The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/26/13 at 02:32 PM ET
It's a strange Friday in late July, no doubt about it. First I've quoted a CNN article about the Red Wings' follow-on rink because it is--get this--actually thorough and well-thought-out, and now I'm quoting one Yahoo Sports' Ryan Lambert because he found a helluva quip from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
Daly was in Vancouver to talk about the Heritage Classic between the...Uh, Senators and Canucks...To be held in...Vancouver...And he found himself smack-dab in the middle of a "summertime summit" for Canucks season ticket-holders, and an intrepid fan had the gall to ask Daly about the NHL's "cap recapture" formula regarding what it likes to call "back-diving contracts."
This happens to be important for the Red Wings and their fans given that Henrik Zetterberg's contract expires after the 2020-21 season and that Johan Franzen's contract expires one year earlier, and it's particularly intriguing to find out who pushed for the "cap recapture" rule:
Vancouver, with Roberto Luongo's contract on the books, could very well take a major hit in this regard were their embattled goaltender to retire at any point in the next year or three. Daly, then, bobbed and weaved away by explaining that it wasn't the league itself, which had long had a stated and open opposition to these types of contracts and the teams that offered them. The league wanting something like that? Perish the thought!
"I think it's fair to say that a majority of the clubs in our league felt that they were potentially at competitive disadvantages against clubs which were able to structure contracts in such as way as to gain a competitive advantage based on cap charge, the way the CBA worked, and that was something they wanted to address in collective bargaining," he said.
So your beef, for any fans of teams whose teams dealt in signing players to those back-diving deals, isn't with the league and its long-standing crusade against them, but rather the Board of Governors and the league's general managers. "Ultimately we came up with the rule we came up with," was how he closed.
That certainly explains it.
It's pretty easy to see why teams would want to stick it to competitors who circumvented the spirit of the cap, though not the actual letter of the law, in giving out these deals, but that they were allowed to is ridiculous. Make no mistake, the reason this got pushed through with everything else the league wanted is that it doesn't have much of an effect on players to begin with. How many of these deals even exist? A dozen maybe? The only way it might affect players, like Luongo, is that it gives teams less of an incentive to trade those players; it has no bearing on retirement dates, as we saw with Ilya Kovalchuk just a few weeks ago.
This is, make no mistake, an eff-you from a bunch of teams that didn't sign these deals and the league itself to a handful of clubs across the NHL. That the league would allow once-legal deals to remain in place but now come with bobby traps is the definition of petty and silly and needless.
Which is to say, it's perfect for the NHL.
The balance of Lambert's article discusses Dave Nonis' contract extension with the Leafs, but hey, sometimes interesting stuff comes from...Let's say interesting folks.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.