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Roundup on the Ilya Kovalchuk arbitration hearing

Monday marked the end of one chapter and the start of a new segment in this summer's Ilya Kovalchuk saga as arbitrator Richard Bloch ruled in favor of the NHL's decision to reject the star winger's 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils.

You can check out the full text of the decision (via Offside) and the NHLPA's statement is below.

"The NHLPA is disappointed with the Arbitrator's ruling to uphold the NHL's rejection of the contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk. The NHLPA is currently reviewing the decision and will have no further comment at this time."

One of the main reasons this case has been so intriguing is that Kovalchuk's contract is hardly the first long-term, front-loaded agreement to spring up in the NHL's salary cap era but it was the first the league sought to veto. In addition to potentially setting a precedent on these types of deals, the ruling may signal a chance for the league to try to reject pre-existing cap-circumventing contracts. From James Mirtle at The Globe and Mail:

Bloch also noted that several other long-term contracts are under investigation for circumvention, listing deals given to Vancouver Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo, Boston Bruins centre Marc Savard, Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger and Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa as raising similar red flags to Kovalchuk's rejected contract.
"While the contracts have in fact been registered, their structure has not escaped league notice," the decision reads. "Those players' contracts are being investigated currently with at least the possibility of a subsequent withdrawal of the registration."
Several agents contacted Monday were alarmed by the implication of the league going after contracts already in effect.
"I've never heard of a contract that had been registered and approved and then having that registration withdrawn," said one agent, who requested to remain anonymous.
"The league has two months now to go after Savard, Pronger and Luongo [whose contract extensions began July 1]. Until they start getting paid, they've got two months."

So why was this the contract that broke the camel's back? Well, no one knows exactly where the invisible line is with these deals, but there's plenty of evidence that the line is based on a combination of factors. From ESPN's Scott Burnside:

Part of it was the player's age at the end of the deal; Kovalchuk would have been 44. Bloch is right, no one not named Chris Chelios plays that long. Mark Recchi is currently the oldest player in the NHL, and he just signed a one-year deal with Boston that will take him to his 43rd birthday.
According to Bloch, only six players from more than 3,400 in the past two decades have played to the age of 42.
That, coupled with the fact that Kovalchuk's salary would have taken a precipitous dive -- from a high point of $11.5 million, which he would have been paid in years three through seven of the deal, to $550,000 for the final five years of the deal -- were enough for Bloch to take the league's side on this contentious issue.

Despite the ruling, it's possible Kovalchuk will remain in New Jersey as the Devils have reopened negotiations for a contract the NHL will approve. (via Fire and Ice)

By Katie Carrera  |  August 10, 2010; 9:42 AM ET
 | Tags: Ilya Kovalchuk, free agency  
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Next: Changes on the Capitals beat

Comments

Somebody please sign this guy so the rest of free agency can play its way out!

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. This has been one giant speed bump.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 10, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

This weekend on Japers' Rink Radio we are going to have on Damien Cox, hockey columnist from the Toronto Star, on as our guest to talk about the fallout from the Kovalchuk decision, the Caps and his new book getting released this fall called "The Ovechkin Project: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Hockeys Most Dangerous Player"

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 10, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The arbitrator is doing the players association a favor by stepping out these contracts. The NHLPA is in a no win battle for good PR as long as they endorse any of this - (and I know they were against a salary cap all along.)

Just suppose for one minute a player like Kovalchuk did actually play well into his 40s for just $550K a year - that would screw other players out of millions of $ tied up in the NJ salary cap hit that nobody would get.

The only way they can benefit is to see deals like the proposed Kovy one end at year 12 when the player likely retires and the salary hit comes off the books.....it must have been hard for the NHLPA to make their case knowing if Kovy were sincere about playing 17 years the rest of the membership would have been screwed.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | August 10, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

OK, who wants to guess what he eventually gets this time?

He has rejected:

12 yrs/$101M from Atlanta
15 yrs/$80M from the Kings

I would imagine the Kings would re-offer what they had on the table. Meanwhile, for NJ offer to work, you pretty much have to take out the last four years and make it 13 yrs/$100M. Also, spread the money more evenly so it doesn't get near 11.5 at any point. So, you have a cap hit there of $7.7M/yr. Can the Devils afford that? Hardly, not given where they are now. Maybe with trading Zubrus (would anyone take him at $3+M?) and waiving Ralston they can fit Kovy.

13 yrs/$100M. First 8 at $10M. Then 8, 6, 3, 2 and 1. Cap hit = 7.7. That would be my guess. Does it circumvent? Sure, but it's on the edge there and maybe the league would hem and haw but let it go.

If anyone else wants to venture a guess, go ahead and give it a shot. I still think NJ would be overpaying compared to the next best offer. So, let's put a range and say 13 yrs and between $90-100M. He's a great player, but really he's not worth $10M/yr. I myself would not pay him over $8.25M/yr as that would be "Ovechkin less 10%."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@yesisaiditfirst

True that if the contract was approved and Kovy played out the entire thing that him having a $6M cap hit while only making $550k would take potential money away from players. However, in the years Kovy was being paid $11M with only a $6M cap hit he would be giving back potential money to players. It would all even itself out if he played the entire contract (ignoring escrow, but I think if players salaries are below the certain %, such as when Kovy is paid $550k with a $6M cap hit, then money comes out of the escrow account and to the players based on money entered into it. So again, it all evens itself out in the long run, although the players are compensated late by the escrow payments)

I do find it funny when hearing people saying that the player is cheating. It is actually the owner who offers the contract that the player signs. So it is the owner(team) that is cheating.

The arbitrator basically said he thinks at least 5 owners probably cheated (Kovy, Hossa, Pronger, Luongo, Savard contracts), yet Bettman is representing these owners when challenging such contracts.

It is sort of screwy, basically each owner who signed a player to a similar contract is saying they can cheat but others can't.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Why don't the Devils just subtract a year(or increase the base at the end to $1M instead of $550k) and try it again. If the league rejects it they can go through the arbitration process again. If they reject it again then go to 15 years, etc., etc.

That is the problem with this entire thing is that no one knows where this imaginary bad contract line is. So it wouldn't be done in bad faith as the Devils would just be trying to get as close to that line as they can, but in doing so they need to find where the line is.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed the new blog-master, Katie, looks an awful lot like the old one, Tarik.
What are the odds of that happening?

Posted by: marksman37 | August 10, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

So just because the offer was proposed by the mgmt, Kovy did nothing wrong by inking his name next to it? Hmmm, so if the coach says "nah, its not against the rules, hit that guy from behind face first into the boards" and a player does this, he didnt commit a penalty on someone? Sorry but your logic is faulty.

Kovy signed an obvious cap circumventing contract, ergo he is just as guilty as who extended the offer.

Not to mention, trying to get the lowest possible cap hit by being less circumventing is just as crappy. Why are you trying to paint the Devils as the victim here? They got caught trying to abuse the system and were spanked for it. I'd actually love to see them get fined for it. Talk about making an example.

If they want to avoid another vetoed contract/arbitration process, then offer an honest contract...X amount of years for Y amount of money, where X is a reasonable/plausible number and Y is as well. Then for ease of burden on the cap, maybe front load a little, and im talking maybe a mil difference at best. Otherwise, dont offer as much. Pssh dirty Devil cheaters.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

What as an honetst contract then? What is the farthest the Devils can go? Is 16 years honest, 15 years, 14? Or would it be fine to have it at 17 years as long as the base compensation at the end is $1M, $1.2M, $1.3M? Or is it a combination of both? Is it a contract to age 43 with the final base compensation being $750k? Or is it a contract to age 42 with the final base compensation being $1M?

That's the problem. You are saying the Devils/Kovy need to sign an "honest contract". But what is considered honest and what is not? The Devils want to sign an "honest contract" as close to the line of being "dishonest" as possible. They are allowed to do that, but how can they do that if no one has any idea where that line is.

"So just because the offer was proposed by the mgmt, Kovy did nothing wrong by inking his name next to it? Hmmm, so if the coach says "nah, its not against the rules, hit that guy from behind face first into the boards" and a player does this, he didnt commit a penalty on someone? Sorry but your logic is faulty."

That is not a good analogy because the player may or may not hit the other guy into the boards regardless of whether the coach says anything or not.

Here, Kovy cannot sign that contract unless the Devils offer it. So he is dependent on the Devils to do their part before he can do his part of the contract. It is the Devils who have to initiate the process by offering the contract.

The arbitrator actually said that he did not believe any of this was done in bad faith. He basically ruled it as the Devils misinterpreting what is allowed. So he did not think either Kovy or the Devils cheated, but rather that they were undertandably mistaken.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Katie-Have you heard anything about this?
From NHL.com-Forward Brian Willsie and defenseman Brian Fahey signed with the Capitals. Willsie, like Durno, didn't have much of an impact last season, going scoreless in four games. Fahey has been a career AHL player. Please see article on NHL.com, http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=535403#&navid=nhl-search Fahey is listed on the roster on the Capitals website.

Posted by: jenk2778 | August 10, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The arbitrator actually said that he did not believe any of this was done in bad faith. He basically ruled it as the Devils misinterpreting what is allowed. So he did not think either Kovy or the Devils cheated, but rather that they were undertandably mistaken.

Posted by: sgm3 |


And if you believe that I have a couple pieces of property for sale you may be interested in:

1. An ocean front property located in Arizona.

and

2. A nice dry piece of buildable land located in the middle of the Florida everglades.

Contact me at PhilR@realestateforsuckers.com

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line: Several teams have used this loophole, including the last team to win the cup. Cheaters or more appropriately, manipulators, can and do win.

