He'll stay in NJ, though. His whole situation has just become a bloody amusing circus. At least it's entertaining...
Ah, now I maybe understand why the first 2 years were at $6M. The amount allowed for reduction in salary per year is based on 50% of the highest of the first 2 years. So, in Kovy's case it is $3M
Interesting, if true.
The Flyers might have done so knowingly to reduce their cap hit, but:
a) this is an AGING player over 35 years
b) they are obliated to Pronger's cap ht if he plays or not
B is the buzzkill of of the IK deal, not A. If NJ wants to take on IK's cap hit for the life of the deal, the ink dries and IK plays in NJ as long as he wants. The NHL may not have liked Pronger's deal for the sole fact it was trying to reduce the cap hit, but so what, the Flyers then pay the price for their stupidity later on; unless Pronger's He-Man and actually gives them "value" for his cap hit at age 42. Impossible? Not really. But either way, Philly's on the hook, which to me, is on the up and up.
IK, Grossman, and the Devils know full well IK won't be there in 17 years, and if audio/video recordings of their negotiating sessions arose as "evidence" of the negotiations, the Devils would be *screwed* and the NHLPA would have zero leg to stand on for a grievance, as everyone involved know full well there was good faith involved in negotiating a bogus deal in the first place that doesn't just look for a loophole, it rips a gaping hole wide open.
Why now and not Hossa? Why not DiPietro? Ovie? Because this one was the final nail in the coffin, and the first legitimate, no arguments, as clear as day, example of a case so heiniously in violation of the sprit of the CBA that, to be perfectly honest, I'm not even certain that players reps for respective teams would be in favor of approving.
Think of it this way; players aren't stupid. They see an IK get a deal like this, and they assume "hmm, I wonder if *my* agent can now circumvent the system in my favor?". If this started happening en masse, then teams simply wouldn't be able to legitimately *afford* good talent - not by sheer virtue of the cap hit, but the fact that ticket prices would continue to rise, costs would escalate out of control, the sport would lose fans even further, a major TV deal beyond Vs. in the US would never happen, and the big one, another lockout would occur.
So at the end of the day, the players, the player reps, the NHLPA, the NHL, the owners, and the FANS, should all be 100% in agreement that, enough's enough. Sure, there'll be attorneys waiting in line to assist the NHLPA in filing a grievance, using all kinds of precedence to back their case. But the truth of the matter is, this one blew the lid right off the cookie jar, and essentially broke the back of the CBA and the salary cap. Just because a few other players got their contracts approved for less money/years doesn't count as a justification to continue to escalate the wrongness of such a ridiculous contract offer, and anyone using these others as a basis of argument is clearly delusional, and holding on too tightly to the past, and not facing the true reality of the problem right in front of us.
And yes, while the NHL is "just a game" to most of us, it is indeed a business. And while as fans, we're each just a drop in the very large bucket of the NHL world, collectively, we are a large contingency for the reason this business exists. After all, it's *our* collective dollars paying these salaries in one way or another. Even Devils fans should feel slightly dirty over how this went down. Sure, it's nice to know your team got the free agent prize it sought, which is up for debate HOW much IK improves the team, but not in any way debatable that a healthy full season of his with the Devils indeed makes them better.
But the fact that it required so much sidestepping of the nature of the salary cap in and of itself in order to happen should shame and embarrass Devils fans; shoot, even their own GM condemned the act itself! The contrarian will say, "but the Kings were courting him in a similar deal, wouldn't you be happy if he were a King with a somewhat similar deal?" and my answer today is the same it was 21 days ago....."No!".
I like DL's model, and not only has it proved fruitful for the Kings so far, it's also one built on a solid premise that appeases fans, owners, GM's, and players alike, without grossly shifting the balance of power in the NHL business world unfairly in any one of the aforementioned's favor.
KFIT = Kings Fan In Texas
Born/Raised - Irvine, CA 1971
Moved to Fort Worth, TX - 1995
Became a Kings fan - 1/18/86 vs. VAN 4-4 Tie
First Kings jersey - #22 Tiger Williams Xmas 1986
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