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Flyers sign Weber to offer sheet

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Well, this is certainly interesting if nothing else.

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OK, I feel like we're going in circles. Let me ask this: What previously written rules did the Kovalchuk contract violate? IIRC, the Kovy deal didn't violate anything as it was written, but clearly violated the loosely defined "spirit" of the salary cap. Therefore they wrote a new rule specifically addressing why it violated the spirit and amended it to the CBA.

In this case, once again we have a deal that doesn't violate anything as it's currently written, but is pretty clearly violating the loosely defined "spirit" of the salary cap. Therefore IMO they need to write a new rule addressing why it violates the spirit and amend it to the CBA (or, more likely, wait and address it with the new CBA).

Either I'm incorrectly remembering how the Kovy saga played out, or we're disagreeing on what exactly counts as violating the spirit of the cap.

My disagreement here is that the front loading on contracts has nothing to do with the "spirit" of the cap. The "spirit" was and is about teams artificially lowering the cap hits of contracts to get around the cap ceiling. Front loading a contract doesn't violate any "spirit" since it has been done for decades with neither the NHL nor NHLPA wanting to stop it.

Kovy's contract was designed to circumvent the salary cap with years at the end that no reasonable person would believe would be played which were in place only to lower the average yearly cap hit, that's a violation of a written, but vague, rule at the time. The Weber contract violates no written rule, vague or strict, so has no reason to be voided.

Edit: The "spirit" never really existed, it was just shorthand for saying there is a vaguely written rule we believe has been violated. The vagueness has been removed so teams effectively can not violate the "spirit" now that the rule is no longer vague.

Edited by Devils731

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OK, I feel like we're going in circles. Let me ask this: What previously written rules did the Kovalchuk contract violate? IIRC, the Kovy deal didn't violate anything as it was written, but clearly violated the loosely defined "spirit" of the salary cap. Therefore they wrote a new rule specifically addressing why it violated the spirit and amended it to the CBA.

In this case, once again we have a deal that doesn't violate anything as it's currently written, but is pretty clearly violating the loosely defined "spirit" of the salary cap. Therefore IMO they need to write a new rule addressing why it violates the spirit and amend it to the CBA (or, more likely, wait and address it with the new CBA).

Either I'm incorrectly remembering how the Kovy saga played out, or we're disagreeing on what exactly counts as violating the spirit of the cap.

26.3 Circumventions.

(a) No Club or Club Actor, directly or indirectly, may: (i) enter into any

agreements, promises, undertakings, representations, commitments, inducements,

assurances of intent, or understandings of any kind, whether express, implied, oral or

written, including without limitation, any SPC, Qualifying Offer, Offer Sheet or other

transaction, or (ii) take or fail to take any action whatsoever, if either (i) or (ii) is intended

to or has the effect of defeating or Circumventing the provisions of this Agreement or the

intention of the parties as reflected by the provisions of this Agreement, including

without limitation, provisions with respect to the financial and other reporting obligations

of the Clubs and the League, Team Payroll Range, Player Compensation Cost

Redistribution System, the Entry Level System and/or Free Agency

The problem with the Kovy contract was that everyone knew he wouldn't be playing his last 5-6 years where he was scheduled to be making 550k / year, which was only included to lower cap hit extraordinarily. The argument the NHL made was that players rarely play after their 40's and the Kovy rule they agreed upon specifies that it's only for players contracts that take them past the age of 41 (and are longer then 5 years).

This contract for Weber is pretty different, his last 3 years he makes 1m, and it only takes him to 40. The only part that's "hazy" is the front loading which makes it hard for the other team to match, but that's sort of the point of an RFA offer, you want to make it something difficult for them to match so you get your player. (you could also be doing it just to hamstring another team, but I think it's safe to say here the Flyers want Weber, not to screw the Preds over).

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This must mean Pronger is done.

I know I've said this before but Pronger was only recently cleared to drive a car short distances (Haddonfield to Voorhees, maybe 4 or 5 miles). It's nearly inconceivable that he returns as a player - he has a lot of symptoms still. I personally think he's done, but you definitely have to GM the team like he's not coming back.

