actually lead to another lockout, I have to admit something: if you take a step back and look at this from afar, it’s hilarious. One victory and the NHL is going crazy investigating suspect contracts and trying to void them all. It’s funny. Go to town, boys!
(And I do realize this might just be a scare tactic. Doesn’t make it any less funny.)
The NHLPA has until today to file a grievance about the voiding of the Kovalchuk contract or take it to arbitration or whatever the exact terminology is for it. And while this whole situation is fascinating to me, there is literally nothing else going on right now. So even if I wasn’t fascinated by it, I’d still have to pay attention because there’s nothing else to distract me.
Ilya Kovalchuk, you successfully killed the summer. Thanks a million.
Yesterday Ilya Kovalchuk finally agreed to a new deal with New Jersey, one that is supposedly going to be 17 years long. And I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about that just doesn’t sit well with me.
I want to say it’s the part where he’ll make $11.5 million, but if a team wants to overpay a guy, that’s their prerogative. (But still. $11.5 million? For a guy that has won exactly ONE playoff game and hasn’t figured out what the equivalent of “defense” is in Russia?) People are whipping themselves into frenzies over the cap circumvention and the fact that it utilizes that loophole to keep the cap hit manageable isn’t what bothers me. I think the part of the deal that bothers me is the way in which it uses the term of the deal to keep the cap hit low.
I actually usually like long-term deals. Nicky Backstrom signed a ten year extension in Washington? Heck yes, keep that guy around. Ryan Miller got himself a five year deal? He’s a goalie, he actually wants to be in Buffalo, I support it 100%. And when Tyler Myers signs his twenty year extension* next summer I’ll wear my Myers shirt around town with pride. But these are all deals that (God willing) will be played out. In ten years Backstrom will be 32, Miller will be in his mid-thirties, and I’d like to think Tyler has twenty years* in him (all with Buffalo, of course). Kovalchuk is already 27. Even if he plays until he’s 40, that’s only thirteen years. What I don’t like about this deal is that by making it long enough to keep the cap hit reasonable, it got up to 17 years. For a guy who’s 27. Even if he was a 21 year old signing his first contract after the rookie one it would be different.
It’s not even the fact that the deal is front-loaded. If you want to give the guy the cash up front, fine. But giving him the money up front in a way that makes it easy for you to buy out his last few years, years he’s most likely not going to play, seems to be taking cap evasion a little too far.
I don’t know what the solution to this problem is when they start renegotiating the CBA and I don’t pretend to know. I don’t mind long term deals for players who are bigger names (because regardless of whether or not he can win, I personally consider Kovy to be a big name). For the fans, it gives them security that players they like and players they want to root for and keep in town will stay there. For the team, it gives them a way to pay the player money he wants while not completely screwing over their team for years to come. I just feel like something should be done to prevent deals that no one expects to end with the player still playing. There’s a reason Kovalchuk’s money goes down in the end and I feel like that reason just might rhyme with “shmyout.”
I don’t know. Maybe I’m being completely unreasonable and probably maybe this post doesn’t even make any sense. I just don’t like that guy signed a contract he’ll never play the duration of.
Whether or not the Devils actually win now is an entirely different story and I’m not going to even get into that. (Hint: I don’t see it happening.)
And props to the Kings for not caving in and throwing at him what he wants. You guys showed him not going above 15 years. I think you made the smart choice.
*I’m exaggerating here. A little.
I really don’t have much of anything to say because there’s really not much of anything going on. Kovalchuk still hasn’t signed anywhere and I honestly have no idea if this means he’s more or less likely to end up in LA or the KHL or who knows where. Personally, I want him to end up back in Atlanta for less than the original contract they offered him. But that’s just me.
Chicago continues to have HILARIOUS cap issues. Like, I’m happy for their fans that they won and all, but I certainly wouldn’t want a team I cheer for to go through this. However, if they want to send Patrick Sharp to Buffalo or even Washington (SECOND LINE CENTER) I’m sure the fans would be happy to adopt him and love as one of their own.