I understand that it was impractical to do with Ovechkin and Backstrom but McPhee should try to get in on the loophole before it closes. Otherwise, several teams will continue to have an advantage over us.

I just don't know that we have any players to offer that kind of contract. To really make a difference, the players has to a) make a lot of money per year b) be worth that kind of money and c) be somebody you are absolutely sure you want to have around for the life of the contract.

It's feasible to offer such contracts to players like Zetterberg, Franzen, Hossa because of their ages.

Our high-paid, core players are already locked into contract and are too young anyway. I don't think you can accomplish a lot if you try to offer one of these contracts to a player like Laich.

Alternatively, maybe their is a free agent that you can make a deal like this with but I'm not familiar with what's left out there. Is there anybody worth it and can we even afford to offer such a contract given our limited cap space?

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 10, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@jenk2778,

Those signings happened a couple weeks ago and are simply to re-stock Hershey. No other reason I am sure.

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

That's what the arbitrator ruled so why don't you contact him about that property.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Phil, that sounds like some good deals. I'd like in.
Do you also book cruises to Somalia?


re: Hershey, here's a pretty good breakdown of who may be a Bear this season. Not sure about the Willsie acquisiton but Brian Fahey is a solid addition to that blueline. Very competitive player at both ends.

http://hersheybearshockey.blogspot.com/2010/08/current-roster.html

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

That may be what the arbitrator said but if you actually believe that dribble and that he was not just being diplomatic then contact me, I'm sure we can do business!

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Semin??? I'd like him for another 5 years. But at $6 mil+ per...ouch. Then again, I dont like cheaters, so who knows.


@sgm
Kovy/agent and the Devils negotiate the terms of the contract, they are equally guilty. He KNEW what he was signing, nuff said. PhilR was dead on with his post.

And as for what an "honest contract" consists of...well it kind of states it in the name. I guess I could define the word honest for you, but you seem like a smart guy and probably already know it. So I wont be redundant. But if you can sit there and say, yes, I think said player at 43 will still be on my team, making $550k while maintaining a cap hit of $6 mil and be worth every cent. Quite simply, you are a liar. Hence I said an honest contract needs to have a legit amount of years for legit amount of money.

If you think the player is worth $6 mil a year for 20 years, then offer a 20 year $120 mil contract. If he retires 10 years in...you wont get the cap hit the next 10. Sounds pretty honest to me. And if you think there might be a slight possibility that he wont be playing when he is almost 50 and worthy of $6 mil, then dont offer it. If you think that after 10 years he might not be worth the $6 mil per, then only sign him for 10 and renegotiate in the 10th year. Offer a realistic amount of years/dollars.

@PhilR

You forgot about selling him his very own star, as well as future ocean front property over an underwater active volcano (yes this is real and people do this).

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 10, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Somalia, Cambodia....you name it, we can set it up!....we even have a five star resort fronting as an Iranian prison just outside of Tehran....contact me for details on these and many more of fabulous dream deals!

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

imo only reason the league got involved was because it looked like a direct slap in the face of how contracts are handed out to circumvent the cap. The Devils basically dared the league to do something since the loophole is as big as Kim Kardasian's butt. A little more conservative contract by both the Devils and Kovy and it may have flown below radar.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3...as a lawyer, or wanna be lawyer you know that "intent" is impossible to prove. I do not think that Kovy was responsible for this mess. He has an agent that dealt with the owner of the Devils. Those guys worked out the numbers and Kovy signed. If you don't think they were trying to circumvent the cpa see if the Devils would be willing to pay face value for each year instead of an average.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 10, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I think the NHL would let them sign Kovy for 17 years as long as the hit is the same, or the delta, isn't so vast from the highest years to the out years. If they want to pay him $135m for 17 years and the last years are $4m or $5m per, when he's 86 yeard-old, have at it. They aren't going to allow any more deals where the average hit is $7m per year but the first six years pay $12m per year and the last six pay $.55 per year.

Posted by: saintex | August 10, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Hence I said an honest contract needs to have a legit amount of years for legit amount of money."

@SAOTI

Well what is a legit amount of year and what is a legit amount of money?

If you were in Kovy's place and the Devils place what are you able to do? As Kovy you want to play for the Devils and sign for the most guaranteed money you can(long term). As the Devils you are willing to pay Kovy a lot of money but want to lower the cap hit as much as is allowed so you can field a more competitive team and sell more tickets, merchandise, etc.

What are you allowed to do by the CBA?

You mention forcing contracts to remain constant throughout. Do that mean all other contract that have salaries descending during the term are dishonest should be invalid?

Nylander's contract went considerably down in value, does that mean Ted is a cheater too?

Are you also saying that a player and team cannot give a player a descending salary because his play may be worse at age 37?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

still think the best way to close the contract loophole is to put strict limits on how many years a player can sign for based on his age. Maybe from 25-30, the limit is a 10 yr deal. From 30-35, the limit is an 8 yr deal. From 35-40, it does down to 4 or 5 yrs. That way you can't back-load contracts the way you can now. The hit should be more significant even in the early yrs of the deal.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

maybe the league should have honored the contract but forced Kovalchuk to play a min# of games in the latter years. So when he's like 43, he needs to play in at least 20 games per season and be forced to take 10 shifts per game. Or they have to forfeit the games. I would pay good money to see a 43yr old Kovy hobbling around the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line is the contract did circumvent the cap and we all know that. The basis of the arbitrators decision is very suspect to say the least.

Tom asked why players would care about the ruling...its bc certain players like Savard, Pronger, Luongo signed extensions that have yet to kick in. They could have made financial decisions based on receiving that money. Now essentially those contracts are going to be looked at and quite possibly voided based on this ruling. Three players are part of the NHLPA, doesnt matter how small a percentage those three are they could be screwed. I am not sure how the league will approach the Hossa contract as it has already begun. But Canucks management has already been told to not comment on the arbitrators decision as Luongos contract is under investigation. So maybe nothing happens or maybe it does, but the players dont like being jerked around. It would be one thing if they treated those contracts and protested them right away like Kovys but they didnt.

Posted by: ThePat | August 10, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@nimrodsp

I understand that, but how were the Devils/Kovy supposed to know where the line is? After Hossa's, Pronger's, Savard's, and Luongo's contract were all apparently okay they would think those were okay and not considered to be circumventing the salary cap.

Without anyone rules, guidance, previous rulings there was no guidance as to how much further the contracts could go.

Now, there is guidance that the Kovy deal is considered too far. But the Franzen and Hossa deals are okay and possibly the Pronger, Savard, and Luongo deals are okay as well. So the line is somewhere in between those deals and the Kovy deal, but where? And if those deals are also voided then the line would be between those voided deals and the furthest accepted deal.

How can someone knowingly cross the line if no one knows where the line is?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

well said

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton - a better fix is to have two league minimum salary tiers. One for every day players like Brian Wilsie and one much higher league minimum for star players like Kovalchuk/Hossa etc.

Perhaps the higher tier could be 2 1/2 times the minimum for the players not considered superstars. If that were so the lowest they could earn any year would be around $1.40 million a year. Redo the 17 year contract with those figures at the end and the Devils won't sign it.

Anything that escalates botton salaries is something the union would have to support. The real debate would be on how to define which players are stars and which are not. I would assume players that are not stars never get 5 yrs+ on a deal anyway.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | August 10, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

sgm: I have used this example before - the speed limit. Everyone knows 55 mph speed limit means you can't go 56. But everyone knows the police almost never give tickets until you go 10 over. Kovy's contract was 15 over. Hossa's was 12 over. Surprised his was allowed to stand.

Don't feel bad for anyone, they all knew what they were doing.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

How can you accomplish a loophole contract by offering a Semin a 5-year deal given his age?

The idea behind these contracts is extending them out well past the prime of the player's career.

Let's say Semin is worth $6 million for the sake of argument. To get any real savings over 5 years, he'd have to have a huge dropoff starting in year 2 or 3.

Why would Semin accept such a huge discount? He'll still be near his prime at the end of the contract.

To make it work with Semin, you'd have to offer him a 10+ year contract.

Then, you have to ask: Is Semin a player that you no doubt want around for that long?

If so, I'd make sure the contract included a "no smoking" clause and some kind of per season limit on "stupid, untimely penalties" and "lazy performances."

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 10, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I agree with your take on the "balancing out" but the reality is that there is NO INCENTIVE at year 13 for the Devils (huge cap hit), for Kovy (no income), and the NHLPA (less money for all players tied in NJ cap hit) to want to live out the 17 year commitment.

They have all sorts of incentive to stick with it in the first 12 years.

This is probably why the arbitrator sided with the NHL. Why would any judge allow a contract with no incentive for both signing parties to live out?

Especially when there is an enduring victim - the rest of the NHL - which becomes hurt as soon as Kovalchuk retires in 2022 and has no way to be recompensated at the end.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | August 10, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3
"As Kovy you want to play for the Devils and sign for the most guaranteed money you can(long term). As the Devils you are willing to pay Kovy a lot of money but want to lower the cap hit as much as is allowed so you can field a more competitive team and sell more tickets, merchandise, etc."

Hmm I'm no lawyer, but that sounds like trying to get around a predetermined limit for your advantage, or circumvent a cap if you will.

