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Kovalchuk Retires

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You got 1 life to live. Ultimately, the only thing that matters in life is you, and your family being happy. Nothing else really matters.

 

 

I honestly do not believe for a second that this is all about money. I really don`t. He did make a mistake signing that long contract with NJ. But i bet that NJ wasn`t really expecting him to play for ALL those 15 years. When a team buys out a player, or places him on waivers, it`s the same freaking thing. Even though he`s getting paid, don`t you think Grabovski was piddleed as hell? When teams don`t want to honor contracts, you don`t blame them, like you blame Kovalchuk. In sports, not just NHL, teams and owners screw over players way more than other way around.

 

I wanna see Kovy play in NHL as much as you guys do, trust me. But it`s 12 years of a man`s life. Unless it`s rape/crime/etc, no mistake should be that costly. He made a brave choice, going back home. And i got nothing but respect for that.

 

All in all, you gotta put things in perspective. Your life, and you, as a human being, are more important than a contract, fans, the game of hockey, a team, and everything else.

 

 

 

 

Classy move comparing playing for the New Jersey Devils to the punishment given to murderers and rapists.

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Kovalchuk quit on an obligation to a team that bent over backwards to commit to him to go play in an easier league where he is friends with high executives and owners-for way more money. His life just got easier and richer. There's something to be said for how this hurts and how it benefits the Devils, but we should stop romanticizing his actions.

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 The Devils tried to skirt the salary cap rules by creating such a ridiculously long contract. In the process they created a situation where a team such as the Devils could:

 

A) Average out the entire monetary value of contract over  more years than an average player's career  and  lower their effective salary cap hit.

 

B ) Front load the contract to make it enticing for the player to sign with them knowing full well that they would get the bulk of the money long before the contract expired and even if the player retired or was on IR the hit to the team salary cap would be minimal.

 

C) Set a precedent where a big market team could create these absurdly long contracts effectively locking out smaller market teams from competing  for high value players.(notable exception to this was the Wild signing Parise and Sutter each to 13 yr 100 mil contracts.)

 

New Jersey wasn't the first team to pull this sort of stunt, but theirs'  really stuck a finger in the eye of the NHL and the spirit of the salary cap that the owners(including NJ) demanded and ultimately caused the loss of the entire 2004-2005 season.

 

Normally I hate to see teams or franchises suffer because the players they put faith in and invested resources(draft picks,trades) screw them over (See Anaheim Ducks and Justin Schultz).

 

In this case I think it is a bit of karma. They should not get any of the draft picks they sacrificed to make the original deal back. They rolled the dice and they lost. End of story.

 

There were no real rules against what New Jersey tried to do with his contract. And really, was the Kovy deal that much worse than ones given to guys like Zetterberg and Pronger, whose deals were clearly intended to skirt the cap?

 

I still think that the punishment given to the Devils was ridiculous. They were working within the framework that the CBA created, and tried to make use of the loopholes within that framework (much like many other teams). Then the NHL comes out with some "spirit of the CBA" excuse and penalizes them for it, even though there were no specific rules against what they were trying to do. The NHL was basically drawing a line in the sand at the expense of the Devils franchise.

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You got 1 life to live. Ultimately, the only thing that matters in life is you, and your family being happy. Nothing else really matters.

 

 

I honestly do not believe for a second that this is all about money. I really don`t. He did make a mistake signing that long contract with NJ. But i bet that NJ wasn`t really expecting him to play for ALL those 15 years. When a team buys out a player, or places him on waivers, it`s the same freaking thing. Even though he`s getting paid, don`t you think Grabovski was piddleed as hell? When teams don`t want to honor contracts, you don`t blame them, like you blame Kovalchuk. In sports, not just NHL, teams and owners screw over players way more than other way around.

 

I wanna see Kovy play in NHL as much as you guys do, trust me. But it`s 12 years of a man`s life. Unless it`s rape/crime/etc, no mistake should be that costly. He made a brave choice, going back home. And i got nothing but respect for that.

 

All in all, you gotta put things in perspective. Your life, and you, as a human being, are more important than a contract, fans, the game of hockey, a team, and everything else.

