Apparently “Loophole Lou” might have gotten in the way of the loophole-manipulating contract that Ilya Kovalchuk signed with his New Jersey Devils.
An AP report indicates that the NHL rejected the 17-year, $102 million contract the Russian winger was offered to stay in Newark. Keep in mind this isn’t quite “official” just yet, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the deal upset many in the league offices. Here’s more from that story.
Speaking on condition of anonymity because the NHL has not announced the decision to void the deal, the person tells The Associated Press on Tuesday night that Kovalchuk’s contract is illegal because the years of low salary at the end of the contract were added for the sole purpose of lowering the cap hit.
The person added that no side believes Kovalchuk will play the final years of the deal at the low salary numbers that were agreed to in the deal. The star forward was slated to earn only $550,000 in each of the last five seasons of the contract.
While this might just come down to the Devils making the deal a bit more “honest” (as in, spreading the money out more evenly), it’s still an interesting put-your-foot-down moment for a league that did little more than “investigate” dubious contracts in the past.
We’ll update this story as it goes along, but for some background on why this might have happened, here are a few links on the Kovalchuk contract.
It sounds like the Philadelphia Flyers have some work to do if they hope to avoid an arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn.
The session would take place on Monday, so the clock is ticking.
While the differences in opinion aren’t outright enormous, the Flyers still need to clean up their cap situation, so every $1 million counts. That – plus the length of a deal – seem to be the issue for the 24-year-old forward and the Flyers, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:
Brayden Schenn arb: PHI: $4.25M year 1 and just under $4.37 year 2. Player ask: $5.5M for one year
With the Flyers aiming for a two-year agreement while Schenn just wants one, it’s not quite as simple as merely saying “split the difference.”
Then again, that general logic could prove helpful. Perhaps the best path to a deal would be for the Flyers to edge closer to $5.5 million while convincing Schenn to sign for two years rather than one?
Of course, the Flyers could also offer Schenn more security in exchange for giving up some UFA years:
To be clear, those reported numbers are what was submitted to arbitrator. Doesn't mean they can't settle for longer term before Monday.
When the adrenaline wears off after a big hit or violent fight, fans will want to see results on the scoreboard and in the standings. It remains to be seen if the Oilers truly made strides in that regard during a summer of change.
On the bright side, their wunderkind star and expensive new addition are at least on the same page.
Report: Las Vegas NHL team asked permission to speak with Capitals assistant GM
Ross Mahoney was hired by McPhee to be the director of amateur scouting for the Caps which he did for 16 seasons before becoming assistant general manager. If you thought the team drafted well during McPhee’s tenure, Mahoney is a major reason why.
The Caps are in a tricky position here. Denying employees the chance to seek other opportunities looks bad, but then again the Capitals don’t want to see their entire office raided by Vegas.