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?



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10 replies

  1. I think the ‘r’ at the end is significant, because that seems to be the clear intent here, to put together a contract similar enough to Hossa’s that it would pass muster, and get approved, even if there were an “investigation” attached to it at the end. Until they actually do something with one of these “investigations” no one has any reason to believe that they will. I think this is still rejectable, for the reasons stated in the earlier post where you deconstruct the contract, there is no reason to expect him to play those $1 million dollar years, even to get to the $3 and $4 million dollar years at the end. The only difference this time is you can expect the union to defend this one more vigorously, but it is still, clearly, a “retirement” contract. It also clearly contains years that are meant to artificially reduce the cap hit. I don’t think it should matter where you put those years, at the end, in the middle, whatever, they are still there, at that rate to bring the overall cap hit down, hence, circumvention.

    And, Surly, you have to love the beauty of math, that gives you all those 6′s in a Devils contract.

  2. If the NHL wants to be taken seriously, they must reject this contract. After the first rejection, Daly specifically said that the line was not the Hossa contract, which leads one to believe that the line is in front of Hossa’s and not behind it like Kovalchuk 2.0. Daly also specifically said that Vinny’s contract was acceptable. Vinny’s contract should be the “line” for other GMs to follow.

    The key difference between the two contracts? One ends at 40 and the other ends at 42.

    Which contract does Kovalchuk 2.0 try to mirror? The “acceptable” Vinny contract or the “unacceptable” Hossa contract?

    Kovalchuk is still the worst of all of the “investigation” contracts. What will be the new NHLPA argument? They already tried the letter of the law defense and sighted other contracts, including Hossa’s and lost. What is their new position? What contract is worst than Kovalchuk 2.0?

    But, when has the NHL been consistent with their decisions?

  3. Kovalchuk is still an asshole.

    I have no idea if the NHL will accept/reject this contract or what an arbitrator will do. My guess is that somewhere along the way it will get bounced.

    Him and his asshole agent will end up eating a shit sandwich. Hope they choke on it and die.

  4. With less than an hour to go, I am going for door #3. The Devils and the NHL will have worked together to get a deal that they can accept. It will give the Devils a cap hit they can live with by shifting some of the middle money to the end. That means Kovy will not get his 90 mil in 10 years. That is indeed the sticking point. If Kovy refuses to listen to any deal that gives him less than 90 mil I hope he can get packed before the KHL season starts.

    • Less than an hour? No way! They need at least 2 more days to decided.

      Does anyone think that the league wasn’t going to reject the contract on Monday when the NY Post released their article saying that it was going to be rejected? There would be no reason to ask for an extension if the NHL was going to approve the contract.

  5. The NHL has given the NHLPA an ultimatum regarding the contested front-loaded contract of not only the Devils’ Ilya Kovalchuk, but Vanocuver’s Roberto Luongo and Chicago’s Marian Hossa, as well, The Post has learned.
    A well placed source reports that the league has informed the Players’ Assn. that the league will grandfather the recently submitted Kovalchuk 15-year, $100M contract, Luongo’s 12-year, $64M deal that is entering its second season and Hossa’s 12-year, $63.3M deal that also is entering its second season into the CBA under the following conditions:
    1. That the cap hit on future multi-year contracts will not count any seasons that end with the player over 40 years of age. The cap hit would be calculated on the average of the salary up through age 40 only.
    2. That the cap hit on future contracts longer than five years will be calculated under a formula granting additional weight to the five years with the highest salary.
    The league has given the PA, which is being directed by Donald Fehr, until Friday at 5 pm to accept these conditions. If the PA refuses, or if negotiations fail to yeild a common ground, the league has informed the PA that:
    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.
    ……

    From the NY Post.

    Looks like a great deal for the NHLPA. I would think the NHLPA would vote on this by Friday and the deal will be accepted on Friday.

    Can anyone imagine why the NHLPA would vote no? It is only for 2 years.

    • Yeah… processing that one.

      Initial reaction: Love it.

      But then again… bipolar.

      • Those are brilliant rules by the NHL. I don’t see any loopholes for players in their 20′s and early 30′s.

        • First that came to my mind, I guess you could call it missing or vague information, is whether this 40 rule applies to all players signing contracts under 40.

          Does a 39 year player who signs for 2 years, 3.5M (2M and then 1.5M) still have a cap hit of flat 2? Not a problem really, but something I’d like to know.

  6. Friday? Did I miss something? Why am I not surprised? I’ll bet money that Friday turns into Tuesday.

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