There is a lot more to this drama than we think. Possible scenarios that I have reviewed in my mind (being the analytical person that I am):
1. The Devils/NHL took some "under the table" money from the KHL to let Kovy walk without a fight
2. Kovy is entrenched in some kind of "black market" business in Russia where mobsters basically said "you play or suffer the consequences"
3. Kovy is just being the "Che Guevarra" of hockey and being a revolutionary wanting to make a statement to the NHL
Certainly, the NHL and teams must monitor this closely as we could see an exodus of players from the NHL. I wouldn't be surprised if this signing by SKA is followed by another high-profile signing by another team in the KHL - perhaps Ovechkin / Malkin
If you ask me, this is the DAY THE NHL died.
You watch too many movies brother. I like the Oliver Stone conspiracy theorist in your thinking, but this is as simple as Kovy wanting to be the conquering hero in Russia where he is carted around on golden chariots, plays with his mini-giraffe and swims in a pool filled with rubles. At the end of the day, Lou is too classy to toll his contract and prevent him from playing in the KHL. Plus, he knew he had an open offer from SKA that would pay him the same or more than he made here in pre-tax dollars, then he pays a 13% flat tax rate on his deal there, instead of the 45+% he has been paying to play here.
Overall an absolutely great turnout. Crowd was very into it, whether it was booing the hell out of Bettman throughout the first round, the Rangers during roll call, or the excitement leading up to our pick and the announcment of the trade. I think most people (myself included) were excited that Nichuskin fell to 9, and assumed he would be the pick. When they announced the trade, I immediately thought we got Bobby Ryan and when they said Vancouver I almost had a heart attacking in that split second I thought it was Luongo.
Everything seemed well organized. Even getting the commemorative tickets given to STH's wasn't a disaster.
One thing I noted is that the hand rolled cigar store on the main concourse brought out the big guns for the draft with 3 smoking hot girls working yesterday afternoon. No surprise their stand was better attended than usual.
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 $$. The rest of that penalty was Bettman getting his pound of flesh to show who's boss.
BTW...I read the book written about him last year called the Instigator. It was a pretty good/easy read. Shows a lot of both sides with him - how he's a work-a-holic, is involved in everything, and has taken the league into the mainstream with media and marketing. Very forward thinking. Also shows how he's a total egomaniac that is a spiteful little weasel when he doesn't get exactly what he wants.
Knowing Lou, if Hell freezes over and we are in the WC he will put out a press release saying they are going to wear their normal jerseys and there is nothing new to see.
Everything leading up to the game will be "status quo." Do you guys think that will be etched into his tombstone? "Here lies Louis Lamoriello. Everything is status quo. But if you are in the maaaket for a new or pre-owned Mercedes Benz, visit Globe Mercedes in Fairfield, New Jersey."
Forget the numbers. Just watch the kid play. He is so much faster and more confident than last season. He's stronger on the puck and is playing much better positionally. He's developing fine, luck or no luck.
Whether some want to admit it or not, there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. I for 1 am appreciative of the noise being brought by the Diablos (the "kill" chant is growing and catching on throughout the arena), love the Baumann chant from my days growing up, and am happy that there is some sort of atmosphere at most games now. But the "Flyers swallows" part of the Rangers suck chant is beyond low class and has to stop.
As far as the other teams fans go, if they are respectful and just rooting for their team, then so be it. But if they come in to the Rock acting like an a$$, then give them hell for all I care so long as it doesn't get physical and profanities aren't thrown around every other word. You know, or should know, what you are getting into going into another teams arena and should act accordingly. Every time I've gone to MSG or the FU/WF Center wearing my Devils jersey, I root for the team and never make a comment back to anyone else. Usually those nit-wits have something stupid to say, but as long as you don't feed the beast, you'll be fine. I expect the same from visiting fans in our arena.
Love CamJan for his personality and willingness to give everything he has in a fight. However, there is no need in today's NHL to have 2 goons on this roster, and Barch is just a better overall player (that's not saying much). Wish the best to Janssen going forward.
Overall, I'm not on the side of the owners or the player (although I tend to side with the players in these CBA negotiations after siding with the owners last time around). I just want to watch NHL hockey. However, extorting money from local, state and federal government bodies to keep a business in a current place through the real or imaginary threat of relocation goes far beyond sports. Large businesses do it all the time, and often receive huge tax credits from the state and municipality to stay and, in some cases, move. Why do you think Panasonic is moving from Secaucus to Newark? They are getting a tax break to move even though its only a few miles away. Every state offers large tax breaks to get corporations to move to their state, which often mean the locality where that company is presently housed must make huge concessions in order to keep the jobs there. The owners run these large corporations, therefore it is logical that they would use the tactics they use in business in running their sports franchises and, frankly, who can blame them since it works (rightly or wrongly) each and every time.
Ultimately, the state or local government has a choice to make regarding what the value of retaining that professional sports franchise really is because they all KNOW, without a doubt, that they will NEVER recover their initial investment in the new arena or stadium during its ~30 year lifespan. Nobody forces the state or city to fund the construction of the arena but, for political and socioeconomic reasons, they choose to do so more often than not.
Collective bargaining is a result of the players unionizing, and probably was something the owners heavily resisted when the NHLPA was first being formed. I don't think you can definitively say that players would be making more money without collective bargaining. Maybe guys like Crosby would, but others like the 3rd and 4th line grinders likely wouldn't. Plus, without collective bargaining, each player could conceivable have a different set of contractual working conditions, which would be a complete nightmare. Moreover, the owners don't steal anything. People like you and I willingly pay thousands of dollars each season to watch the team play, purchase concessions, and buy merchandise. Nobody forces us to do it. If you don't want to pay $ to see the team play, don't go to the games. And if you don't want to pay money to Cablevision to get MSG+ on your TV, then listen to the radio broadcast or go to a bar.
That being said, I hope the players accept this proposal and we finally see hockey for the first time since June.
I just can't believe any GM would be desperate enough to give a 40 year old Brodeur $8 million per season over 2 years. If that is true, then its just another example of why I'm in the NHLPA's corner during this lockout.
Anyone else have a feeling the Devils will make a push to get Malkin when/if he becomes a FA (I think at the end of this season)? Definitely wishful thinking on my part, but Malkin seems to be good friends with Kovy and I think they put on the Lokomotiv benefit game together a few weeks ago. Now (apparently) they're DP'ing some nasty chick that looks like she belongs in the Russian version of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" video.
In my dreams I can see Kovy trying to recruit him over to the Devils.