Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/25/10 at 09:41 AM ET
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
First, know this about Gary Bettman and his capricious prosecution of circumvention against the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk—it’s personal with the commissioner, the way it was personal when he and the Board of Governors canceled a season in order to get rid of Bob Goodenow.
It’s personal because Bettman had been telling NHL general managers for months to stop signing players to dramatically front-loaded lifetime contracts designed to massage the cap hit before New Jersey’s Lou Lamoriello, of all teams and of all people, simply defied the commissioner.
Bettman’s ill-advised quest to impose a one-size-fits-all cap onto 30 teams with varying needs and constituencies is in tatters. The Kovalchuk contract, which meets every legal standard outlined in the collective bargaining agreement, is merely the latest example of a powerful team acting creatively in order to keep as much of its personnel intact as possible.
added 9:14am, from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
The Devils might have five million reasons to worry about the Players Association’s expected filing for arbitration of Ilya Kovalchuk’s rejected contract.
A league source said the NHL is not threatening, but also not dismissing the possibility that the Devils might be liable for a fine of at least $1 million. The fine could go up to $5 million should an arbitrator finds that their $102 million, 17-year contract is indeed a circumvention of the collective bargaining agreement.
In addition, Kovalchuk himself conceivably could be liable to a fine between $250G and $1 million.
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