I am not saying you pay a player a flat rate over the years, just saying that would be deemed an honest contract. Agreed? For raises/decreases...they have to be legit (for the record 10.5 mil one year followed by 550k the next....not legit). Lets say 6, 6.5, 7, 7, 6, 5, 4...thats 41.5 for 7 years which would make a cap hit of $5.92. Sounds fair to me. I think, that if you truly want to avoid cap circumventing, you simply make salary for the year = cap hit. Problem solved.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 10, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

if the NHL doesn't want any loophole or creativity with these contracts then they just have to be like the NBA and come up with their version of max contracts.

Posted by: joek443 | August 10, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I have just invented the solution. You don't need to limit contract length or anything.

ANY CONTRACT THAT STARTS BEFORE A PLAYER IS 35 AND EXTENDS TO WHEN HE IS BEYOND 35:

These contracts would have two sections, each section having a cap hit. Let's say the first 8 yrs, before 35, paid him $80M, and the last 9 years, after 35, paid him $20M.

For section 1 of the contract, the cap hit is $10M/yr; for section 2, the cap hit is $2.2M/yr.

There is your solution. Players can sign for as long as the team is willing to offer and as much as the team is willing to offer. Obviously by dividing the cap hit into two sections the chances for circumvention are greatly diminished. There could be some circumventing in the beyond 35 portions of those contracts, so you still need some limiters, but it could not be nearly as bad as today's loophole.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

But Hossa's was allowed to go that speed and up until Kovy was pulled over for speeding no one had ever been pulled over for speeding. So there was no known rule of being allowed to go about 10 over.

I think a more appropriate analogy would be if the speed limit sign said "65 mph or you cannot go faster than what seems appropriate during traffic at that time".

Then during a day with medium traffic, Hossa comes in driving 60, within the written rules, and that is allowed. Then later that day Kovy comes driving along in the same amount of traffic as before and he is going 63 mph. Again, under the 65 mph limit. But Kovy is pulled over because office Bettman deemed that going 63 mph during those traffic conditions was inappropriate.

Kovy then says "No one has ever been ticketed while going under 65 mph and Hossa was going 60 mph in this traffic. How was I supposed to know that 63 mph crossed the line. It complies with the written rules of 65 mph limit. No one ever described what exact speeds were not okay for certain traffic conditions."

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I am not saying that Pronger Luongo etc were not circumventing the cap, but that Kovy deal was so far out in left field. It made the NHL say no. Too much difference between 11.5 mil and .5 mil.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 10, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3.. It is hard to come up with any thing that will make you look good when you know that you don't have a leg to stand on.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

A couple questions:

1. Do you argue in your sleep?

2. Have you ever, in your life, admitted you were wrong about something?

No insult intended, seriously curious as to the answers.

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

You keep on using the term "legit" but you are not defining what legit is except to say that a $550k salary at the end of the contract is not legit. So Pronger's deal should be voided.

Is $600k ok then? If not $600k how about $700k, $800k, $900k or $1M? If $1M is not legit then Hossa's, Luongo's should also be voided.

You have to give some sort of rules describing what is a legit contract and what is not so teams and players know what they can and cannot do when creating a contract.

@tominsocal1

The idea you had is a way to stop these contracts. There are many others as well, which leads back to the main problem. The NHL messed up and did not put language into the CBA to prevent this. This could've been done with a sentence or two.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

sgm: You can never think of every imaginary way a sneaky person could try and circumvent an agreement. That's why the CBA included a catch-all that said, to paraphrase, no agreement or contract could circumvent the intention of the cap.

On your analogy with speed limits, there is such a thing. Not only is speeding against the law, but so is reckless and/or careless driving. A cop can pull you over and give you a ticket even though you are driving under the speed limit. For instance, going 54 in a 55 during a driving rainstorm can be deemed reckless as you might be a danger to all the others who are going slower.

How are you as a driver supposed to know what is reckless? Common sense.

The arbitrator has ruled. Time for you to let go of the football.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@ tmac2yao

LOL my fault for not being clear...it was like 2 thoughts crammed into 1 sentence. I was saying, Semin is a guy if I was going to offer this type of loophole contract to, I would offer one (since Ovie and Backs are already signed long term).

I then fused that with the thought that I would love Semin around for another 5 years...but his current price of $6 mil on the cap hit is ouch.

I would gladly take him for 10 years.

Hope this helped clarify my scatterbrained thoughts. :P

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 10, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Here is a good article by Larry Brooks about the situation.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/devils/beware_blackhawks_ilya_decision_4wqFiOx6WIW0ufCLOEupKJ

I guess Bettman should vacate the Stanley Cup championship by the Hawks. Bettman would just be following the same circumventing the cap rules used against Kovy(which many here are a strong proponent for). Unless you are under the belief that earning 97%(Kovy) of your contract over the initial "normal" portion is circumventing the cap while earning about %94(Hossa) is not circumventing.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Thank you for.....great analogy. I was trying to avoid the use of "common sense" because...well, lets face it, now a certain someone is going to ask you to define it and set the limits.

But you nailed it. They tried to be accomodating for those that are not trying to be sneaky with their long term contracts.

I still say, the best solution is salary that year = cap hit. If you do a long term deal with increasing/decreasing salary, your cap hit reflects that.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 10, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

There have been a lot of opinions weighed in from experts and us regular Joes about what would happen with Kovy's contract. Some very adamant that it would be ruled okay and others adamant that it would be upheld. Everyone looking at the same CBA, just interpreting it differently. I personally felt that it circumvented and should have been rejected.

Kovy/Agent and the Devils wrote a contract to see if it would stick. No need to say it was legit or not legit. They were testing the limits and it was rejected. There are so many differing opinions on what the CBA allows and so much "gray area" that it could have gone either way.

Posted by: _Mark | August 10, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Then no team won the SC this past year because, as you stated, Hossa's contract clearly circumvents the salary cap and the CBA states the commissioner can penalize by "a forfeiture of any NHL Game(s) determined to have been affected by a Circumvention."

Nice can of worms opened up there.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Some very adamant that it would be ruled okay and others adamant that it would be upheld"
Meant some ruled okay and some rejected.

Either way, when the league took no action on Pronger and Hossa, they opened up the possibility that some one would push the limit further.

Posted by: _Mark | August 10, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Larry Brooks just wants so badly to bring the Commissioner down...and he also likes to read his own words in the NY papers - Brooks thinks he is the news...

There is no way Bettman will ever take away a title from a team that won it - no less in the 3rd biggest TV market in the country b/c it would be suicidal and do more damage than just letting the contracts stand.

In fact no NHL member team would benefit from asking the commissioner to do that. The league is still a loosely knit group of millionaire owners that want to make more money - they didn't get rich by hiring idiots like Larry Brooks.

Why doesn't "Brooksie" do something useful like go and hammer away at baseball commissioner Bud Selig until he rewards that Detroit pitcher with the Perfect Game that was denied by am umpires mistake.

@sgm If Larry Brooks is now your star witness you are really off the main track.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | August 10, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@yesisaiditfirst

Why don't you just evaluate the context of what was written. Was anything incorrect?

The point of the article is that the league is being arbitrary when deciding what circumvents and what doesn't.

That Hawks situation was used as an example because, like you said the commissioner will never do that. That then means Hossa's 94% salary in his contract somehow doesn't circumvent the salary cap but Kovy's does. And the selection of 94% of the salary being paid during the real contract is okay while 97% is not okay is a very arbitrary number to reach when both circumvent the cap.

If the Commissioner wants to ban contracts like this he should ban each and every one and should have done it from the beginning.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

You know what, when Cstanton goes on and on about a topic and keeps repeating his point over and over he is berated mercilessly and most of the time a certain someone is at the forefront of that beratement.

Can you say pot meet kettle and kettle meet pot?

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

You are correct on that....best form of message board posting is a quick to the point drive by post. Get in and get out. If you post essentially the same thing three times or more you are wasting everyones time and dragging out the day. Just agree to disagree and move on, you may be right, you may be wrong but after 3 times everyone is going to pile on and make you look like an a$$clown....no offense sgm3 or cstanton.

Posted by: ThePat | August 10, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Players wouldn't stand for it but something more ideal would be 5-year max deals with a constant amount paid each year.

If a player is old and projected to decline, he would have to accept smaller per year sums to get a longer contract or get paid more for less years.

If a player is young and on the rise, teams and agents would factor that into the contract.

Another positive with this system is that players in their 20s would have more incentive not to slack off once they got paid since they'd be due for another contract while still in their primes.

Again, the NHLPA would never stand for it but it would eliminate cap circumvention while providing more financial motivation for players to continue performaing after signing new contracts. The risk of a player entering free agency sooner is outweighed by the benefits, in my opinion.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 10, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

wait, i go over and over on the same point?!?!?

no way, i say what i need to say, and then move right along! My philosophy is, it only needs to be said once. The more often you repeat yourself the more you devalue your own argument.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

haha...your philosophy is a good one. You just say it once to every person who chimes in on it :)

Posted by: ThePat | August 10, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

maybe the league should have honored the contract but forced Kovalchuk to play a min# of games in the latter years. So when he's like 43, he needs to play in at least 20 games per season and be forced to take 10 shifts per game. Or they have to forfeit the games. I would pay good money to see a 43yr old Kovy hobbling around the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 12:29 PM

@cstanton1:

Interesting thought. Now I know you and I have not always seen eye-to-eye, but remember my disagreements with you have usually not been so much over what you have said (usually well-reasoned and fact-based), as over how you have said it.

I knew you were a cruel man, cstanton1, but I until now I had no idea just how cruel...

Kovalchuk hobbling aroud the ice at age 44?

I like it.

...Could even be inspriational...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Posted by: Rhino40 | August 10, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

LOL!! No worries cstanton, I was just making a point about another poster....wasn't taking a jab at you!

