Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Contract Interference

It is interesting to think about Ilya Kovalchuk and his rejected contract with the New Jersey Devils. The NHL said that his 17 year, $102,000,000 contract was illegal. I do understand the NHL in some sense because the last five years of his contract he makes under $1,000,000. However, at this point in his career, he would be in his 40s and probably not playing anyway. Therefore, it appears as if the end of the contract is just meant to reduce the average salary for each year. Why does this matter? It matters because the average is what is calculated for the salary cap. This means that the Devils would have a lot more room to operate while retaining Kovalchuk during his best years.

I see why this might be a problem, but I'm not sure if the NHL should interfere. The reason I am concerned about it is because there was an agreement made between the player and team. If it legally put them in violation, I understand interference. However, they did everything by the rules. I don't think that this would become a major problem in the NHL if they would have let this go so. I don't think very many guys would want to stay with the team forever anyway.
Photo  by Mykl Roventine on Flickr

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