Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/19/12 at 05:46 PM ET
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Philadelphia’s offer sheet isn’t exactly the same circumvention as Ilya Kovalchuk’s first contract with New Jersey, which was rejected by the NHL for violating the “spirit of the salary cap,” but it is a blatant “spiritual” circumvention nonetheless and a giant middle finger from Snider to all small-market teams.
That’s why owners such as Snider (a notorious hawk in all previous negotiations with the NHLPA) and Leipold (who got a sweetheart deal that removed him as Predators owner and gave him the keys to the much more profitable Wild) are such monstrous hypocrites when it comes to collective bargaining negotiations. They haughtily demand NHLers tighten their financial belts each and every time the league needs a new labor deal, then proceed to make a mockery of the agreement from the minute after it’s signed to the second before it expires.
Snider must know what will happen if the Predators fail to match their offer sheet for Weber. He has to be aware crestfallen Nashville fans will be justifiably soured on the way the NHL conducts its business and as a consequence will be less likely to invest their time, emotion and money in the league. He can’t be ignorant of the fact small-market teams functioning as de facto feeder systems and farcical versions of parity will be a drag on large markets and the overall profitability of the game. He also has to know if Nashville does match his offer, the financial strain on the franchise will make it next to impossible for the Preds to improve the team around Weber.
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