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

lol @pat
"You just say it once to every person who chimes in on it :)"

haha, yeah i like to include everyone in the love fest.

@rhino

You gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measure.


some cody news

http://www.tsn.ca/world_jrs/story/?id=329864

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I need to give up and go take a nap...no idea where that "wasn't poster" part of my last post came from!

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

i was kiddin phil, no foul

Good to see some other posters on here. The sgm v cstanton summit is on hold till the season starts...

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

O come on! That summit has provided some of the most classic bantering I have ever read.....can't call a truce now!

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

well then i need some fluff girls on set because i have already blown that load.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

well then i need some fluff girls on set because i have already blown that load.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 2:41 PM

now that's some funny sh*t!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 10, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

here's a cody moment that gives me some hope he's willing to be more than just skills guy. The way he goes to the front of the net combined with his quick hands and skating, no reason why he can't become a bit of edgy top 6 player like an Upshall. Upshall showed a bit more grit in juniors but Eakin shows he's not a daisy in this clip. Sticks up for a teammate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnhpTSESNSI

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I am going to predict that the league will now challenge the Hossa contract. They were fed up with that one last year, but didn't move forward. Instead the league put out a memo supposedly to quit it with the bogus contracts. Now the league has won a landslide victory. Bloch gave them everything they wanted and more, even citing the other contracts. Since the Hossa deal is next up for most ridiculous (7 years real salary, 1 yr half salary, 4 yrs at pay he'd never play for), that will be the next one to attack. Luongo would be next, Pronger they don't need to bother with as the Flyers anyway have to pay the full hit even if he retires.

Remember, you heard it here first. OK, so you read it here first.

BTW, and if they were, the league will not take away the Cup. Too messy. They might though penalize the Hawks though with a further cap hit for last year that would then be a reduction for this year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

For a little guy (comparatively) he repesented himself pretty well in that scrap. The Caps need a few more guys like that on the team for sure......I get tired of seeing poor Bradley bleed all over himself!

Posted by: PhilR | August 10, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: re Eakin clip: Somehow I can't picture Fleischmann ever challenging anyone like that due to say a hit from behind on Semin.

Can't wait for Eakin to make the club. Probably two years away. I'd say they probably have him already higher rated than some older players like Bouchard. Speaking of whom, will he ever wear a Caps jersey? I'm thinking the answer is no.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

PhilR: One place cstanton and I agree 110% is the Caps need way more of that. Jeez, he looked like Hunter the way he jumped right in and started brawling. I'm in the middle on McPhee, but it is totally irrational how this team doesn't have more of that grit, toughness, feistiness, whatever you want to call it. Obviously what Eakin did wasn't planned, was just an instant reaction to the situation - his teammate getting attacked. Even guys we have like Brooks Laich should be doing more of that. We have Ovi, Bradley and...? Well, Stecks did fight the Z man last year and didn't do TOO bad.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

i don't want to pigeonhole players from the "Q" leagues, but there does seem to sometimes be a longer learning curve if you're a finesse player from the Q. MP has some natural tenacity so he hasn't had to adjust too much although his size may still work against him. Bouchard is actually playing a bit better along the boards now than he did his first 2 yrs. I haven't written him off as a prospect but this is clearly his make or break season. He'll be looked upon to take a bigger offensive role in Hershey instead of playing on a 3rd line.

When he got drafted, if I had a dime for every Caps fan who had him penciled in as our 1st or 2nd line RW....everyone just looked at his "talent" and thought it was a matter of time before he became an NHL regular. He developed a little last yr and it gave me hope watching him play. But like a lot of finesse Q leaguers, its a big adjustment to the NHL. There's a lot more room in the Quebec leagues to skate around and do your thing.


and no, i cannot ever see Flash do what Eakin did in that clip. And for anyone who says 'its not his style, he doesn't have to do that', that's not really true. When a team truly plays together as one, even the finesse guys throw their man hats into the ring once in a while. I've seen the Det finesse players do it, we've all seen the Penguins skill players do it....you don't need to win the scrap, but you need to show up and stick your nose in there. Guys like Gordo and Flash pretend that scrumming around isn't a part of hockey. Even Semin used to stick his nose in there a bit. He's at his best when he gets roughed up a little, then he seems to wake up and push back.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

eakin needs to be careful - if he displays too much grit, he'll find himself playing in another city - traded for an 'nhl' ready 'grit' guy

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 10, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

--PhilR: One place cstanton and I agree 110% is the Caps need way more of that--

good point on a guy like Brooksie. He can easily do a little more of that, and he has at times. But frankly, if you play on the bottom 6 of ANY team, that has got to be a part of your regular game. Even if you don't drop the gloves, just rushing into a scrum and pushing around a bit is enough to build some team toughness.

What we really need are a few more types like that on the higher lines. Ovechkin holds his own, Backstrom got a bit more aggressive last yr. Knuble isn't abrasive, he's just big and hard to move. That 2nd line though needs some sandpapery types who can skate. Fehr showed a bit of that in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

EEEEWWWW!

But seriously, here's what I hope for:

IMO, Ilya Kovalchuk is a great player and should be paid accordingly. The NHL would be diminished by his absence. But he shouldn't be rejecting offers that pay him a lot of money (and better still, are legitimate and plausible, unless he just doesn't whant to play there. (viz. the Atlanta extension).

It is my hope that--as quickly as possible--he signs a legitimate contract, for the money he deserves (which of course may not be all the money he wants, but c'mon!), and with a team for which he will be happy playing.

Then we can stop talking about him, at least until the puck drops in October.

Posted by: Rhino40 | August 10, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

eakin needs to be careful - if he displays too much grit, he'll find himself playing in another city - traded for an 'nhl' ready 'grit' guy

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 10, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

joe smackdaddy corvo?

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

If the league voids Hossa's contract should there be an asterik next to them if the win is not vacated(which is highly unlikely)?

It didn't happen, but what if Hossa got seriously injured during last season and the league then voided his contract a year after it started. That could've cost Hossa over $50M(assuming the injury prevented him from playing hockey again).

Hossa would've then sued the league for irreperable damages, and many other things. He still might if the contract gets voided and he is unable to recoup the money lost in the voiding of the contract. That would likely go to court instead of an arbitrator also.

I would think any player who had their contract granted last year now voided would sue the NHL if they are unable to get a new contract that will pay them at least the same amount of money.

The NHL may very well go after these contracts but there are more hurdles caused by the contracts being granted by the league last year.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

'm in the middle on McPhee, but it is totally irrational how this team doesn't have more of that grit, toughness, feistiness, whatever you want to call it
----------------------------------------

i'd be happy if we had the Rangers level of toughness on their forward lines and I'm not even talking about Boogaard.

Prust, Callahan, Dubinsky, Avery, Boyle. The first 4 can skate and play in many different situations. Boyle's a bigger Steckel. The addition of Boogaard will allow them to bully some teams and hold their own against the Flyers. Granted they need a #1 center because Christiansen probably is like Dubinsky, better suited for a 2nd line role. But the Rags would fit my standard of acceptable grit on the forward lines. Adding King helps a bit. But you really want guys who can (and will) play 15 shifts a game who supply a lot of grit. Having a 3-5 shift player/game isn't going to do much for a team. And our "gritty" role players (chimera, bradley, Steck, Gordo) don't compare to players like Prust and Avery. Or even Callahan/Duby. One of the reasons I hated parting with SDR was he could give us that equalizing factor on maybe a 3rd line. Or at worst a 4th liner who pulled reg minutes.

so lets hope Pinner makes the squad! I think a guy like that is even more effective when he has a DJ King type on his line. It'll let him play his abrasive game without having to necessarily answer for it by facing a heavy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

joe smackdaddy corvo?

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 3:34 PM

i was thinking more of SDR-DJKing

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 10, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

the interesting parallel there is DJK v Stephen Peat. Both similar players in that they were both the same size - 6ft3 230. Both were remarked upon by McPhee in the same manner - we're looking for tough guys who can play hockey (c'mon, like no one else is??). Both had almost identical injury issues (hand, shoulder).

Peat's first shift with the Caps that I remember was him bowling over Scott Stevens on a huge hit in NJ. He showed promise, but thru a series of events that saw him underutilized by a coach who didn't understand toughness combined w/ his own injury issues caused him to eventually retire.

Lets hope DJK has a more illustrious career. I'd feel more comfortable if we had a coach who had a history of being able to use guys like King in an effective manner.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

A lot of people, after they had been as "loud wrong" as sgm, would be chastened a bit. Maybe just shut up for a few days. But not our friend sgm. Still endlessly pontificating, still giving us the "benefit" of his "wisdom."

Posted by: zmega | August 10, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Here is a suggested amendment to Kovy's contract to make it almost exactly like Hossa's. Surprisingly he doesn't lose that much money and the cap hit only increases slightly.

http://www.fromtherink.com/2010/8/10/1614925/a-model-kovalchuk-contract-based

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"chastened"

great freakin word! First time I've ever seen it used on a blog.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

"Here is a suggested amendment to Kovy's contract to make it almost exactly like Hossa's. Surprisingly he doesn't lose that much money and the cap hit only increases slightly."

There is also another good site...
www.kovalchukandthedevilsneedtostoptryingtocircumventthecapandmakeanhonestcontractofferandpayhimwhattheythinkheisworthandtakethecaphitforthatamount.com/dirtydevilcheaters/zipit

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 10, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

sgm: That article says almost exactly what I said on how to modify the deal. I put this morning to change 17/102 to 13 yrs for $90-100M range. This one has 15/93, which just tacks on two cheap years to the 13/90.

