Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
A decision will finally be made on Ilya Kovalchuk’s latest contract.
Maybe. The league and the NHLPA agreed on a 5 p.m. ET Friday deadline, one that is fast approaching, and one that will reveal whether the league will approve the 15-year, $100 million contract the New Jersey Devils have submitted.
That is unless, of course, another extension is granted. And that appears to be a possibility as the sides work to negotiate parameters in which long-term contracts will be approved moving forward.
“They’re trying to work something where everybody will win,” an NHL source told Sporting News. “It’s possible both sides are going to come out looking good.”
It’s a definite temperature change from Wednesday evening when the New York Post reported that an ultimatum was issued by the league to the players, saying it would approve the Kovalchuk deal only if specific rules were put in place regarding future long-term contracts.
The league was quick to deny issuing any ultimatum.
“It certainly seems unfair they’re going after guys that they approved but there is also nothing in the CBA that says they can’t do it. The league is using the language to their advantage, I suppose.
“Right now, there are a lot of moving parts between both sides and one of their threats is to go back and re-investigate some of the contracts with Luongo being one and [Marian] Hossa being another. That’s something we don’t really want to see but it’s a valid threat by them. We’re not sure how it’s going to come out. That’s for the lawyers to negotiate and we’ll see what comes of it.”
-Dan Hamhuis of the Vancouver Canucks. More players comment in a story from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The NHLPA remains without an executive director after Wednesday night’s conference call among the 30 player reps comprising the union’s executive board adjourned without taking a vote on installing Donald Fehr to the position, The Post has learned….
Fehr, who told the PA’s search committee last week that he would accept the position of executive director, has given the executive board his conditions for employment.
- Salary of $3M per year to run through completion of collective bargaining after the current CBA expires following the 2011-12 season.
- Salary of $1.5M for the remainder of this year.
Making a deal is common sense, for now and the future. But, as Jerry Seinfeld once said, the problem with common sense? It’s not that common.
Hopefully, this will be the exception.
-Elliotte Friedman of CBC. More from Friedman about the contract situations involving Kovalchuk and others.
Fans are beginning to get excited about hockey taking center stage in a few weeks.
Think about that and it should be your major concern right about now.
Get the Kovalchuk deal worked out now or move on, at this point in time fans just want closure.
Regarding the other contracts that may be under review, get those out of the way too. Make a decision and move on. We don’t need anything like this hanging over our heads. Fans want to talk about hockey on the ice, not what is going on with all of this contract talk.
added 8:20am, from Damien Cox of The Spin,
Having teams cook up bizarre, front-loaded contracts that whittle down to $50 a season in the 45th year doesn’t help NHL players in general. It may help teams like Chicago win the Stanley Cup, but the vast majority of NHL clubs don’t benefit from these kind of deals that most GMs see as a form of cheating.
Everybody knows how much money is on the table for the players. It’s set out in the collective bargaining agreement. It’s just a question of how its divvied up. The more Ilya Kovalchuk gets, the less somebody else gets, or at least the bigger the escrow cut that comes the way of the average NHL player.
So if the NHL and the NHL Players Association are really using the 48-hour extension in the Kovalchuk decision to hammer out some kind of mid-CBA agreement on how to handle these deals, it’s probably a good thing for everybody. Well, everybody except maybe Kovalchuk. And a few others.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The NHL has given the NHLPA an ultimatum regarding the contested front-loaded contract of not only the Devils’ Ilya Kovalchuk, but Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and Chicago’s Marian Hossa, as well, The Post has learned.
A well placed source reports that the league has informed the Players’ Assn. that the league will grandfather the recently submitted Kovalchuk 15-year, $100M contract, Luongo’s 12-year, $64M deal that is entering its second season and Hossa’s 12-year, $63.3M deal that also is entering its second season into the CBA under the following conditions:
1. That the cap hit on future multi-year contracts will not count any seasons that end with the player over 40 years of age. The cap hit would be calculated on the average of the salary up through age 40 only.
As the former head of baseball’s player union, Fehr led that group to a series of spectacular but bloody victories over management.
You can argue about his methods until you’re blue in the face but you can’t argue the results and it seems the PA has noticed the same thing.
You just hope the NHL has taken notice. Fehr has been brought in for a reason. And it isn’t to laugh with Gary and Lou about their high jinks.
-Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province. More on the NHL/NHLPA situation.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation expected to reach a conclusion by 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday will instead continue until 5 p.m. ET Friday. The NHL and NHLPA mutually agreed to extend the deadline to accept or reject the latest contract Kovalchuk signed with the New Jersey Devils.
TORONTO - NEW YORK (Sept. 1, 2010) - The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association today mutually agreed to extend the deadline by which the League must reach a decision on the contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk until 5:00 p.m. ET Friday, Sept. 3.
Newark, NJ – New Jersey Devils President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello today issued the following statement:
“We have today been advised that the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to extend until Friday the decision on whether to approve or reject the latest contract between Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils.
“We remain confident that the terms of this contract comply, in every respect, with the CBA and meet both the NHL’s concerns and the principles of Arbitrator Bloch’s decision. We remain optimistic that this extension will result in an approval of the contract and that Ilya Kovalchuk will remain a valuable member of the Devils for the balance of his career.
“We will have no further comment until the decision is rendered.”
Here’s hoping he treats the endeavour with a serious, sober purpose and doesn’t contribute to running the sport off the cliff again. That’s happened too often in the NHL’s past couple of decades, recalcitrant leaders on both sides unable to negotiate fair agreements that can keep the game on the ice, growing and thriving the way it is now.
Sadly, hockey’s recent history has shown that just when things are going well, owners and players find a way to mess it up. It would behoove all sides to remember the sage words of philosopher George Santayana: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail on Donald Fehr and the NHL. Read more on this topic.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The day after news broke that Donald Fehr was poised to become the new executive director of the NHL players association, just about all the message boards agreed: Armageddon is just around the corner.
Fehr oversaw major league baseball’s players association for 26 years, a period of time characterized by a major steroid scandal and a series of contentious negotiations with the owners over the collective bargaining agreement.
If Fehr brings his confrontational style to the NHLPA, could another work stoppage be on the horizon, just five years after the NHL lost the 2004-05 season as a result of a labor dispute?
According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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