Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/10/05 at 11:50 PM ET
On Monday, more became clear about some of the challenges the Thrashers faced in signing Kovalchuk under the league's new collective bargaining agreement. One of the biggest hurdles was a CBA provision that states if a player signs after the season has started, the first year of the contract must pay him more than the average of his salary. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that rule was partly created to prevent teams from sneaking marquee players under the cap once the season started, but also to create pressure on both parties to strike a deal before the season started. "Those two aspects stand out," said Daly, who said he met with Waddell for 20 minutes Friday at league offices in New York and discussed scenarios under which the contract could receive approval. "We were concerned, as a league, with a situation where a team would be able to fit a more significant player into the smaller cap hole by being able to sign him partway through the season. That was something we were concerned about in the context of a multi-year contract. We also put into the CBA as many provisions as we could to incentivize the player and the club to deal sooner than later."
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