The only thing is that the Hossa deal is still being investigated. So, we don't know how it will all turn out yet.

Plus we know Kings were 15/80, so it really only has to be a little better than that one.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

all this Kovy contract talk is really interesting and all (yawn) but I'm quite intrigued by the tours offered by PhilR.

I'd like to go camping in the mountains of Afghanistan, perhaps there is a cave hotel you can recommend.

Posted by: Moose33 | August 10, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

Yes, because nothing offends me and saddens me more than a post on the Washington Post Capitals website by a random screen name that criticizes a post by my screen name. It's so personal.

I come on because I enjoy some discussions about the Caps and hearing some differing viewpoints. The screen name posting those statements is meaningless to me. Any screen name can insult my screen name as much as they want. This sort of communication is about as impersonal as it gets so say as you please.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

i've signed up for many of phil's tours and quite frankly the food sucks. But you get to experience things like diving for cover, ingesting parasitic worms, family kidnappings, 20ft anacondas curled up in your floating living room, free tours of Taliban university, and yes Caps hockey!

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Here is an interesting article about how much of a landmark decision it would be if the NHL takes on those other contracts, especially Hossa's.

http://nhl.fanhouse.com/2010/08/10/ilya-kovalchuk-decision-a-landmark-defeat-for-pro-athletes/

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Any screen name can insult my screen name as much as they want.

-------------------

now why would you want to wave meat in front of a hungry dog?

salivating..


frothing......!

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

There is also another good site...
www.kovalchukandthedevilsneedtostoptryingtocircumventthecapandmakeanhonestcontractofferandpayhimwhattheythinkheisworthandtakethecaphitforthatamount.com/dirtydevilcheaters/zipit

------------

that link is not working buddy. Maybe its a .net address.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Feel free to insult my screen name as much as you want but I don't want to be in correspondance with you anymore because, IMO, our conversations are not enjoyable and I get no new information or new opinions from you.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

our conversations are not enjoyable and I get no new information or new opinions from you.
--------------------

now you're just being mean

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I think that means there will be about 1/3 fewer posts per article now. Ahh, thats going to hurt CI's ratings. Poor Katie who looks like eerily Tarik just started and already CI's numbers will be taking a hit. :(

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 10, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

err...Katie who looks eerily like Tarik.

And on that note, time to go home.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 10, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

frankly, this is a great opp for that writer from the Times to step in and take over (corey masiak?) the blog scene. I don't think this carrie girl knows or has really covered hockey. Corey could get off his butt and seize the day!

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Wasn't intending to be mean there. If it sounded that way then I apologize. I only meant that you've told me how you feel about basically everything and our conversations just turn into the same redundant argument which isn't fun for me.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

i have yet to tell you how i feel about snookie, the situation, j-wow and dj pauly d. There's a whole lot of ore to be mined there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 10, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

Hossa's contract was considered honest by the NHL when it was granted approval. So that's why it would be okay for Kovy to structure his contract in the exact same manner.

However, it will be interesting to see what happens if the NHL tries to void the Hossa contract. I doubt they would because of the likely union uproar. But you never know.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

I understand why people say this contract is circumventing the cap because it is.

But I completely disagree with his argument that the Hossa, Luongo contracts are somehow very reasonable but the Kovy one is clearly across the line. It is the inconsistencies that bug me.

He argues that Hossa's contract is ok fo various reasons. He later says that one reason Kovy's contract is bad because:

"But Kovalchuk making $750,000 at 37? That’s not right; it’s way below market value. Consider Mark Recchi can earn nearly $2 million with bonuses this coming season, and he’ll be 43 in February."

However, in the Hossa deal he mentioned Hossa will be making $1M at 38. Is that $250k that big of a difference to go from clearly in violation of the CBA to being okay?

If he wanted to say void all, then fine. But the incosistencies in his arguments statng why Hossa and Luongo's contracts are okay but then contradicting himself in saying that Kovy's contract is not.

He then mentions how 1 player in the past 20 years played until they were 44. Fine argument. However, only 6 players out of 3340 in the past 20 years played until they were 42. So is that percentage difference that much greater that the Hossa contract and Luongo contracts are okay?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if they void Pronger, Hossa, Savard, and Luongo.

Imagine that, it would be crazy.

I would trade Semin for Hossa in a heartbeat.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 10, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Hossa is a great all around player.

It would be crazy if Hossa, Pronger, Luongo, and Savard all became free agents.

Although I don't think Boston would be too upset with it right now.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The funniest thing is if all those contracts were voided it might be done at the wishes of the Bruins GM and the Canucks GM.

If only the Savard and Luongo contracts are voided it would bring up the conspiracy theory that the NHL is using this now as a means to get owners out of previous bad contracts.

That would be an interesting issue.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 10, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

See, what the NHL was afraid of, was contracts like they have in the NBA. In the NBA, the cap hit is for current year only. A player signs a deal for 8, 10, 12, 14, 16M over 5 yrs and in the year one the cap hit is 8. Then the team tacks on an extension for one more year at an outrageous figure. The teams are kicking the cap problem down the road, but there's a day of reckoning to face.

The NHL didn't want that.

The NHL also didn't want like they have in the NFL. A six-year deal with a $18M bonus and salaries of 1, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10. With the bonus spread over the six years, cap hit is 4, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 13. And then the player will sign an adjustment after 3 yrs that respreads some of it. Again, problem is kicked down the road.

The NHL didn't want that either.

Remember before 9/11? Before then, when there was a high-jacking, passengers were expected to listen to the high-jackers; remain calm; wait for the plane to land in Havana; and then ride home via the State Dept.

No one imagined suicide high-jackers. Not till it happened.

The NHL was worried about backloaded deals where teams would gamble on the cap increasing, so they made the contracts and the bonuses to count both as an average of the total. Then Tampa was the first (with Vinnie L.) to come up with a front-loaded deal that effectively circumvented the cap in the early years.

Imagine you go on vacation and you give your teenage a children the most comprehensive list you could think of on what not to do while you are gone.

"Well," the kid says when you get home, "you didn't say I couldn't have a party on the roof."

I doubt the league would void Pronger because the league says it is an over-35 deal and therefore Flyers can't avoid the full cap hit. (However, players won't be happy in years 6 and 7 when he retires and Philly has the cap hit of $5+M with no salary payout.)

Savard would be doing Boston a favor. Luongo? I imagine the Canucks want him. Hossa? Most interesting because he's already played one of the 12 years. And he got paid way more than the cap figure, so at the least the Hawks should be penalized with a further cap hit this season.

I believe the league will challenge the Hossa deal next on the grounds that they can. The CBA does not forbid challenging and already registered contract. By the league "registering," that apparently doesn't mean they "fully approve" the contract then and forever.

(As an aside, I had a law enforcement officer once tell me that he can write a citation up to five years after he witnesses an infraction.)

I dunno - maybe we've beaten this horse to death. But, there aren't any other horses to beat.

BTW, nostrathomas last night predicted that George McPhee would do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING today.

And the legend grows...

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 10, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Eakin has been signed. The Caps need a whole bunch more guys with that mindset to finally win in the playoffs. King is a beast, and he is a much better hockey player than Peat. Like to see what happens if Tampa tries to push us around again. I'm really looking forward to the first time the Flyers have deal with King. Boogaard has got to be itching to go with King after not returning to the game. Thank you GMGM for finally ditching the whole "team toughness" dung. George may be realizing that we've got a wimpy group with the King and Eakin signings. I just wish cody Eakin was ready now!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 10, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

Are you a Jim Rome fan? That was a MONSTER post. A HUGE posy. Post of the day.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 10, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

cba 50.7 reads in part:
(i) any increase in Player Salary and Bonuses from one League Year to another may not exceed the amount of the lower of the first two League Years of the SPC (or, if such amounts are the same, that same amount); and (ii) any decrease in Player Salary and Bonuses from one League Year to another may not exceed 50 percent of the Player Salary and Bonuses of the lower of the first two League Years of the SPC (or, if such amounts are the same, 50 percent of that amount).

so kovi's deal would mean
no single year increase of more than $6M
no single year decrease of more than $3M

i'm not sure how the first two years at $6M provide any advantage or disadvantage for the structure of the other years within the contract

it is interesting that the current cba expires after the those 2 $6M years

the original kovi deal submitted to the league:
2010-11: $6 million
2011-12: $6 million
2012-13: $11.5 million
2013-14: $11.5 million
2014-15: $11.5 million
2015-16: $11.5 million
2016-17: $11.5 million
2017-18: $10.5 million
2018-19: $8.5 million
2019-20: $6.5 million
2020-21: $3.5 Million
2021-22: $750,000
2022-23: $550,000
2023-24: $550,000
2024-25: $550,000
2025-26: $550,000
2026-27: $550,000

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 10, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

capt - you appear to have had the final word

Posted by: ebolean1 | August 11, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse


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Posted by: 171718022 | August 11, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

The NHL patiently waited for a contract that was way over the top and they got it, contested it, and won the arbitration. This opened the door to "review" other contracts. That part I don't agree with. If a contract is approved then it is a done deal. But, going forward they can start nixing cap circumventing contracts. It is kind of playing out the way they wanted.

Kovalchuk has been offered fair market value contracts and has chosen to reject them. Looks like he's about to price himself out of a job. I hope he enjoys Russia.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | August 11, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I think it would be very interesting if the Devils signed Kovy to that suggested deal where Kovy's deal mirros Hossa's deal dollar for dollar once Kovy hits Hossa's age when Hossa signed his deal.

