NHL Begins Contract Witch Hunt

Wow is all I have to say.

NHL.com is reporting that the league is now looking in to every “long term contract” to see if it violates the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Thanks to Richard Bloch’s decision that the contract the Devils issued Ilya Kovalchuk violated terms in the CBA and the leagues rejection is valid, the league is now armed and ready to go after any long-term deal and see if it does something similar.

On the NHL’s most wanted list are

  • Vancouver’s Robert Luongo
  • Boston’s Marc Savard
  • Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger
  • Chicago’s Marian Hossa

The league is taking matters very seriously.  In fact, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has met with league lawyers last Wednesday, August 4, before the hearing of Kovalchuk’s contract was finished.  Upon the leagues registration of Marc Savard’s contract back on December 1, 2009, the league informed Chiarelli that they would be investigating the contract further.

Which to me begs the question – why did the league approve the contract in the first place?  That’s the leagues fault for approving it – if they want to investigate it further, they should have before saying it was OK.


I will come clean – I was on the leagues side during the lockout.  I believed a salary cap was needed.  Things were getting out of hand, teams were going broke, and to be honest, GMs needed to learn how to better manage player acquisitions.

But this is going to get bad really quickly.

I won’t say I’ve had a change of heart, because I really believe the cap is a good thing.  But I think everyone knows the CBA isn’t perfect and could use some tweaking.  It cannot be tweaked on the fly like this – that is just wrong.  The NHL cannot simply start to interpret the agreement differently all of a sudden and thanks to morons like Bloch get away with it.  Maybe the two sides, the NHL and the NHLPA need to come together and simply define some boundaries, some limits of what is acceptable and what isn’t.


NHL – you were right for wanting a salary cap.  It was something the league as a whole needed.  But now you’re just starting to look like bullies.  Commissioner Garry Bettman, you better watch out.  You have public opinion on your side and many players in your corner during the lockout of 2004-05.  But if you keep this up, you’re going to lose, trust me.  You’ll be facing a PR war that’ll be very hard to win.  You broke the Players Association, but do you want to break the fans, the ones that fund the sport?

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