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A shrinking cap, especially a big shrink, will have to have a system in place for teams that were spending up to the old cap can get relief. It could be buyouts, it could be blanket salary reductions, etc...

Amnesty clause in the new CBA is also a very real possibility. If they institute an amnesty clause and the Flyers get Weber, they won't have to worry about Pronger's contract at all as they'd likely use it on him.

Its too early to predict the implications on the Flyers future at this point with the new CBA yet to be seen. Even there, getting into cap trouble is worth it to bring a guy like Weber aboard. He changes the whole complexity of their defense.

Regardless of salary trouble, Weber on the Flyers means we still have to deal with him for the next decade.

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I'm part of the crew that says "hell no" to facing Weber for the next 14 years. Nashville really "has" to match or their will be discontent in the fan-base like non other. But it doesn't sound like they want to match.

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My disagreement here is that the front loading on contracts has nothing to do with the "spirit" of the cap. The "spirit" was and is about teams artificially lowering the cap hits of contracts to get around the cap ceiling. Front loading a contract doesn't violate any "spirit" since it has been done for decades with neither the NHL nor NHLPA wanting to stop it.

Kovy's contract was designed to circumvent the salary cap with years at the end that no reasonable person would believe would be played which were in place only to lower the average yearly cap hit, that's a violation of a written, but vague, rule at the time. The Weber contract violates no written rule, vague or strict, so has no reason to be voided.

Edit: The "spirit" never really existed, it was just shorthand for saying there is a vaguely written rule we believe has been violated. The vagueness has been removed so teams effectively can not violate the "spirit" now that the rule is no longer vague.

Ah, OK. So it's basically a disagreement over what "spirit" means.

I believe the Kovy saga addressed one aspect of the spirit of the cap. I also believe "spirit" is too vague a term to be defined in one shot. I believe that one of the main points of a salary cap is to allow teams to be able to compete on a level playing field when it comes to attracting and keeping talent. A big-market team front-loading a contract with so much bonus money that a small-market team couldn't possibly afford to match is a blatant violation of this aspect of the cap's spirit, IMO.

Does this deal violate anything addressed in the original CBA or the Kovy amendment? No. But it is a giant middle finger to one of the core reasons for having a salary cap in the first place.

The problem with the Kovy contract was that everyone knew he wouldn't be playing his last 5-6 years where he was scheduled to be making 550k / year, which was only included to lower cap hit extraordinarily. The argument the NHL made was that players rarely play after their 40's and the Kovy rule they agreed upon specifies that it's only for players contracts that take them past the age of 41 (and are longer then 5 years).

This contract for Weber is pretty different, his last 3 years he makes 1m, and it only takes him to 40. The only part that's "hazy" is the front loading which makes it hard for the other team to match, but that's sort of the point of an RFA offer, you want to make it something difficult for them to match so you get your player. (you could also be doing it just to hamstring another team, but I think it's safe to say here the Flyers want Weber, not to screw the Preds over).

Again, I'm not saying this Weber offer violates the spirit of the cap in any of the same ways the Kovy deal did. I understand that they're different and that this doesn't violate anything as it's currently written. This is a brand new violation of a completely different part of the cap's "spirit", IMO.

It was in that part you quoted: "No Club or Club Actor, directly or indirectly, may: (i) enter into any agreements ... if either (i) or (ii) is intended to or has the effect of defeating or Circumventing the provisions of this Agreement or the intention of the parties as reflected by the provisions of this Agreement, including without limitation, provisions with respect to ... Team Payroll Range, ..."

One of the main points of the cap is to keep a level playing field when it comes to team payroll range. This deal flaunts how much more payroll range (not cap space, but cash money payroll range) the Flyers have than the Predators. This offer almost reverts the league back to pre-cap days where the Flyers, Rangers, Red Wings, etc. can outbid anyone else by just putting more money in a couple years into the deal than any small-market team could afford to pay out.

