FanPost

Investigate this


Following the Arbitrator's upholding of the NHL's rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk's contract for circumventing the CBA, the NHL claims to be "investigating" other front-loaded contracts, including those of Roberto Luongo, Chris Pronger, Marc Savard and Marian Hossa.

Arguably, Kovalchuk's contract was more extreme than the others; the 'backdive' was steeper, the term was longer and the switch from 'no move' to 'no trade' made it obvious that the late years were a sham. The point at which a contract with these features becomes circumvention has yet to be determined, which leaves lots of room to argue about future contracts.

But should Luongo et al. start looking for new deals? Invalidating their contracts won't be easy. According to Section 11.6 (b) of the CBA,

an approved and registered SPC may be subject to subsequent challenge and/or de-registration by the League: (i) in the case of a Circumvention relating to either the Club Upper Limit or the Maximum Player Salary, within sixty (60) days from the date upon which the facts of the Circumvention became known or reasonably should have been known to the NHL

Since the NHL has already approved and registered these contracts, any subsequent challenge had to be made within 60 days of the League reasonably knowing about the circumvention.

To invalidate these contracts, the NHL would have to claim it could not have reasonably known that they circumvented the CBA until, essentially, now. But the details of the contract were known long ago, and the fact that they were intended to circumvent the CBA was widely debated. Only the ruling is new, and the NHL can hardly claim it needed the ruling to realize these other guys were circumventing the cap too.

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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