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Should The Devils Be Fined Or Penalized?

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

The NHL has been given Players Association approval until Sept. 17 to confiscate Devils draft picks and fine the team up to $3 million for its first signing of Ilya Kovalchuk, The Post has learned. The league, however, will not lower the Devils’ $59.4 million salary cap upper limit, one of the possible punishments for cap circumvention.

It would appear the Devils’ only recourse against such punishment would be an appeal to the NHL Board of Governors or legal action, both iffy.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink


SYF's avatar

But wasn’t Kovalchuk playing for the Devils in the last year of his contract with the Thrashers?  That contract has since expired.  Kovalchuk signed the now-voided 17-year deal in the OFFseason - nary a regular season game was ever played.  Why would the Devils be penalized/fined for something that happened in the offseason?

Hossa and Pronger played when their contracts were already ratified.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 09/04/10 at 03:16 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

What does the offseason have anything to with it? The contract is still circumventing the cap. The only reason the NHL approved it was to get concessions from the union to prevent these deals in the future. That’s the bottom line. The Devils could’ve offered a more reasonable deal to Kovalchuk and let him take it or leave it, but they didn’t. I hope the NHL throws the book at the Devils.

Posted by cs6687 on 09/04/10 at 05:01 PM ET

SYF's avatar

True but it’s not like the Devils had a player with an illegal contract playing regularly.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 09/04/10 at 06:13 PM ET

Leafsfan 4life's avatar

I don’t think the Devils should be penalized. This particular situation seems less harmless and should warrant action.

I would like to see some extra measures taken to prevent teams from finding loop holes on these long term contracts. I don’t know enough about these contract technicalities but it does seem wrong when teams extend the contracted years to help with the salary cap hits.

I’m not familiar with the CBA or any other policies. If someone could offer an explanation on these type of contracts I would love to listen. What was the specific problem with the Kovalchuk devils contract? Was it just the number or years coupled with the salary?


Posted by Leafsfan 4life from North America on 09/05/10 at 03:43 AM ET

Moq's avatar

Given the lack of rigorous rules, and the league’s late response to the problem of long cap circumvention contracts, I see no basis for further punishment despite the blatancy of the “crime”.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 09/05/10 at 09:42 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Considering the Devils and Lou Lamoriello did the NHL a favor by starting the series of events that led to this latest agreement, I see them getting a fruit basket before a slap on the wrist.

LeafsFan4Life - here is the problem with the Kovalchuk contract, as specifically laid out by arbitrator Richard Bloch, who upheld the league’s decision to reject it:


Here’s the short version”

There were a number of excess useless years at the end of the deal.  Under the rules in place then, the cap hit was calculated using the total salary divided by the number of years.  That contract had a number of years tacked on at the end at just above league minimum, which made what would have been a cap hit in the $8 million range a cap hit of only $6 million.  It was obvious that Kovalchuk would have retired before playing any of those years, which would have ended that cap hit.

Also, late in the contract years, Kovalchuk’s no movement clause disappeared.  Under a no movement clause, a player can’t be traded or even sent to the minors without his permission.  The disappearing NMC meant that even if Kovalchuk wanted to play those low-salary years in his hockey twilight, the Devils could have made him play in the minors, where the cap hit doesn’t count towards anything.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/05/10 at 10:34 AM ET

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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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