JEFF SAYS: Paul Aumack is now a contributing member the Oil Patch since things are getting a little busy for me. The longtime Oilers fan, who lives in sunny Kamloops, B.C., will write about anything and everything that's copper and blue. Enjoy:
After the euphoria about hearing my good friend, Jeff Cummings, getting a new job wear off, we had a little talk about the NHL canceling the contract of Ilya Kovalchuk.
We both acknowledged the hypocrisy of the NHL when there are other contracts as well that make a mockery of the CBA, Marian Hossa with Chicago, Roberto Luongo with Vancouver, and who can forget "my wife hates this town" Chris ****'n Pronger with Philadelphia.
Teams front load the contracts in the productive years of their players and after the age of 35 the hit against the salary cap drops significantly.
If the player retires(after the age of 35) their salary does not count against the cap thereby freeing the team.
Why do I bring this up? While I was musing I realized maybe Lou Lamoriello, circumvented the cap for a reason. This is what he said after the contract had been nullified by the NHL:
"We should not have these" he said to the press, "but they are legal under the CBA."
When asked why they made the deal, the GM blamed his boss. "You would have to speak to ownership about that", he replied.
Lou has stated from the beginning he did not like the contracts being signed that insidiously went against the CBA even though they are legal. Did he do it on purpose to show the NHL how foolish this loophole has become?
To me this man has been one of the best general managers since the 90's. He knows the ins and outs of the CBA(anybody remember his brilliance in ridding himself of Vladimir Malakhov) and always has a plan up his sleeve so to say. Should be interesting to say the least what comes about from this mess.
Update from Lou:
"We are extremely disappointed that the NHL has decided to reject the contract of Ilya Kovalchuk. The contract complies with the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will have no further comment until the process outlined in the CBA is complete.”
Lou always keeps us guessing doesn't he?