So it would be either $10M to $11.5M/yr in the first 3 years then would be the exact same as Hossa's. Going down the same amount at the same age and for the same value. That deal would actually pay Kovy about the same amount of money at a cap hit of about $6.2M.

That would put the league in a real interesting position because to void that they would have to go back and void Hossa's or be in complete contradiction with itself.

However, if the void Hossa's deal that would leave a black mark on the '09-'10 title. While extremely doubtful they would vacate the SC, it would be widely known the Hawks won the title with an illegible player and therefore cheated(I'm not sure if there is a good analogy for this).

It's a slippery slope. It will be interesting to watch but I have a gut feeling that both sides (NHL and NHLPA) will both end up screwing each other just like the lockout(while the NHL beat the NHLPA both sides lost overall).

Posted by: sgm3 | August 11, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Of course the SC for the Hawks wouldn't be vacated, but even if that were a possibility it wouldn't happen because Hossa was still under his previous deal. His "questionable" extension starts this season. Now that the NHL has one foot on the ground they may be more willing to challenge the contracts of Hossa, Luongo, Pronger, et al.

Posted by: ds_kelly | August 11, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

As a Caps fan I am glad the Kovalchuk deal didn't stick. I assume Kovalchuk will still play there but I am not interested in cutting any breaks for NJ,CHI,PHA or anyone else that really can't manage their salary cap. These teams are fighting for the same Stanley Cup that we are and should have the same player salary headaches.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | August 11, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@ds_kelly

Hossa's contract wasn't an extension. He was a UFA last year(after he left the Red Wings) so last year was played under the questionable contract.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 11, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

No, Hossa's 12-yr, free-agent deal with the Hawks began last season.

The reason the CBA was written as such is so that if a contract were registered, and then later the league learned of some shenanigans (a player's cousin being paid under the table), the league could go and void the deal.

Hunterforcoach: Never watch or read Rome (the person, not the HBO series - watched and enjoyed that). I remember when he first hit the scene, I didn't like him for the way he would do that little pause. I will take your post as a compliment though. BTW, I only ever pose myself. :)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Another aspect of this entire ordeal is it shows how horribly run the NHLPA is. After reading about Richard Bloch, the arbtitrator, it is very surprisng the NHLPA agreed to use him.

He was decertified by the NFLPA after his ruling on T.O. This is what Gene Upshaw said about Bloch after the ruling on T.O.:

“when an arbitrator decides to (mis)interpret and add on to the collective bargaining agreement, he can’t be an arbitrator any more.”

I have no idea why the NHLPA would agree to have an arbtitrator with that sort of track record work on the case. I'm guessing it was because they wanted to get it done quickly and the NHL threatened that if it isn't Bloch it would take a very long time to agree on an arbitrator.

It does go to show how inept the NHLPA is right now.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 11, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: If they just took away the last four years at $550K each, and made it 13 yrs:

2010-11: $6 million
2011-12: $6 million
2012-13: $11.5 million
2013-14: $11.5 million
2014-15: $11.5 million
2015-16: $11.5 million
2016-17: $11.5 million
2017-18: $10.5 million
2018-19: $8.5 million
2019-20: $6.5 million
2020-21: $3.5 Million
2021-22: $750,000
2022-23: $550,000

I think it would be approved. Really. You've basically then given him a lifetime deal with one year at end at minimum at age 40. That makes total sense, as at 40 he truly would be near the end. Cap hit for that, a 13 yr/$99.8M contract, would be $7.67M/season.

With above numbers, a revised Kovy deal would now be more realistic than the current Hossa deal, which goes to age 42 and has 4 out of 12 yrs at minimum.

Common sense with a bell curve for performance degredation on a 12-yr deal to age 40 or 41 would be 9th year 1/2 reduction, 10th year another 1/2 reduction, 11th year double the minimum and final year minimum +50%. Hard to argue that because there are examples of real players (Yzerman, at age 40, playing for like $1M) making that kind of money. Maybe more realistic is take away the 13th year on my above Kovy offer, 12 yrs $99.25M cap hit $8.27M, as really superstars do not go down to minimum ever because they still have drawing power.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad the arbitrator ruled in favor of the NHL. On the other hand I'm ready for this to be over. I believe there will be little activity until Kovy is under an "accepted" contract. I can't wait til this is over with to see where the other chips fall.

Nostratomas - I'm gonna go out on a limb here, I'm going to predict from the ices of my Captain & Coke that GMGM will do NOTHING today AND tomorrow!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 11, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Modano just signed for $1M.

But you also have to consider that the team is giving that player a guaranteed $1M 12 years down the road when that player may not be worth that but still wants to play(i.e. Chelios).

Also, if the player gets severly injured while playing in a game he still gets that money. So the team has more financial liability.

I still would love to see the Devils give Kovy a deal that mirros Hossa's exactly when Kovy turns Hossa's age(and gives Kovy more until he hits that age) just to see what the NHL does.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 11, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@pokerface

I wonder if any team will do anything in the next few days. Especially if they think there is a decent shots some or all of the Hossa, Pronger, Savard, Luongo deals could be voided and/or those teams could be penalized.

That would greatly change who is available and who needs what.

I would love to see the Hawks get hit with a $3M cap hit penalty to just screw them up even more.

Basically, there are so many things that could happen now that it's just a wait and see thing. And many GMs might be using the wait and see approach as well.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 11, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Thank you GMGM for finally ditching the whole "team toughness" dung. George may be realizing that we've got a wimpy group with the King and Eakin signings. I just wish cody Eakin was ready now!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 10, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

King is a part of the solution, a very small part. Generally the biggest impact an enforcer type like King could have on a team is if he goes to a young team with plenty of young guys who are interested in playing a more physical style but don't do it because they don't have the confidence to play that way. You never know when you have to answer that bell and some young players who have a natural desire to play things a bit tougher can really flourish when they have a heavyweight like King in the lineup to help keep the wolves at bay. If his coach uses his correctly ( A BIG IF!)

The Caps don't really fit that mold. There's not a lot of young guys on the Caps itching to turn up the physicality (unless you get AG, Beags and Pinner all into the lineup). Until proven otherwise I think all King offers the Caps is some sort of neutralizing factor and some individual energetic play. And it takes a little of the pressure off Bradley although he'll still have to go with the middleweights (Prust, Konopka, etc) and get outclassed.

"King is a beast, and he is a much better hockey player than Peat. Like to see what happens if Tampa tries to push us around again"

I think Peat was similar to DJK. Big bodies who skate decently whose game is getting in on the forecheck and laying heavy hits and of course dropping gloves and protecting teammates.
Doubt Tampa will be pushing anyone around this year. They've moved away from that in one offseason after moving towards that last year. And I guarantee you that steve downie will be on better behavior this yr because he has no one to hide behind. No Fedoruk, no Matt Walker, no Konopka. Its going to affect Downie's game. In the opposite way that a player like Hartnell ramped up his abrasiveness as a Flyer. Hartnell was always on the cusp of being a pest/agitator in Nashville but now he thinks he can run anyone at any time without fearing anything because of his Flyer teammates. When he mugged Crosby in a game I remember thinking there's no way on god's green earth that Hartnell would ever have done that as a Predator. Not with Godard in the lineup for the Pens itching to take his head off. But as a Flyer, he's one of about 7 or 8 players who play a certain way and that offers him an umbrella of protection. If someone much tougher than him wants to fight him, there's always a teammate willing to intervene.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see AG, Pinner, and Beagle all in the line-up next year. Unfortunately by resigning all the dead weight (Gordon & I think we are stuck with Flash unfortunately) there is no way that can happen.

Posted by: PhilR | August 11, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can fool Flash into demanding a trade. We post a sign on the door to the locker room at KCI thats says "When you wear a Washington Capitals jersey, you play every game like its Game 7 of the playoffs."

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 11, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

I agree with most of what you said, but this past Caps lineup really seemed to get pushed around. You can't have guys like Downie knocking Ovi off his game. You also can't have guys like Talbot trashing your captain in the media. How many times did Bradley just take horrific abuse that would not have happened if a guy who can take out Boogaard is on our bence. That cheap shot Bradley took in St. Louis should have started a war. Carcillo hitting Bradley before he gets his gloves off doesn't happen with King on the bench. King is the kind of guy who would say something to the entire Flyers bence. That's old time hockey, and we need to get back to old time hockey. I watched the Hawks and Flyers play old time hockey this playoff season. We brought our best "Euro- trash" game and lost. "Yea, that's what I said J.R."

(King is a much better all around hockey player than Peat. He can handle the puck and shoot. He skates better too. Also, we don't have to watch Steckle fight anymore. Thank God !)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 11, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The thing is, I really don't see that many takers for Flash at the salary he is making. Granted it is just for one year but if he wasn't good enough to play for the Caps in Game 7 last year is he really worth 2.5 mil????

Posted by: PhilR | August 11, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"Old time hockey! Yeah! Eddie Shorr!"

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

OMG - Can the season start already? News? Trades? FA? Anything...this is hell!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 11, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately by resigning all the dead weight (Gordon & I think we are stuck with Flash unfortunately) there is no way that can happen.
---------

@Phil - that was pretty much the reason i didn't like either of those 2 signings although i understand that losing them for nothing was probably not the best solution either. But the question remains, does GM WANT to move them? CAN he move them?

