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NHL gives Players Assn. ultimatum on Kovalchuk, Luongo, Hossa


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http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/devils/nhl_gives_players_assn_ultimatum_UEbYgwfB6I4E4y7xGbE1OP

I'm not sure if this made it to the Kovy thread, but I think it stands alone.

NHL wants new rules on long-term deals like Kovys, Luongo, Hossa, etc... if NHLPA does not agree by Friday 5pm:

1. It will reject the Kovalchuk contract.

2. It will move to immediately devoid the Luongo contract.

3. It will move to immediately open proceedings for a formal investigation into the Hossa contract.

The NHL owns sweeping punitive powers against teams and players judged guilty of circumvention under Article 26 of the CBA.

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we have any lawyers here who can explain to me how it's circumventing the cap if they play out the contract? And how they can claim circumvention before someone actually retired? It just seems completely bogus to me.

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we have any lawyers here who can explain to me how it's circumventing the cap if they play out the contract? And how they can claim circumvention before someone actually retired? It just seems completely bogus to me.

Using Kovy's original voided deal as an example. The design of the contract so strongly implied circumvention that it was more reasonable to believe the Devils and Kovy had no intention of Kovy playing those last years. It almost never happens that a player plays until he was as old as that contract took Kovy and Kovy had no financial incentive to play those years since he had already been paid the vast majority of the contracts value. Since Kovy was extremely unlikely to play those last years, and there was strong incentive for the Devils and Kovy to sign a deal that would benefit the Devils salary cap, it became obvious that the contract was made to circumvent the cap and was not designed to be played out to the end, causing Bloch to call the contract a retirement contract, because it was designed for Kovy to retire 4 or 5 years before it actually ended.

There were some other parts to it as well, but that's a broad summing up of it.

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we have any lawyers here who can explain to me how it's circumventing the cap if they play out the contract? And how they can claim circumvention before someone actually retired? It just seems completely bogus to me.

It wouldn't be circumventing the cap if the contract was played out in full... I think the league has a point where there is not a reasonable expectation that the team will keep the player on the roster when they are 43 year old, 3rd-4th liner... or that such a player would play for 1mm, etc... even with a 4mm deal at the end to strive for. The CBA doesn't dictate that you can't sign a player that long, just that you can't have an agreement that they won't play those years, etc.

I remember reading that max contract terms was something the NHL and NHLPA argued during the lockout... the NHLPA won... a lot of good that did.

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I hope, for New Jersey's sake, that the NHLPA accepts this proposal but I can't see them doing so.

I think they will. What does the NHLPA gain if they don't? The NHL puts the hammer down on all these contracts, the NHLPA has to hope they win in arbitration, and every contract becomes a dogfight in front of an arbitrator. The NHL's demands seem reasonable and the gain for the NHLPA seems minimal if they reject. The NHL is really only asking to get together with the NHLPA and clarify and more narrowly define a rule that already exists in the CBA, not to have teams circumventing the cap, so the NHLPA isn't really giving anything up, at least nothing of significance.

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I think they will. What does the NHLPA gain if they don't? The NHL puts the hammer down on all these contracts, the NHLPA has to hope they win in arbitration, and every contract becomes a dogfight in front of an arbitrator. The NHL's demands seem reasonable and the gain for the NHLPA seems minimal if they reject. The NHL is really only asking to get together with the NHLPA and clarify and more narrowly define a rule that already exists in the CBA, not to have teams circumventing the cap, so the NHLPA isn't really giving anything up, at least nothing of significance.

in something like this, anything given up would almost necessitate a giveback by the league - what that is, i have no idea. and how you're going to get the NHL BoG and the NHLPA to agree in 48 hours is an even bigger mystery.

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in something like this, anything given up would almost necessitate a giveback by the league - what that is, i have no idea. and how you're going to get the NHL BoG and the NHLPA to agree in 48 hours is an even bigger mystery.

I don't think the NHLPA is really giving anything up, it's just giving better definition to an already existing rule to the benefit of both parties.

Maybe the NHLPA sees it as giving something up, but the league is just going to void deals that don't fit these new criteria anyway, most likely, so I don't think it's a loss to agree to add these rules.

