Hockey Update

– The NHL has penalized the Devils $3 million and a future first and third round draft pick for circumventing the salary cap with the first Ilya Kovalchuk contract.  This is an absolutely ridiculous penalty that is completely unwarranted because Richard Bloch, the arbitrator for the Kovalchuk case, flat out said:

“Nothing in this Opinion should be read as suggesting that either the Club or Mr. Kovalchuk operated in bad faith or on the basis of any assumption other than that the [standard player’s contract (“SPC”)] was fully compliant with the CBA.”

So what did the Devils do wrong?  After all, the NHL agreed to a second deal that was structured similarly.  Just another anti-Devils move by Bettman.

– The Rangers and Marc Staal agreed to a five-year deal worth $20 million.  This is a great move for the Rangers that will lock up their franchise defenseman.  Staal is a little soft, but he still is a tremendously talented player.

– Thanks to our good friends at Fire and Ice, we have discovered Gary Bettman’s actual address.

23 Baldwin Rd
Saddlebrook, NJ 07458

Do what you please with that address.  I’m sure he’s use to the hate mail by now.   I would send a message to him myself, but I don’t feel like he’s even worth wasting money for a stamp.

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What’s Next for Jersey’s Team?

With Ilya Kovalchuk signed, the Devils now need to clear a few million dollars in cap space.  There are various ways then can do this.  The one thing I personally don’t want to see is for Lou to trade Jamie Lagenbrunner or Travis Zajac.

Option 1:  Trade Brian Rolston in a salary dump.

This is obviously the most popular option, but it is easier said than done.  You would have to package Rolston and a first round pick just to move him.  As a matter of fact, you would probably have to throw in a prospect as well.  This is probably my favorite option because it doesn’t hurt the team at all.   The Devils should definitely look into this.

Option 2:  Trade Dainus Zubrus and Bryce Salvador

Both Zubrus and Salvador have some value, but you won’t net a lot for either.  This is definitely a possibility for the Devils.  With the signings of this offseason, Zubrus and Salvador are expendable.

Option 3:  Send Zubrus and Salvador to the AHL

You could definitely send Zubrus and Salvador to the AHL.  They also could be called up for the playoffs if needed.  This isn’t the best option, but it is a good last resort.

All three of these moves would get the Devils under the cap by the start of the 2010-2011 NHL season.  There are other possible trade scenarios, but I think these are the three most likely moves the Devils will make.  Things are looking good in Newark.

Kovalchuk a Devil

According to TSN.com, the NHLPA has agreed to the NHL’s ultimatum and the Kovalchuk deal will be approved.  Obviously this is great news for Devils fans and the approval of Ilya’s deal could be a turning point for the franchise.  Now Lou Lamoriello turns his attention to getting under the cap by make a trade that will knock off about $3 million in cap space.

NHL Gives NHLPA an Ultimatum

After extending the deadline to void the Ilya Kovalchuk deadline to Friday, the NHL has now issued an ultimatum to the NHLPA.

Here are the terms:

1. That the cap hit on future multi-year contracts will not count any seasons that end with the player over 40 years of age. The cap hit would be calculated on the average of the salary up through age 40 only.

2. That the cap hit on future contracts longer than five years will be calculated under a formula granting additional weight to the five years with the highest salary.

If nothing is resolved, the NHL will do the following:

1. It will reject the Kovalchuk contract.

2. It will move to immediately devoid the Luongo contract.

3. It will move to immediately open proceedings for a formal investigation into the Hossa contract.

Is this even real life?  How can the NHL get away with demanding such harsh terms?  Why does the NHLPA now have such limited power?  I don’t even know what to say regarding this.  It’s clear the NHL screwed up in negotiating the CBA, so why should the plays now have to suffer because of it?  We’ve been down this path before.  If the NHL had any regard for their players’ rights, we wouldn’t have had a lockout in the first place.

 

Sources: Kovalchuk Deal Done?

Is the Ilya Kovalchuk saga finally over?  Multiple sources (such as ESPN) are reporting that the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk have agreed to a 10 year, $150 million contract.  The NHL now has a five-day period to approve or void the contract.

Ironically, the Devils would receive a cap hit of 6.66.  This would put them over the NHL’s super-duper salary cap that has caused this mess to begin with.  The Devils have until opening night to get under the cap, which means they’ll likely look to trade someone like Jamie Lagenbrunner, Dainus Zubrus, or Brian Rolston.

Kovalchuk’s Deal a No-Go?

Here we go again.  The New York Post is reporting that the NHL has once again rejected the Devils attempt to sign Ilya Kovalchuk.  If this is true, it is likely the end of Ilya in the NHL.

I hope the NHL enjoys seeing him in a KHL uniform.

Devils Lose Kovalchuk Arbitration Case

Let the drama begin.

The arbitrator assigned to the Ilya Kovalchuk case has sided with the NHL.  Kovalchuk is now an UFA and is free to sign with any team.  At this point, Ilya will likely take a paycut to join the Devils or sign with the KHL.

If you are familiar with my writing, you already know that I am against the NHL’s salary cap.  I feel it is a socialist concept that has no place in sports.  This incident clearly shows that the salary cap is a failed experiment .  If the NHL loses Kovalchuk to the KHL, they will be losing one of the top-five players in the world.

There is a small chance that the Rangers or Islanders could get involved, but I really think it is down to New Jersey or Moscow at this point.  The Kings could always jump in, but I doubt Ilya is still in their plans.   Let’s just hope he stays in the NHL.

This is a sad day for Devils fans.   I don’t know what Gary Bettman has against New Jersey, but he has surely done everything possible to screw them over during the past few years.   I’m sure Lou Lamoriello has a plan B in place already that he is working hard to excecute.

Ilya Kovalchuyk can't help but to roll his eyes over this situation.