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Rumor: Devils plan to/have challenge(d) Kovy penalty


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#1 Daniel

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:02 AM

Per Aaron Portzline, Columbus beat writer:

 

 

Aaron Portzline @Aportzline 1h

No way they'd give up this year's No. 9 overall. But I asked around, at combine/since, wondering why they wouldn't give up last yrs No. 29.

 

Aaron Portzline @Aportzline 1h

Prevailing opinion is that Devils play to petition league - perhaps they already have - to repeal that part of their punishment.

 

Portzline is a pretty good writer.  And, he doesn't puport to know anything, just that he asked around at the combine.  But he's reputable enough that it's safe to say he didn't make this up. 

 

Part of it depends on whether the CBA provides for a challenge of penalties, whether it can go to an arbitrator and whether there's a time period for challenging a penalty, and whether that time period has passed.

 

I suppose the Devils could threaten to take it to an arbitrator and work out a compromise where the Devils have to give up their next non-lottery pick.  If the penalty goes before a neutral third-party, the Devils would have a pretty good case.  The last arbitrator made a point to note that the Devils and Kovalchuk did not act in bad faith, and other teams had done the same thing, basically.  Also, the new CBA essentially solves the problem of long term/back loaded deals, so there's no longer a need for the deterrent effect. 


Edited by Daniel, 25 June 2013 - 09:10 AM.

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#2 Devilsfan118

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:06 AM

Ohh would this make me happy.  

To not have that looming overhead for the entire year would be...just so relieving.   


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#3 SMantzas

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:06 AM

My God, this would be epic and could make the league look bad
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#4 Triumph

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:07 AM

Meh, Portzline scuttled the idea by saying 'that's the only reason why they wouldn't give up #29 in 2012 draft', well, no, not really.


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#5 Daniel

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:09 AM

Meh, Portzline scuttled the idea by saying 'that's the only reason why they wouldn't give up #29 in 2012 draft', well, no, not really.

 

That's true, although it doesn't appear to be based on his reasoning behind not giving up last year's pick alone.


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#6 Triumph

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:11 AM

That's true, although it doesn't appear to be based on his reasoning behind not giving up last year's pick alone.

 

I mean, it depends on who he talked to.  If he talked to scouts, they probably have no clue.  If he talked to GMs, maybe it's got some legs.


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#7 aylbert

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:12 AM

Isn't this what we have been randomly speculating on since the penalty came down?     We shrug at the other penalties, but the first rounder we'd eventually challenge.

 

We seemed to take the brunt of it from the league after other contracts went through without issue.

 

Personally, if it's speculation by the writer, or actually based in something...  I could see the Devils challenging it before just submitting to it.  If it's successful or not; I'm not too sure.   A reduction (I doubt elimination) seems like it would be possible though.


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#8 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:13 AM

Hopefully Portzline is correct.  Rejecting the contract was one thing (it clearly was an attempt to circumvent the cap), but to punish the Devils so heavily for doing something that had been done countless times before, and completely letting those other teams skate by without even paying a $1 fine was just ridiculous.  They should have just fined the Devils (and the other teams like Detroit, Philly, etc.) the $3 million penalty and been done with it.  That's a pretty hefty fine, even for a team like Philly which basically prints $$.  The rest of that penalty was Bettman getting his pound of flesh to show who's boss. 

 

BTW...I read the book written about him last year called the Instigator.  It was a pretty good/easy read.  Shows a lot of both sides with him - how he's a work-a-holic, is involved in everything, and has taken the league into the mainstream with media and marketing.  Very forward thinking.  Also shows how he's a total egomaniac that is a spiteful little weasel when he doesn't get exactly what he wants. 


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#9 MadDog2020

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:14 AM

I really, really hope this is true.
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#10 Daniel

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:22 AM

I just tweeted Gulitti to ask if he's heard anything about it.  Will let everyone know if he responds.


I'll also note that perhaps the ability to challenge a penalty might not be in the CBA, since it's an agreement between the league and the players.  It might be in the NHL bylaws.


