A QUICK THOUGHT REFRESHMENT ON KOVALCHUK AND HIS SHINY NEW CONTRACT
We’ve already established that as a Kings’ fan I am certifiably bipolar like the rest of you. Tonight brings that to the forefront. This Kovalchuk contract has my mind darting all over the place. I think I’ve changed directions harshly 3 or 4 times in as many hours. It offends me; but its like Hossa’s contract; but it offends me; and the tail years are a big upturned nose at the league and an arbitrary appeasement of Kovalchuk’s status obsession; but its not too far off Hossa’s contract; screw that, I know its still pushing a major envelope.
Then I remember the way I broke down the last contract. This was my take a month ago.
So I took a quick look again (this time checking my math!). Looking at the cap savings from the maximum meaningful salary (the focus of that last article), this contract is, in terms of percentages, 8% better than the first deal, which sounds nice, but it is still 7% worse than Hossa’s.
What the hell am I talking about? I think, this.
Kovalchuk makes 67 million over the prime years of the deal, the deal New Jersey is really paying for here. These are years 3-8 (2012-2018). With a cap hit of 6.67MM, this equates to a cap savings of 40% How did I get to that number? 6.67 (the cap hit) is 60% of the average max salary which I value at 11.17MM… 67MM divided by 6 years… too many 6′s, check his scalp.
In the old article, looking at the other ‘retirement’ contracts, Hossa’s cap vs. max salary savings were 33% (if you want to know why I think this is important, read that older article). The rest of them, like Luongo, Lecavalier, Zetterberg, etc, hovered around 23% cap to max salary savings. With Kovy’s at 40% (cap is 60% if max salary, 100%-60%=40% savings), while this contract is not as egregiously bad as the others, it IS in fact still pushing this envelope beyond Hossa’s. By 7%. Is that significant?
The more I think about it the more I think the NHLPA may have a good case here should the league reject it. I even think the league may accept this one. However I don’t think it is fair to say this contract is similar to Hossa’s because of the age of 42.
I know Richard Bloch made a huge issue of the age at the end of the contract, but I think there were other arguments to be made to reject the first contract, such as the one I just made… and those still stand. Is this as bad as the old contract? No. Is it closer to Hossa’s? Yes. Is the ‘r’ at the end of ‘close’ the most important letter in that sentence?