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I'm part of the crew that says "hell no" to facing Weber for the next 14 years. Nashville really "has" to match or their will be discontent in the fan-base like non other. But it doesn't sound like they want to match.

http://predators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=638229

Nashville, Tenn. (July 19, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile issued the following statement this morning:

"We are in receipt of the offer sheet signed between the Philadelphia Flyers and Shea Weber. Under the rules pertaining to an offer sheet, the Predators have one week to decide whether to match or accept the compensation. We have stated previously that, should a team enter into an offer sheet with Shea, our intention would be to match and retain Shea. Our ownership has provided us with the necessary resources to build a Stanley Cup-winning team. Due to the complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it and all of its ramifications in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term.

“We do not anticipate any further comments on this situation until we make our decision within the next seven days.”

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Again, I'm not saying this Weber offer violates the spirit of the cap in any of the same ways the Kovy deal did. I understand that they're different and that this doesn't violate anything as it's currently written. This is a brand new violation of a completely different part of the cap's "spirit", IMO.

It was in that part you quoted: "No Club or Club Actor, directly or indirectly, may: (i) enter into any agreements ... if either (i) or (ii) is intended to or has the effect of defeating or Circumventing the provisions of this Agreement or the intention of the parties as reflected by the provisions of this Agreement, including without limitation, provisions with respect to ... Team Payroll Range, ..."

One of the main points of the cap is to keep a level playing field when it comes to team payroll range. This deal flaunts how much more payroll range (not cap space, but cash money payroll range) the Flyers have than the Predators. This offer almost reverts the league back to pre-cap days where the Flyers, Rangers, Red Wings, etc. can outbid anyone else by just putting more money in a couple years into the deal than any small-market team could afford to pay out.

This deal is no different in spirit than any of the huge deals paid out of late. It just changes how and when Shea Weber gets his money and capitalizes on the fact that there's an impending lockout and as such for every game Nashville misses, that's money they lose because of Weber's contract. The Predators are able to pay out this contract, it's whether or not they want to. It's very clearly not a circumvention of the salary cap.

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http://predators.nhl...s.htm?id=638229

Nashville, Tenn. (July 19, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile issued the following statement this morning:

"We are in receipt of the offer sheet signed between the Philadelphia Flyers and Shea Weber. Under the rules pertaining to an offer sheet, the Predators have one week to decide whether to match or accept the compensation. We have stated previously that, should a team enter into an offer sheet with Shea, our intention would be to match and retain Shea. Our ownership has provided us with the necessary resources to build a Stanley Cup-winning team. Due to the complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it and all of its ramifications in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term.

“We do not anticipate any further comments on this situation until we make our decision within the next seven days.”

I was referring specifically to this when I made my comment. This and the fact that they were trying to trade him.

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This deal is no different in spirit than any of the huge deals paid out of late. It just changes how and when Shea Weber gets his money and capitalizes on the fact that there's an impending lockout and as such for every game Nashville misses, that's money they lose because of Weber's contract. The Predators are able to pay out this contract, it's whether or not they want to. It's very clearly not a circumvention of the salary cap.

To the first bolded point: Right, just like the Kovy deal was no different from the Luongo, Pronger, etc. deals except for how much more extreme and blatant it was.

If this Weber deal goes through, it won't be because the Flyers had more cap space than the Predators. It'll be because they have more money than the Predators. And that's the exact kind of thing the cap was supposed to stop.

And to the second bolded point: There are plenty of reports saying the Predators aren't exactly in great financial standing. Unless you've seen their books, I'm not sure how you can say for sure that they'd be able to afford to pay one player $56M over four years. It's not even necessarily a bonus issue. It's a sheer volume of cash in a short period of time issue. Not all teams can compete equally when it comes to that, and that's exactly what the cap was put in place for.

Sure, it fits the NHL-approved contract template released after the Kovy mess. But the Kovy deal fit the template (or lack thereof) that existed beforehand and was similar to prior approved deals. Just like that, this seems OK on the surface, but flies in the face of one of the biggest reasons we lost an entire season.

The cap is meaningless if big-market teams are still able to outbid small-market teams.

