Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Jeff Marek of CBC,
And once again, the pendulum has swung back from the middle ground of a Paul Kelly (whose philosophies nestled nicely between the “take-no-prisoners” attitude of Bob Goodenow to the “take-whatever-you-need” vibe of Ted Saskin) to more of a hardliner in Fehr.
It should come to nobody’s surprise that both Fehr and Goodenow have a relationship that stretches back many years and are both cut from the same “scrap over every issue” cloth.
The timing is interesting, on the heels of a major Players’ Association loss at the gavel of arbitrator Richard Bloch, who ruled Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year contract with the New Jersey Devils a circumvention of the salary cap and the further disclosure that the NHL is investing other deals of a similar variety.
Many within the PA feel this was the league flexing its muscles at a time when the players were without any sort of leadership to mount any substantial challenge.
Make no mistake, these are fights that Fehr craves and thrives on.
Featuring Daniel Alfredsson, Ken Holland and Jamie Langenbrunner.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Yes, Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch had to wait in line outside GM Place at the Vancouver Olympics.
And the NHL couldn’t get its own network accredited to cover the games.
And the league couldn’t use any highlights from the Games on its website even though its own players were playing in the tournament.
And NHL GMs have had trouble gaining access and information about their players during the Olympics.
And the 2014 Sochi Games may not be on in prime time.
There are challenges to playing in the Olympics. Many, perhaps. But what a shining chance for the NHL to preserve something great and unique; what a shining chance to pay back the players and fans and the league itself by not giving in to the impulse to walk away from the Olympics because it’s inconvenient.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org