Is it just me, or is this offseason more dead than usual?
That Kovalchuk trade really worked out for the Devils, huh?
After I wrote that fascinating, in-depth post on curling (thanks to everyone who tried to explain it to me!) I watched the Russia/Latvia game. It was awesome. Russia has snazzy jerseys, great offense, and I’m sure if they actually tried using an actual power play unit instead of just their normal unit, they’ll be golden. I hear a new unit is in the works for tonight so I look forward to seeing it. They also might want to get Kovie off the penalty kill because that might come back to bite them later on.
Midnight hockey is fun while you’re watching it because you’re tired and everything is funnier. It’s significantly less fun the next morning.
Lars Nicklas was stellar last night. No one ever notices it since he’s on a line with, you know, one of the game’s best, but he’s such a great player. And he looks ever cuter in Sweden’s jersey. I’ve always been a fan of their blue and yellow, and now I love it even more.
Canada played fairly well in their opener as well. I still don’t like them but Iggy’s hatter made me quite warm and fuzzy.
I missed USA’s first game and I’ll miss their second game today. I’m such a bad American, but not being able to see Ryan Miller slowly wear himself out isn’t the worst thing.
I plan on watching more curling until I leave for the movies this afternoon.
I am absolutely in love with automatic icing. It’s smart!! It takes out those dumb races and the pissed off players who think they got there first! It’s safe!!! Do it, Gary.
I’m still waiting for JR to punch Mike Milbury in the face. It’s gotta happen.
Last night the Caps won their twelfth straight game. I’m starting to feel like they’ll never lose again after coming from behind the way they did last night. That wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.
Excuse me for a minute, but ALEX GOT HIS 500TH CAREER POINT!! AND HE’S STORMING BACK TO TAKE THE LEAD LEAGUE!! Did you SEE his second goal? He’s insane. He’s so good at hockey. I don’t know why I’m still surprised when he does stuff like that.
Not to be lost in all of that is Nicki’s five-point night. He’s not too bad. Maybe we should keep him around, George?
The Sabres are playing the Hurricanes in what could be the most painful game ever tonight. If they lose I’m officialy pronouncing them dead.
The Thrashers finally ended the Kovalchuk saga and sent him to New Jersey. I always liked Kovy but I’m starting to change my opinion a little after the way things went down. He’s a great player and he was that franchise, but he was asking for so much money when he doesn’t even know what defense is. It’s clear he wanted out of Atlanta. I just feel bad for the Thrashers fans of the world.
And Ilya does realize the Devils play a trap, right? That never really seemed like his thing.
Not to sound cocky or anything, but I knew they’d win if I was there. And it wasn’t even for selfish reasons. Ottawa has been playing really well lately and Buffalo needs to keep getting two points.
Hecht’s shot in the shootout was hilarious. He schooled Marty. Jochen’s success in the shootouts amazes/amuses me to no end.
The first period was pretty boring, but it was huge that the Sabres didn’t fall behind. New Jersey isn’t exactly an offensive firepower, but they’ve got one of the best goalies ever and it’s harder to come back against them.
Speaking of goalies, I was asked last night by one of the people I was with who “that goalie for the other team is.” I was really patient when I explained the shootout but I had to inform everyone that he’s arguably the best goaltender in the history of the NHL.
I’m still in shock that Ryan let that goal in. Ryan. I thought you would have that one.
My seat was pretty insane. Center ice, club level. I’ve never sat there before so it was lots of fun.
Lindy’s got to go with Lala tomorrow against Boston. Ryan needs a rest and Lala needs to get his confidence back up. Boston isn’t exactly a huge threat so it would be a good time to play him.
Washington won 5-1. I heard it was a great game. They’re pulling away and I doubt the Sabres or Devils will be able to catch them. The ease with which they’ve been winning is kind of scary. There’s so much offense there. Cripes.
