I think you confused "spirit" with "letter". Both contracts were within the letter of the CBA as it existed at the time. Both contracts also clearly go against the spirit of those rules. If the league was able to get away with arguing that the spirit of the CBA was violated the first time, they should be able to get away with it this time. It doesn't even matter if they end up losing at the hearing; a contract that was clearly written to test the limit of the rules needs to be examined. If Bettman lets this through without so much as a comment, it's further proof that he's a fraud.
I nailed what the spirit would be the first time, I feel like I understand it. I think you're right in some ways in what you're saying, I was just simplifying things.
Since the league specifically says a deal like this is ok then It is within the spirit, since the spirit is the sum of the rules. There were no specific rules like this when Kovy signed the spirit was more vague and the devils were way more aggressive. The new rules specifically explain this deal is within the new specific rules, and specific rules define the spirit. .