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well, i can't consider myself a fan of machiavelli - i'm not his facebook friend and i don't follow him on twitter - but these are some brilliant maneuvers by the league here. first off, what 731 is saying is correct: the NHLPA has little incentive to fight this. more than he thinks, but still little. first of all, front-loaded deals affect at most 1% of the union. so that's not a big deal. second, they take up escrow from the rest of the league, a very minor point, but still, not one in the union's favor on front-loading. third, they hired barry zuckerkorn for the first kovalchuk grievance, and they've got lionel hutz on retainer - if their fight for these contracts would be anything like that one, they may as well throw in the towel right now.

the real problem is that while 731 is correct that front-loading is not a big issue, the union can make it into a big issue going into CBA negotiations - it's one of the carrots they hold, and they hold very few carrots. so the league taking that away before 2012 would defang them even more.

the union deserves everything it's getting here. they carted out their former leader because they snooped into his email and found something they didn't like, and kicked him out in some 3 am meeting that five guys were at. it's a joke organization - part of the problem is that salary caps turn every member of the union against one another, and it seems that the union was not at all prepared for that eventuality.

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I hope, for New Jersey's sake, that the NHLPA accepts this proposal but I can't see them doing so.

for the Devils sake, it's not *that* big of a deal. imagine if you're a Vancouver fan and you see that... "wait, what?"

especially with how far over the cap they are...

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well, i can't consider myself a fan of machiavelli - i'm not his facebook friend and i don't follow him on twitter - but these are some brilliant maneuvers by the league here. first off, what 731 is saying is correct: the NHLPA has little incentive to fight this. more than he thinks, but still little. first of all, front-loaded deals affect at most 1% of the union. so that's not a big deal. second, they take up escrow from the rest of the league, a very minor point, but still, not one in the union's favor on front-loading. third, they hired barry zuckerkorn for the first kovalchuk grievance, and they've got lionel hutz on retainer - if their fight for these contracts would be anything like that one, they may as well throw in the towel right now.

the real problem is that while 731 is correct that front-loading is not a big issue, the union can make it into a big issue going into CBA negotiations - it's one of the carrots they hold, and they hold very few carrots. so the league taking that away before 2012 would defang them even more.

the union deserves everything it's getting here. they carted out their former leader because they snooped into his email and found something they didn't like, and kicked him out in some 3 am meeting that five guys were at. it's a joke organization - part of the problem is that salary caps turn every member of the union against one another, and it seems that the union was not at all prepared for that eventuality.

all you need to say about this current PA is that Gary Bettman continually beats them stupid.

they have these little palace coups and there's so many ex-players and hangers on that are involved in the process and shady people and fat Eric Lindros, and they're going against a cabal of lawyers. it's a pathetic mismatch.

it's like Rome when it went to sh!t. the palace idiot kills the emperor and it keeps repeating itself over and over again.

at this point, do you think Fehr even gets to the negotiation stage? he'll probably be taken out by Mark Messier and a long-lost Hoffa relative + some guy that got a legal diploma out of a claw machine.

Edited by maxpower
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for the Devils sake, it's not *that* big of a deal. imagine if you're a Vancouver fan and you see that... "wait, what?"

especially with how far over the cap they are...

After last season I would possibly walk away from that Luongo deal, especially when you have Cory Schneider in the organization.

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Why would the PA reject this? This makes the unofficial rules official. It's completely fair what the league is asking for. The new rules will stop all these investigations and rejections in/of future contracts. The PA isn't losing much here - the rules only apply to players who's contracts go past 40 and are longer than 5 years. How many contracts are there that take players into their 40's in the NHL anyway? How many 5+ year deals does each team have? I'd say all these rules will do is take about 1-2 million dollars in cap room from all teams and prevent future rejected contracts and subsequent arbitrations.

for the Devils sake, it's not *that* big of a deal. imagine if you're a Vancouver fan and you see that... "wait, what?"

especially with how far over the cap they are...

Eh, if you're Vancouver, then getting out of that contract looks pretty good right now.

Edited by ben00rs
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After last season I would possibly walk away from that Luongo deal, especially when you have Cory Schneider in the organization.

after last season I want no part of that Kovalchuk deal. most people here seem to have a problem with that, though. :lol:

I'd imagine the same thing holds true in Canucksville. there's a few people that hate the player, and then there's the meatheads that go "LOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUU" when someone shoots wide and the puck hits the glass.

and, if Bloch is still the systems arbitrator (although no one knows whether he is or not), you can forget about Luongo's appeal being upheld, since Bloch called that contract out in his report on Kovalchuk.

that the league is singling out Luongo... well, that makes me think that maybe Bloch *is* still the systems arbitrator.