The way things usually work out, it appears that the Caps like BG and TF enough to keep them around unless they get some mindblowing offer from another team which I highly doubt. It would really stink if they kept those 2 around to start next season and block the path of younger more aggressive players in Hershey.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

ou can't have guys like Downie knocking Ovi off his game. You also can't have guys like Talbot trashing your captain in the media. How many times did Bradley just take horrific abuse that would not have happened if a guy who can take out Boogaard is on our bence. That cheap shot Bradley took in St. Louis should have started a war. Carcillo hitting Bradley before he gets his gloves off doesn't happen with King on the bench. King is the kind of guy who would say something to the entire Flyers bence. That's old time hockey, and we need to get back to old time hockey.
------------

agree with all of that. The only debatable point being would Carcillo still pop Brads? I think he probably would. Some players won't change their game no matter what and Carcillo has fought enough fighters near DJK's calibre that he has confidence he can hold his own or at least avoid an outright beating. And really, if DJK started to run around looking for the likes of Carcillo, Lappy, Hartnell etc, the Flyers would send out their heavy to counter that. Even Dale H, when he played wouldn't really change his game. He'd still run the opposing team's best players and then either turtle in a fight if the other team's tough guy came at him or he'd have someone like Alan May, Kypreous, Kordic to run some interference. Some guys won't change their game no matter what and I think Carcillo falls into that mold. Btw, no slam on Dale. He just wasn't a good fighter and he knew it. I give him props for not changing his game no matter what.

I'm still more a proponent of team toughness and I'd rather have physicality sprinkled throughout our lineup (including on our 3rd pairing on D) instead of relying on a King to solve everyone's problems. That's why we can upgrade other spots on our bottom 2 lines instead of thinking BGordo and Chimera can provide that grit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I would have let Gordon walk in a heartbeat as you wouldn't get anything of value for him besides maybe a 6th round draft pick. Flash has value but at 2.5 mil?? Not so much.....

Posted by: PhilR | August 11, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

The signing of Flash was so stupid in my opinion. People counter with if you dont sign him you let him walk away for free. Flash stinks, he has no trade value. And after this season will walk away for free. So instead we waste $2.6 million on him this year...funny thing is that $2.6 theoretically(I know it wouldnt have happened) would have been enough to sign Madden and Modano combined.

Posted by: ThePat | August 11, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Flash has value. He could easily be #2LW on many teams. Find a team with a D-man we want in the $2.5-4.0M range and we insist they take Flash and Erskine so that it is cap neutral. Then promote one of the guys from Hershey to #3 line and move Fehr to #2. Simple enough.

I've also posted a number of times that Chimera can be moved. He doesn't do anything well enough to justify the $1.875M. I believe he can be tougher. Maybe having King will improve Chimera's game. Laich too. And Fehr. We have some players who should be tougher but just aren't.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

tom,

You say he has value but 2.5 mil worth of value? I question that, now if they could have signed him for around 2 mil then I feel there would be many more suitors out there.

Big question is though......Are GMGM and BB willing to part ways with Flash, that is the part that scares me!

Posted by: PhilR | August 11, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

nothing's gonna make Chimera tougher. He already had enforcers he's played with - Laraque, Shelley etc. He is who he is. He'll throw the odd hit, he'll tick someone off once in a while and end up on the bottom of a pile. But he's not anywhere near the kind of grit you need from a 3rd or 4th line player. He's also not great defensively. In essence he's more like a 2nd line player who lacks grit but also lacks the hands to play on a 2nd line. His spot is upgradeable. However I think the Caps like his speed. So he's prolly a keeper. If he was our worst player, that would be acceptable.


"Flash has value. He could easily be #2LW on many teams. Find a team with a D-man we want in the $2.5-4.0M range and we insist they take Flash and Erskine so that it is cap neutral. Then promote one of the guys from Hershey to #3 line and move Fehr to #2. Simple enough."

There's probably 3 or 4 teams in the nhl desperate enough for skill that they'll take Flash with all his shortcomings on their 2nd line. But most teams want a little more than some flash.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Pat,

Preaching to the choir man, they should have walked away from both of those guys but they resigned them because they already know how "to play the system". Those kids in Hershey deserve a chance in the bigs and would play with more edge and hunger than both of those jackholes they resigned.

Posted by: PhilR | August 11, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Tom,

You tell me a team that wants him. If someone did he would have been traded already. He does not have much value at all. Definitely not enough to bring us back a D-Man that makes over $3.5M unless that team is trying to shed salary. I hope you are right and he gets moved. I dont see it happening though.

Posted by: ThePat | August 11, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention, as Tom said, Fehr warrants and deserves 2nd line minutes.

Posted by: PhilR | August 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

funny thing is that $2.6 theoretically(I know it wouldnt have happened) would have been enough to sign Madden and Modano combined
------------------------

modano's not the type we need, and madden i think is heading downhill. Good stopgap player at this point in his career and someone i could handle getting at the deadline. I wouldn't reject him but he doesn't thrill me either. Big benefit may be his influence on some of our other forwards and their defensive/PK game. Much like Fedorov's influence extended past what he was able to do on the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Tom,

I also think you are overvaluing him because you could put many players on our second line and the PP time Flash got and that player would put up 50 points. The system the Caps play messes with the numbers a little bit. On another team as a 2L I doubt he scores 15 goals and his points would be around 35.

Posted by: ThePat | August 11, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

PhilR/ThePat: I know last I checked, Minnesota for one really needed help on the wing. And what about the Rangers? Yes, my thinking on Flash is you have a team trying to shed salary, so it's a bit of our overpaid guy with one year left for your overpaid guy with one year left.

How bout this deal: We offer Flash and Erskine for Souray, on the condition we get Souray or re-entry waivers and only have to pay half his salary. Edm is stuck for $9M in salary as it is and they have no player. This way, my trade, they save $4.5M on Souray and take back $4M on Flash/Ersk. They pay $500K less and get two players for this coming season. We pay Souray $4.5M total (Edm pays other half) over next two years, $500K over what we'd pay this year for the two we trade. Then promote AGordo to #3 RW and promote Fehr to #2RW. This actually gives us more cap space for this year to get a #2C.

How dang hard can that be to do? GMGM?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

i'll throw out a name much like Tom did in the past w/Clutterbuck

Curtis Glencross. Here's a kid who plays with all the requisite grit you need from a 3rd liner and he can pot 15-20 goals per season. Offer up Flash and Chimera to the Flames for Glencross and Adam Pardy. That gets you a solid young up and coming 3rd liner, and a tough young defensive dman. It gives the Flames a little more skill which they need. Only real obstacle is I think they have Hagman on that team now as their 2nd line LW and they recently signed Tanguay (puke)

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Disagree on Madden...I think he would have been great for our 3C. And Modano who knows, play him at 2C with a young talented guy like Semin and maybe he gets renergized. But I was more talking about Madden as I have said before Modano was no chance considering he didnt waive his NTC in March to come here. He was going to Detroit or retiring. Heck Flash may end up as 3C....3C making 2.6M or Madden making 1M if he wanted to come here.

Posted by: ThePat | August 11, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

modano's not the type we need, and madden i think is heading downhill. Good stopgap player at this point in his career and someone i could handle getting at the deadline. I wouldn't reject him but he doesn't thrill me either. Big benefit may be his influence on some of our other forwards and their defensive/PK game. Much like Fedorov's influence extended past what he was able to do on the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 1:32 PM

Ugh....I agree with cstanton1. I feel dirty now (lol jk).

@ThePat
"If someone did he would have been traded already."

Couple things...we dont know if GMGM shopped him around(in fact I find it hard to believe he didnt). You also seem to forget that they like Flash, for some strange reason, BB in particular. (vomit) Also, it wouldnt surprise me if GMGM over-valued Flash and blew it with a lot of potential suitors.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 11, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@tom

what you propose is near impossible to pull off because it involves reentry waivers. If Souray goes on there any team can claim him.

Posted by: ThePat | August 11, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone,
It's been a while since I've chimed in. In fact, when I last was on here, NostraThomas was still Tominfla if I'm not mistaken. I believe management thinks Flash can score 25-30 goals this year and at the trade dealine there would be a few teams interested in him, especially since at that time they would only be taking on the balance of his 2.6 mil not the whole amount.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 11, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Also, it wouldnt surprise me if GMGM over-valued Flash and blew it with a lot of potential suitors.
--------

dingity ding!

I think GM has probably blown a lot of deals where he's overvalued some of his own players.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I think its safe to say that our first 2 lines are pretty much set...

Ovie-Backs-Knubs
Semin - ??? - Fehr

With 2C our big enigma. We already saw Flash and Laich not succeed in this role, then again, Fehr wasnt playing 2R and saw minimal time.

I think Madden would have been a nice 3C for us, but I feel our more pressing need is finding that 2C that works well with the above 2 wings. Our 3C can be filled within a lot easier than our 2C. At least in my opinion.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 11, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Disagree on Madden...I think he would have been great for our 3C.
-------------

i guess i would prefer any players we continue to acquire not be on the clear downswing of their careers. And if you get Madden, what does that do to Beagle's path to the NHL considering that Steckel is still here?

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

re: 2nd line C, i think they're gonna wait to see how MP (and prolly Flasher) plays thru camp and exhibition before evaluating their next move. It'll mean probably having to overpay since its closer to the season. I don't expect a move to occur until sometime after the first 20 games if at all.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

As far as Madden, there's a very good chance he was never interested in coming to a Caps team to be a 3rd line C when he could go elsewhere and be a 2nd line C. Also agree with cstanton that Madden is on the downswing so signing him to play anything other than 3rd line would be a mistake.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 11, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Madden on a 1 year contract doesnt do anything to Beagle. This should have been our best year to win the cup. Next year you never know if UFA's want to come back etc. So I just feel we need people that know how to win at the NHL level this year on our roster.