 

I don't believe it's about money either, but that doesn't change a thing. He wanted that long term deal. He signed his name to that long term deal. Brave choice? No. He made the choice that was best for himself, broke his word, and hurt many people in the process (players, fans, coaches, and a franchise). You make it sound like someone had a gun to his head. He made a commitment, he's breaking his commitment. You can sugar coat that all you want but a man just broke his word.

 

 

I agree with you 100% with every type of contract you sign in life. Unfortunately the lockout opened Kovalchuk's eyes on how improved the KHL has become, and how much more comfortable he feels in the locker room speaking his native language. Also, sports agencies/sports contracts are a monster in itself. I can guarantee there was pressure coming from his agency and the Devils ownership. Yes I agree that he's an adult and can make adult choices, but there are hundreds of NHL athletes in the league and you know that a good percentage of people can't handle pressure well (the same with life and work)...Kovie was that person. Unfortunately he was one of the top players in the league and the spotlight was on him. In his eyes the KHL is much improved, so why should he be forced to play in a country he feels uncomfortable in?...he recognized the improvements in Russia during the lockout, after he signed the contract. Russian players are drafted in America because that was the only option for big money. Now there's money in their backyards.

 

He's completely within his rights to do what he just did... but that doesn't make it the right thing to do.

 

Does that make him a bad person? No... not really.. but it certainly doesn't make him an honorable one. At the end of the day, their is no rational, be it KHL money or the level of competition that now exists in Russia that can explain away the damage his recent decision did to a hockey club that treated him as well as the Devil's did...

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There were no real rules against what New Jersey tried to do with his contract. And really, was the Kovy deal that much worse than ones given to guys like Zetterberg and Pronger, whose deals were clearly intended to skirt the cap?

 

I still think that the punishment given to the Devils was ridiculous. They were working within the framework that the CBA created, and tried to make use of the loopholes within that framework (much like many other teams). Then the NHL comes out with some "spirit of the CBA" excuse and penalizes them for it, even though there were no specific rules against what they were trying to do. The NHL was basically drawing a line in the sand at the expense of the Devils franchise.

I disagree. first off you missed the part where I acknowledged the Devils were not the first team to offer such a contract.

 

New Jersey wasn't the first team to pull this sort of stunt, but theirs'  really stuck a finger in the eye of the NHL and the spirit of the salary cap

The reason they got the hammer from the NHL was because they were signing a guy who was 27/28 years old to a 17 year contract knowing it was highly unlikely he would play that many more years, specifically to get the average yearly cap hit down to something manageable. Then the Devils  front loaded most of the money within the first several years to entice Kovalchuk to sign, both sides knowing that he would get the bulk of the money without playing through the last several years.

 

In the case of Pronger's contract it was 7 years and 35 million. Not even close to Kovalchuk's 17 years and 102 million originally agreed on. Not even close to the 15 yr/100 million he ultimately signed after the NHL rejection. A healthy Pronger could easily have played out those seven years.

 

Zetterberg's 12 yr/ 73 million was nearly as ridiculous as Kolvachuk's deal so I have no issue with you comparing those two.

 

Ultimately what needs to happen in the future is the cap hit each year should equal what the player is getting paid that year. Then nobody would care about ridiculously long contracts like that.

 

The point of my original comments were to illustrate why I don't think the Devils should be entitled to recoup any of the concessions (draft picks) they made in order for the NHL to approve the contract. Until a few days ago the Devils were happy with the way things were settled. If they should be mad at anyone it is Kolvachuk not the NHL.

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There were no real rules against what New Jersey tried to do with his contract. And really, was the Kovy deal that much worse than ones given to guys like Zetterberg and Pronger, whose deals were clearly intended to skirt the cap?

 

I still think that the punishment given to the Devils was ridiculous. They were working within the framework that the CBA created, and tried to make use of the loopholes within that framework (much like many other teams). Then the NHL comes out with some "spirit of the CBA" excuse and penalizes them for it, even though there were no specific rules against what they were trying to do. The NHL was basically drawing a line in the sand at the expense of the Devils franchise.

 

That's a bingo.

 

Stern just decided enough was enough and for whatever reason punished New Jersey for something that Vancouver (Luongo), Detroit (Franzen, Zetterberg), Philadelphia (Pronger), Chicago (Keith, Hossa), New York (Richards), and Buffalo (Ehroff) had already gotten away with...

