This from Brooks NY Post:http://www.nypost.co...9DXOCM2puOi9J/0NHL trying to sidestep CBA
Though this is the first circumvention charge filed since the lockout, this is not the first time the league has brought larger collective bargaining issues into an arbitration hearing. This case bears striking similarity to the 2003 case in which the NHL claimed signing bonuses to Joe Sakic, Rob Blake and Pierre Turgeon constituted illegal lockout protection and therefore, circumvention.
Suddenly, though, the NHL had problems with the Sakic, Blake and Turgeon contracts. The testimony given by Bill Daly, then the league's senior VP and now its deputy commissioner, under questioning from arbitrator Joan Parker, is instructive and on point as it relates to the Kovalchuk issue.
Parker asked Daly what standard the league applied to determine whether a signing bonus would be considered illegal.
"The standard is . . . we have an internal discussion about it, that there's an intent on behalf of the contracting parties to guarantee a part of the contract. And the standard we have been applying is a significant part of the contract for a potential [2004-05] work stoppage," Daly said.
"It's a materiality test. . . . There are a number of different [contract/signing bonus] structures we've seen. When it's generally reasonable we have registered contracts in that scenario. When it's clear on its face that the parties were expressly attempting to essentially guarantee part of the contract during a work stoppage, at least in our mind, we have rejected the contracts."
Or, as arbitrator Parker wrote in June 2003: "The difficulty Daly had in articulating the standard by which the League challenged the Blake, Sakic and Turgeon [contracts] is troublesome, particularly because several provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement suggest that Clubs and players have substantial flexibility to negotiate compensation packages as they wish."
Hockey is life, the rest is just details.