Edit: Sorry for how long an redundant that post was. I'm writing this while doing 10 other things and lost my train of thought a couple times. :lol:

Edited by DaneykoIsGod

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The problem with the Kovy contract was that everyone knew he wouldn't be playing his last 5-6 years where he was scheduled to be making 550k / year, which was only included to lower cap hit extraordinarily. The argument the NHL made was that players rarely play after their 40's and the Kovy rule they agreed upon specifies that it's only for players contracts that take them past the age of 41 (and are longer then 5 years).

This contract for Weber is pretty different, his last 3 years he makes 1m, and it only takes him to 40. The only part that's "hazy" is the front loading which makes it hard for the other team to match, but that's sort of the point of an RFA offer, you want to make it something difficult for them to match so you get your player. (you could also be doing it just to hamstring another team, but I think it's safe to say here the Flyers want Weber, not to screw the Preds over).

My problem with the punishment with the Kovalchuk contract was the fact that it was a battle that the Nhl should have waged when the first of its kind came in. Like is Kovalchuk at 44 more unreasonable then Luongo at 43? Since then the rules have been set and anyone complaining at this point just has a sore butt over what happened.

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The length or total monetary value does not irk me but these crazy signing bounuses really grinds my gears. :argh:

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My problem with the punishment with the Kovalchuk contract was the fact that it was a battle that the Nhl should have waged when the first of its kind came in. Like is Kovalchuk at 44 more unreasonable then Luongo at 43? Since then the rules have been set and anyone complaining at this point just has a sore butt over what happened.

On that I agree entirely. I had no problem with the NHL voiding the contract, I thought the punishment (really just the 1st rounder) was excessive. Especially considering they "fixed" those contracts right after, I really felt that punishing the Devils served little to no purpose.

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To the first bolded point: Right, just like the Kovy deal was no different from the Luongo, Pronger, etc. deals except for how much more extreme and blatant it was.

If this Weber deal goes through, it won't be because the Flyers had more cap space than the Predators. It'll be because they have more money than the Predators. And that's the exact kind of thing the cap was supposed to stop.

That's not true. The cap was to give the league cost-certainty. Revenues are now tied to a salary cap. I mean, in 2003-04, I think the Red Wings had $70M in salary obligations. We're just now reaching that point under a cap system. Still, there's a salary cap and a salary floor, it's not an 'everyone spends the exact same amount' system.

The cap is meaningless if big-market teams are still able to outbid small-market teams.

You mean like the 2006-07 off-season when Danny Briere, Chris Drury, and Scott Gomez all went to big-market teams from small and mid market teams, all with enormous increases in salary?

The cap is not meaningless if big-market teams are still able to outbid small-market teams. That's how any system should work. Contracts like Weber's present an incredible risk that can only be taken on by a large-market team or by a lunatic owner. It's 14 years long.

I agree that these contracts will be going away in the next CBA, as they should, but a lot of them are going to blow up in that time and we'll see why it can be such a bad decision to sign one. Under the old CBA, small-market teams had the advantage that UFA age was 31 - well past a player's prime. A 29 or 30 year old could be dumped off to a big market team for assets which could re-stock the organization. The problem was, the big-market teams weren't making any money because they had to compete with each other for these old players.

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To the first bolded point: Right, just like the Kovy deal was no different from the Luongo, Pronger, etc. deals except for how much more extreme and blatant it was.

If this Weber deal goes through, it won't be because the Flyers had more cap space than the Predators. It'll be because they have more money than the Predators. And that's the exact kind of thing the cap was supposed to stop.

And to the second bolded point: There are plenty of reports saying the Predators aren't exactly in great financial standing. Unless you've seen their books, I'm not sure how you can say for sure that they'd be able to afford to pay one player $56M over four years. It's not even necessarily a bonus issue. It's a sheer volume of cash in a short period of time issue. Not all teams can compete equally when it comes to that, and that's exactly what the cap was put in place for.

Sure, it fits the NHL-approved contract template released after the Kovy mess. But the Kovy deal fit the template (or lack thereof) that existed beforehand and was similar to prior approved deals. Just like that, this seems OK on the surface, but flies in the face of one of the biggest reasons we lost an entire season.

The cap is meaningless if big-market teams are still able to outbid small-market teams.