 

The NHL just pulled that out of the side of their head. HORRIBLE.

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Kovy's honor has been tarnished in the NHL. Though the ramifications won't be felt immediately I think it's a double whammy. Devil's get hosed but the Russian question (leaving the NHL before they complete contracts) will be brought back up. I think many future Russian prospects will suffer from the stigma. I believed that only players who didn't make it to the NHL would bolt to another league. A player like Kovalchuk is no slouch even on a lazy game. Don't know if anyone knew this but our former first round pick, Vitali Vishnevsky didn't finish his contract with the Devil's when he left to the KHL.

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Since the announcement, Brian Burke has been making the wanking motion towards everyone who ever criticized his "non favoritism" towards Russian players.

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I disagree. first off you missed the part where I acknowledged the Devils were not the first team to offer such a contract.

 

The reason they got the hammer from the NHL was because they were signing a guy who was 27/28 years old to a 17 year contract knowing it was highly unlikely he would play that many more years, specifically to get the average yearly cap hit down to something manageable. Then the Devils  front loaded most of the money within the first several years to entice Kovalchuk to sign, both sides knowing that he would get the bulk of the money without playing through the last several years.

 

In the case of Pronger's contract it was 7 years and 35 million. Not even close to Kovalchuk's 17 years and 102 million originally agreed on. Not even close to the 15 yr/100 million he ultimately signed after the NHL rejection. A healthy Pronger could easily have played out those seven years.

 

Zetterberg's 12 yr/ 73 million was nearly as ridiculous as Kolvachuk's deal so I have no issue with you comparing those two.

 

Ultimately what needs to happen in the future is the cap hit each year should equal what the player is getting paid that year. Then nobody would care about ridiculously long contracts like that.

 

The point of my original comments were to illustrate why I don't think the Devils should be entitled to recoup any of the concessions (draft picks) they made in order for the NHL to approve the contract. Until a few days ago the Devils were happy with the way things were settled. If they should be mad at anyone it is Kolvachuk not the NHL.

 

My point is that the "spirit of the salary cap" was something that the NHL all of a sudden pulled out of thin air in order to punish the Devils. While their attempt at cap circumvention may have been much more obvious, it was still pretty clear that contracts being signed in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, etc. had the exact same intention. So why were they not also against the "spirit of the salary cap"? It's just another example of where small market teams get the short end of the stick in this league, whereas big market teams get free reign. Hopefully the new CBA has addressed that somewhat.

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I was happy to see New Jersey get punished, but more because I felt things were already out of control.  It wasn't specifically New Jersey I had an issue with, and I absolutely agree it seemed a bit arbitrary for the NHL to slam them.  As far as I'm concerned, any long-term contract that takes you past 36 is a bit questionable to me.  I know that might not sit right with some people, but injuries pile up, players need to work that much harder to stay conditioned properly, and the concerns go on and on.  For contracts to go a number of years beyond 36, and for the salaries to drop so sharply around that point, made it clear that the teams and the players were just trying to cheat the system.  

 

That type of cap manipulation, as far as I'm concerned, needed to be stopped immediately.  

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Maybe Brian Burke had it right when It came to Russian player contracts.  Remember his battles with Federov.

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I was happy to see New Jersey get punished, but more because I felt things were already out of control.  It wasn't specifically New Jersey I had an issue with, and I absolutely agree it seemed a bit arbitrary for the NHL to slam them.  As far as I'm concerned, any long-term contract that takes you past 36 is a bit questionable to me.  I know that might not sit right with some people, but injuries pile up, players need to work that much harder to stay conditioned properly, and the concerns go on and on.  For contracts to go a number of years beyond 36, and for the salaries to drop so sharply around that point, made it clear that the teams and the players were just trying to cheat the system.  

 

That type of cap manipulation, as far as I'm concerned, needed to be stopped immediately.  

 

I agree completely. I just feel the NHL needed to put a stop to those deals from the start, not punish the Devils in order to make a point. Any kind of attempt to manipulate the cap should have been dealt with straight away. Any punishment the Devils got should also have been suffered by Detroit, Chicago, etc.

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