Edited by maxpower
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Why would the PA reject this? This makes the unofficial rules official. It's completely fair what the league is asking for. The new rules will stop all these investigations and rejections in/of future contracts. The PA isn't losing much here - the rules only apply to players who's contracts go past 40 and are longer than 5 years. How many contracts are there that take players into their 40's in the NHL anyway? How many 5+ year deals does each team have? I'd say all these rules will do is take about 1-2 million dollars in cap room from all teams and prevent future rejected contracts and subsequent arbitrations.

Eh, if you're Vancouver, then getting out of that contract looks pretty good right now.

because you'd have about 6 more within two years that would be beneficial to some players and teams. the fact that the PA is losing ANYTHING speaks volumes. in a negotiation like this, both sides are supposed to walk away with something they gained and something they lost. i'm not seeing the PA win a lot in, oh the last 10 years.

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because you'd have about 6 more within two years that would be beneficial to some players and teams. the fact that the PA is losing ANYTHING speaks volumes. in a negotiation like this, both sides are supposed to walk away with something they gained and something they lost. i'm not seeing the PA win a lot in, oh the last 10 years.

What the PA is going to get is less contract rejections and contract scrutiny as long as a contract follows the new rules. It may be a loss for the PA but what is turning down these rules going to do for the PA? It's going to get all these current contracts voided/fined and inspire the league to start giving more and more hell to teams and players who submit a long-term contract.

I don't even really think it's much of a loss. The PA will walk away with the league being less on their backs about contracts: That's the tradeoff, they take 2 rules that prevents ridiculous contract andget the league to have less argument for rejecting a contract that follows all rules.

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If the PA accepts the terms, they protect the players already under contract and life goes on. Players will still be able to sign these mega deals, albeit with a higher cap hit.

If they fight, they throw Luongo, Kovalchuk, and Hossa under the bus. Luongo would probably lose millions, and Kovalchuk would probably lose millions and be forced to the KHL (by his own crazy demands). They already lost in arbitration, so they can't bank on that to salvage the deals under threat and any arbitrator with common sense will see them as circumvention. More arbitration losses would greatly reduce the chances of any player signing one of these front-loaded mega deals in the next couple years, which is ostensibly what they would be fighting for by rejecting the ultimatum.

I think they'll elect to protect the players that already have contracts, but nothing will shock me at this point.

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Wow, the NHL must feel it really got a lot of power with that sweeping ruling by Bloch, and they also see the NHLPA as weaker and being in a bad spot.

The only wildcard is the unknown (at least to me) official position of Fehr. If Fehr were the official head of NHLPA I believe he would fight this.

I think the NHLPA will fold on this one, again.

Edited by BlueSkirt
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If the PA accepts the terms, they protect the players already under contract and life goes on. Players will still be able to sign these mega deals, albeit with a higher cap hit.

If they fight, they throw Luongo, Kovalchuk, and Hossa under the bus. Luongo would probably lose millions, and Kovalchuk would probably lose millions and be forced to the KHL (by his own crazy demands). They already lost in arbitration, so they can't bank on that to salvage the deals under threat and any arbitrator with common sense will see them as circumvention. More arbitration losses would greatly reduce the chances of any player signing one of these front-loaded mega deals in the next couple years, which is ostensibly what they would be fighting for by rejecting the ultimatum.

I think they'll elect to protect the players that already have contracts, but nothing will shock me at this point.

like most things in negotiation between these two, the only thing that will make the NHLPA reject the NHL's ultimatum is the threat of the NHL giving future ultimatums.

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third, they hired barry zuckerkorn for the first kovalchuk grievance, and they've got lionel hutz on retainer

he'll probably be taken out by Mark Messier and a long-lost Hoffa relative + some guy that got a legal diploma out of a claw machine.

:lol: Between these and the "picking the fat kid first for kickball" line in the mega-thread, I'm loving the digs at the PA. There is no better comedic muse than pure stupidity.

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