Edit: Sorry for how long an redundant that post was. I'm writing this while doing 10 other things and lost my train of thought a couple times. :lol:

+1, I am on the same page as DIG

anyone complaining at this point just has a sore butt over what happened.
Damn right, I think NHL should drop the first rounder penalty

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My problem with the punishment with the Kovalchuk contract was the fact that it was a battle that the Nhl should have waged when the first of its kind came in. Like is Kovalchuk at 44 more unreasonable then Luongo at 43? Since then the rules have been set and anyone complaining at this point just has a sore butt over what happened.

Luongo doesn't have 6 minimum salary years. He has 3 years where he makes a combined 3.6 million - not an outrageously low salary for a player who will likely be a backup by that point in his career. If NJ had spread out the money in the Kovalchuk contract it wouldn't have been a problem.

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On that I agree entirely. I had no problem with the NHL voiding the contract, I thought the punishment (really just the 1st rounder) was excessive. Especially considering they "fixed" those contracts right after, I really felt that punishing the Devils served little to no purpose.

Right! They wanted to make an "example" out of the Devils.

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To the first bolded point: Right, just like the Kovy deal was no different from the Luongo, Pronger, etc. deals except for how much more extreme and blatant it was.

If this Weber deal goes through, it won't be because the Flyers had more cap space than the Predators. It'll be because they have more money than the Predators. And that's the exact kind of thing the cap was supposed to stop.

I disagree, the cap wasn't designed to make everything equal, it was added to make things more equatable then they were. You can make this argument about the money for any floor team that chose not to re-sign a UFA, "the new team was able to because they had the money and the old team did not".

The cap is meaningless if big-market teams are still able to outbid small-market teams.

It's not meaningless, it's just not perfect. Not that I really want to take sides about who should or should not get the millions, but if the Owners share does increase that will lower the cap and in theory create more parity.

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Buttman won't punish the Flyers. When he goes to Philthy-delphia, he knows he will get killed by the people of the city of "brotherly love" as opposed to just booed like any other civilized place. He won't rattle the cage.

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In the fallout of the Kovalchuk ruling, the NHL created new guidelines regarding long term contracts. Every contract since has fit those guidelines, the NHL has no basis to strike them down due to cap circumvention.

Did the NHL have any basis to strike down the Kovalchuk contract and issue penalties? That's debatable, but that was a debate to have two years ago. Nothing in the past two years has altered the dynamics of that debate.

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Buttman won't punish the Flyers. When he goes to Philthy-delphia, he knows he will get killed by the people of the city of "brotherly love" as opposed to just booed like any other civilized place. He won't rattle the cage.

This post makes no sense. Your team plays in Newark NJ. Guess which city has a higher crime rate? Guess which city has a higher murder rate.

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One of the main points of the cap is to keep a level playing field when it comes to team payroll range.

I can't agree with this. The owners did not come to the players last lockout saying, "This league needs more parity. All of these Detroit, Jersey, and Colorado cups are killing us. Let's put in a cap to even it out." The cap was put into place to assure that the league makes money (now the league wants to argue that it has failed).

In my view, the "spirit" of the cap is that all player compensation (or as close to all of it as possible) ends up being reflected in cap hits somewhere at some point. That way the players don't receive more than their CBA-negotiated share. Now, it could be argued that heavily front-loaded deals violate this spirit, because the future is full of uncertainty. If you let teams off the hook for unforeseeable circumstances (like tragic injury to the player, early retirement, or amnesty buyouts under new CBAs), then you can have huge money spent on early years for a player that never ends up accounted for down the line. This is probably the thinking behind the owners' recent proposal that all contracts pay identical salary over their lifetimes.

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That's not true. The cap was to give the league cost-certainty. Revenues are now tied to a salary cap. I mean, in 2003-04, I think the Red Wings had $70M in salary obligations. We're just now reaching that point under a cap system. Still, there's a salary cap and a salary floor, it's not an 'everyone spends the exact same amount' system.

If the cap is only in place for cost certainty, then VBK better get his $3M back, because the words "cost certainty" never appeared in any of the reasons given for why Kovy's contract was axed.

I agree with you and squishy in saying that it'll likely be straightened out in the next CBA.

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