@SAOTI

I know, I dont assume GMGM tried to move him at all. I dont think he did in fact. It was me just more saying I dont think he has any/much value to other teams. And I dont think we should have brought him back at that money.

Posted by: ThePat | August 11, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Madden on a 1 year contract doesnt do anything to Beagle. This should have been our best year to win the cup. Next year you never know if UFA's want to come back etc. So I just feel we need people that know how to win at the NHL level this year on our roster.
--

come on don't you want to be competitive for years and years without ever winning the cup instead of just putting a bunch of eggs in one basket and getting a cup out of it?!? lol

A guy like Madden may be avail at the deadline and he can fit in pretty quickly. And it shouldn't take too much to get him (provided that his team is out of the playoffs)

He should fit in well on that MN 3rd line with Clutterbuck and Brodziak though, if thats where he plays and if Brodziak moves to the wing. And with Nystrom and Staubitz also in the mix, that's a very nice blend of grit on their bottom 2 lines.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@tom

Already on record as saying I'd love him here. On one foot he's better than anything we got at 2C. Play 2 out of every 3 regular season games, so he gets rest. That alone could keep MaJo from going back to Sweded and agreeing to play in the AHL with being able to be called up to fill in for Forsberg every now and then.

Posted by: ThePat | August 11, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

ugh, lets just throw some big names at the problem


GM: "Well, we looked around at our system and determined we didn't have a true #2 center yet and we want to be aggressive in our quest for the Cup. Peter Forsberg was the logical choice. He's won Cups and was one of the premier players in hockey for over a decade. We think he's going to be a good fit on our team and he has instantly made us better. We think he could've been the difference for us last year. And he makes us a little older. Older is better. Sometimes bigger is better. Sometimes you get older AND bigger which is really the ideal path like when we got Knuble. Younger and bigger is not better though. We will stay away from that"

Katie: But didn't you recently state that you did in fact have two players-Flash and Perrault- who you were comfortable going into the season with?

GM: Its called posturing lady! Geez, anyone seen Tarik?!

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

So you dont think that a Semin-Forsberg-Fehr line would be a feared #2 line?

Sounds like a pretty sick line to me. I bet a majority of teams in the NHL would like to see that line as their #2 line. Feed the kids and let them hustle, work your magic and play a little defensively.

After all, he only just turned 37...he's closer to 36 than 38 :P

Maybe GMGM can even convince Sweden to take Flash, Erskine, and Sloan for borrowing their countrymen.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If Forsberg can't play at 37, how in God's name can Kovalchuk play until 44?

I'd much prefer one of my original choices, Staal, Koivu or Umberger, but I'd certainly take Forsberg over our green rookies.

Carry 14 forwards. Scratch Foppa on back-to-backs and put MP in the line-up. Scratch Knuble on some back-to-backs for AGordon.

Also, since he didn't play last year, he can sign a lower deal with bonus incentives.

It's not the best choice, but better than nothing IF he can still play.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

So you dont think that a Semin-Forsberg-Fehr line would be a feared #2 line?

-------------

i'm naturally wary of big name players living on past reputation. Last time I watched him play was in the playoffs 2 (?) yrs ago. He didn't look dominating at all. He's just another plug in the d*ke. We've been bringing in the Nylander, BMo types as it is for that role and its not working. In his heyday, I loved how Forsberg played. He may only be 36/37 but his body seems a lot older. Back issues, shoulder issues, foot/ankle issue - he's going to end up pacing himself over the year to stay healthy for the playoffs. I doubt his impact on the 2nd line will be significant.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

If Bobby Orr couldn't play at 31 how in god's name could Chris Chelios play until 48?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 11, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

i don't know if there's any realistic chance for AG, Beags, and Pinner to make the team this yr. Maybe 1 out of 3. They're being caulkblocked by the aforementions

They oughta hire a 2nd GM who knows how to correctly construct the bottom 2 lines. McPhee doesn't know how to do that. Let him deal with the top 2 lines, let the other GM deal with the bottom 2 lines. I'll do it for cheap. If we'd signed a Nystrom, your bottom 2 lines could've been

Nystrom-Steckel-AGordon
King-Beagle-Pinner

If Steckel goes back to 2008 form, that's a very acceptable look to the bottom 2 lines. Young and hungry and each player offers slightly different skill sets while all of them provide energy and grit. And yes, dump Bradley to anyone who will take a decent checking player making a bit too much money. Nystrom is an upgrade over Brads because 1) he's a slightly stronger hitter 2) he's a better scrapper 3) he's 5 yrs younger 4) he's lost less blood over the past few seasons.

Based on that I'd take him at 1.4 mil over Bradley's 1 mil/season.

No more Chimeras, Belangers, BGordos. My worst nightmare is that Flash ends up crowbarring himself into the lineup on a checking line because he can't hack it on the 2nd line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Flash on the checking line would be as useful as getting Betty Crocker to put in your new roof.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

That would be a very inexperienced bottom 6(King, Pinner, Gordon, Beagle combined have played very few NHL games). I don't think I would feel very confident with either of them facing Crosby's line, or any other top line, in the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 11, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

for one, Orr played in an era where offseason conditioning was only relegated to the liver.

Chelios has been involved in some serious cutting edge offseason work for a long time now incl martial arts training. Mainly finding ways to get stronger and prevent basic injuries that seem to occur more easily (muscle strains etc) as you get older. Funny story about Chelios, he trains w/TR Goodman and he said that he really dislikes the other NHL players who train with Goodman so its been hard watching those players get taken into the offseason program. I wonder who those players are that Chelios refers to.

Ironically it was exCap Alan May who got Chelios into the program.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

inexperience is definitely a tradeoff there. no doubt, esp when matching lines.

But if one can see the big picture and use the reg season as a training ground for those kids, then by the playoffs they should be less vulnerable to more experienced lines.

plan B would be to keep Bradley, exclude Nystrom, and sign a Jamal Mayers type. That way you get 3 vets, 3 kids (with Beagle/Steck maybe rotating out)

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

my money's still on Crocker. I think she does a better job of nailing shingles than Flash does on a checking line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

my money's still on Crocker. I think she does a better job of nailing shingles than Flash does on a checking line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 4:13 PM

With a Betty-Crocker installed roof you don't get shingles - you get chocolate frosting.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 11, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't think GMGM has really tried to trade Flash. Rumor last year was that the Preds offered Hamhuis for Flash, but it was a no go. In the grand scheme of things, $2.6 million is not a lot for a 26 year old guy that scored 23 goals in 69 games. He is skilled enough to be effective with the right line mates. Nonetheless, Flash is not going anywhere because he is our 2C.

Posted by: ablake70 | August 11, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

If Bobby Orr couldn't play at 31 how in god's name could Chris Chelios play until 48?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 11, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Orr only had one good knee, don't think Chelios ever had that problem.

Posted by: joek443 | August 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

actually Chelly's knees are what eventually killed his game. He said he was stronger than he ever felt when he was younger, but his knees bugged him so much that it was the one thing holding him back.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 11, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

They are starting the same thing on four other players, Luongo being a Vancouver Canucks player.

Posted by: olgenifti | August 11, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see the report that Belanger signed with an as-yet unnamed team that "needed to clear cap space"?

Posted by: Thisistheyear | August 11, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 11, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

@ seminallovertheice
I love the locker room door idea !!

I'm at the point where I'll take Betty Crocker as our 2C over Flush. I can't stand to see the 'Euro-trash" game anymore. It was poop in the Olympics, and was poop in the playoffs. Flush is at the point where fans are gonna start the "Whoop -Whoop" thing when he's out there. Alot of casual fans can't stand the way the guy plays. The more casual fans are way more pissed off than you guys. Flash sucks, and I hope he takes down GM. It's hard to believe that a GM who invades the Hawks locker room to pound the coach in front of his players wants to keep guys like Chimera, Flush, Semin, Steckle and all the other weenies on the Caps. They refuse to play playoff hockey. Move 'em!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 12, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Katie looks like a Pens fan. Just saying !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 12, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

She appears to be a lot skinnier than most of them though.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 12, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Congrats Katie on getting your picture on Capitals Insider!

Posted by: MReilly9 | August 12, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Nice pic! Congrats on moving up into the big time. I guess you don't look much like Tarik after all.

Posted by: marksman37 | August 12, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Somebody sign fricking Kovalchuk already!

Posted by: PhilR | August 12, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Hope she dresses better than Lisa Hillary.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | August 12, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Want to buy interesting rumors, trades, stories, topics, etc today. There has to be something out there right?

Wonder where Belanger signed.

If Katie is a Pens fan (she from Pitt?) then where are the jhorts and gold chains w/ penguin medallions?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 12, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I think it's worse for her than us if she's really a Penguins fan.

As a Caps fan, I'd hate to have to cover the Penguins or any other team.

That's just the nature of the business these days though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 12, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I refuse to believe that mgmt is so nieve that we are going to go into the season with Flush, MP, and MAJO as our 2nd/3rd line centers and Erskine as the 6th D. There has got to be a move made soon I would hope and think!

Posted by: PhilR | August 12, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I think the word you are looking for is naive...and its very possible they are.

Oh to be a fly on GMGM's wall.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 12, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

SAOTI,

Thanks for correcting the spelling....I'm still half asleep this morning! I really hope they are not because this team is built to win now except for a few key missing pieces.

Posted by: PhilR | August 12, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Well to get a 2C and 1st pairing dman, we need a triumphant video.

But to make the triumphant video, we need a 2C and 1st pairing dman.

Guess this means we need Eddie Van Halen as our GM.

Excellent.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 12, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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