On the subject of Ilya Kovalchuk going to Washington, I personally don’t think it’s the best idea (and I also feel like there are other teams that would go after him way more aggressively). Yeah, he’s got a crapload of offense, but the Caps have proven that they don’t really need any extra goals. It wouldn’t be worth giving up what Atlanta would probably want in return and screwing up the chemistry they’ve got going for a rental, and I feel like a line with Alex and Kovy might not work. I know Alex has adopted a “pass first” mentality since being named captain, but that’s just too much offense and too much crazy Russian on one line. If the Caps get one thing at the deadline, I would rather it be a physical defenseman (yeah, their defense doesn’t suck as much as people say it does, but they still could use one). And, of course, that 40-year extension for Lars.
As for Buffalo, Kovalchuk would be the pure goal scorer I still wish Buffalo had (I don’t trust scoring by committee when none of our players has 20 goals. I just don’t like it), but defense is a weak part of Kovy’s game and Lindy would probably put a bullet in his head.
So yeah. There are my thoughts on the matter, for what it’s worth.
After what seemed like an incredibly long break (seriously, guys, WHERE is the condensed schedule everyone has been freaking out about?), the Sabres play tonight. They’re playing the Thrashers. I have something of a soft spot for Les Thrash, so I don’t really feel bad saying they suck. It’s just a fact. I think it’s cute.
What’s not cute is how Ilya is something of a greedy whore and is going to jump ship because Atlanta simply can’t pay him the buckets of money he wants, but that’s another story for another day.
Hey, remember that time the Sabres beat the Thrashers 10-1? Wink wink, nudge nudge.
Last night the Capitals played yet another highly entertaining game, but this time the WON! Flash was the shootout hero!! Alex scored for once!! Neuvy had another sucky night! Michael wet his pants!!
It was fun. But they need to learn how to play in the first period. I already had to put up with that from the Sabres, and it is NO FUN.
Sooo last night the Sabres battled from being down two goals twice and after some poor play they managed to make it into the shootout. It was intense, full of suspense, lasted eleven rounds…and Buffalo lost. Oh well, I guess they had to lose some time. It was just good that they got at least one point before hitting the road. Don’t forget your toothbrushes, boys.
Tyler Myers is still amazing and wonderful. I love him. He had Anderson beat and he just sort of lost the puck. But I forgive you, Tyler.
I wasn’t really sure what Lala was doing half the time in net last night but he still got the team a point so I’ll let it slide.
Mayhaps Thomas Vanek is (finally) busting out of his slump? This would be marvelous news, because he’s been bugging me.
I might finally get to go ice skating Thursday night. I haven’t been yet this winter and it makes me sad.
The Capitals, on the other hand, beat the Thrashers 8-1 for Bruce’s 55th birthday. Yay, Caps! The game was actually kind of boring which is odd since they scored eight goals, but whatevs. I’m glad it happened. Mikey Knuble got two and Sasha got two, which was fun. I still don’t like you Sasha. You also happen to eat like a slob (more on that in a second). The most impressive part about last night’s game was probably that Alex only had one assist. But I’m a little mad at him for not scoring. Not cool, man.
It’ll be interesting to see which team Ilya jumps ship for. I do not understand at all why Chicago is in the conversation, because they’ve already got a bazillion long-term contracts and I don’t see how they can afford another $10 million next year. And he’s not worth it as a rental.
The Caps’ post-game locker room video once again does not disappoint with the background actions. We’ve got what kind of sounds like Brooks during Schultz’s interview, naked Brian Pother and naked Eric Fehr, which is GOOD, while Neuvy is being interview, and we also have naked Alex (eww) and naked Sasha shoving food down his throat at an alarmingly fast pace. Dude, slow down. No one is taking it from you.
The Sabres don’t play again for a long time, so enjoy your break, Sabres! Just don’t get too rusty.