Put on your shit-kickers, Gary Bettman, because there’s a shit-storm a comin’.
And that shit-storm could become a massive shit-hurricane by the time collective bargaining agreement expires in 2011. It’s enough to make residents at Mr. Lahey’s Sunnyvale Trailer Park tremble.
At a time when every hockey pundit out there is enjoying his or her summer vacations, the NHL drops a bombshell by quashing Ilya Kovalchuk’s crazy 17-year, $102-million contract with the New Jersey Devils because it circumvents the salary cap.
Even TSN’s Bob McKenzie was enjoying his time off tweeting photos from a Bon Jovi/Kid Rock concert tonight. Unbelievable.
According to the NHL, the last five years of Kovalchuk’s contract was the obvious deal breaker. Everyone knows Kovalchuk will retire in the last five years of the contract, which will see him earning $500,000 a season.
Kovalchuck will be 44 by the time the contract expires — the same contract Devils GM Lou Lamoriello admitted will screw the league during a press conference today.
Yep, it’s a pretty silly contract. But it’s too little, too late for Bettman to clean up the extremely shitty mess.
The shit-pile has been accumulating ever since the league allowed the New York Islanders to sign Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5 million contact back in 2006.
Roughly four years later, NHL owners and GMs are taking advantage of a loophole by offering up shitloads of front-loaded salaries.
And Kovalchuk’s contract is no different than Chris Pronger’s deal he signed with Philadelphia last summer, or Marian Hossa’s in Chicago. Where was the NHL then?
Pronger’s seven-year extension — worth $35-million — will see him earning $525,000 in the final two seasons on the contract. Hossa will earn $1 million or less during the final four years of his 12-year, $62 million contract.
And here’s an interesting thought: what’s to stop Steve Tambellini from signing Taylor Hall to a 25-year, front-loaded contract after his third season.
Yup, things are going to become even shittier.