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#11 Triumph

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:22 AM

The thing is, the draft pick fine and cash fine was in lieu of a salary cap penalty which would've forced the Devils into a trade or waiving someone.  It was said back then that that's what the league wanted to do.  I imagine this has zero legs and is just scouts' blather.


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#12 Daniel

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:25 AM

The thing is, the draft pick fine and cash fine was in lieu of a salary cap penalty which would've forced the Devils into a trade or waiving someone.  It was said back then that that's what the league wanted to do.  I imagine this has zero legs and is just scouts' blather.

 

Do we know whether there was any back and forth between the league and the team about the penalty?  If there was, it's more likely that it could be considered a mutually agreed upon settlement that would present another hurdle to an effective challenge. 


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#13 Vic Rattlehead18

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:25 AM

I always thought Lou was hoping that there would be something in the new CBA that would allow him to keep the pick. Or was trying to figure out a way out of the penalty.


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#14 SterioDesign

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:31 AM

Man i don't think its possible but if Lou pull that off im gonna have to take back a few things i said about him


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#15 Triumph

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:36 AM

Do we know whether there was any back and forth between the league and the team about the penalty?  If there was, it's more likely that it could be considered a mutually agreed upon settlement that would present another hurdle to an effective challenge. 

 

Pretty sure there wasn't - the penalty was rumored/believed to have been discussed by the PA and NHL when they ratified the 2nd Kovalchuk contract.


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#16 Daniel

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:59 AM

Ok, I took a quick look at the NHL Constitution and by-laws.  A team can challenge a penalty that involves the loss of draft picks to the Board of Governors, and the commissioner's punishment can be reversed by a 3/4 vote.  The by-laws provide a fairly detailed procedure for a hearing before the Board of Governors.  Interestingly, there's a provision that allows the team challenging a penalty to move to disqualify a presiding member for bias, which obviously the Devils could argue is the case since every other team would stand to benefit by the Devils losing a draft pick.  This could be a backdoor means of bringing the case before a neutral arbitrator.  I don't see anything that provides for a time period after a penalty is announced to bring a challenge. 

 

This is a very quick analysis, so don't take my word as gospel.


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#17 Devils Pride 26

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:00 AM

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#18 ghdi

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:04 AM

I wouldnt be surprised if this was the plan all along. No doubt the team have legal advisors that know the rules and they may have to wait until a certain point in time before the penalty deadline to file said challenge or also decided to wait for the new CBA. It's a risk, but the team may feel confident about it. There's always been more to this than Lou just taking Matteau.

 

The fact that there were a few of those wonky deals in the league before the Kovalchuk deal means there was a precedent. It wasn't an entirely unique deal.  

 

I don't think that the league will back down from the penalty, but at the very least if we could get the penalty reduced to a 3rd or even a 2nd round pick, if not a fine, I think everyone would feel better about it. Lou will again look like the old wily Lou.

 

Its wait and see. If we stink this coming season and end up having to forfeit a lottery pick, it will have proven to be a bad decision.


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#19 SterioDesign

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:07 AM

Ok, I took a quick look at the NHL Constitution and by-laws.  A team can challenge a penalty that involves the loss of draft picks to the Board of Governors, and the commissioner's punishment can be reversed by a 3/4 vote.  The by-laws provide a fairly detailed procedure for a hearing before the Board of Governors.  Interestingly, there's a provision that allows the team challenging a penalty to move to disqualify a presiding member for bias, which obviously the Devils could argue is the case since every other team would stand to benefit by the Devils losing a draft pick.  This could be a backdoor means of bringing the case before a neutral arbitrator.  I don't see anything that provides for a time period after a penalty is announced to bring a challenge. 

 

This is a very quick analysis, so don't take my word as gospel.

 

Thats very interesting Daniel. Of course it could lead to nothing but in this case just a little ray of hope is very welcome. And from reading your analysis its not 100% impossible.


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#20 skeeter

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:49 AM

Like I said a couple years ago, at a fan club meeting someone asked Lou if he was gonna challenge the Kovy penalty, he said "not yet" with a mischievous tone and a smirk on his face.


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