Could Ilya Kovalchuk contract rejection impact other questionable (but already signed) deals?

luongoleaves.jpgPerhaps the next Collective Bargaining Agreement should include a “No Takebacks” clause.

One of the most prominent arguments against voiding Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract was that other, similar deals set a precedent that cap-circumventing contracts would be accepted. While discussing the broader implications of arbitrator Richard Bloch’s decision to reject the contract, The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle found that impact of the ruling might have an even bigger effect than expected.

As it turns out, it might even make a difference even with contracts that were signed months, if not a year ago.

Bloch also noted that several other long-term contracts are under investigation for circumvention, listing deals given to Vancouver Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo, Boston Bruins centre Marc Savard, Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger and Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa as raising similar red flags to Kovalchuk’s rejected contract.

“While the contracts have in fact been registered, their structure has not escaped league notice,” the decision reads. “Those players’ contracts are being investigated currently with at least the possibility of a subsequent withdrawal of the registration.”

Several agents contacted Monday were alarmed by the implication of the league going after contracts already in effect.

“I’ve never heard of a contract that had been registered and approved and then having that registration withdrawn,” said one agent, who requested to remain anonymous.

“The league has two months now to go after Savard, Pronger and Luongo [whose contract extensions began July 1]. Until they start getting paid, they’ve got two months.”

Now that would be something. I’m no lawyer so take this with a grain of salt, but I’d imagine the league would face a real uphill battle when it comes to invalidating contracts that existed for so long.

The interesting thing is that every team except maybe the Chicago Blackhawks might be secretly pleased with a re-do of the contracts that were mentioned. Roberto Luongo faltered in his first year as the unofficial “captain” of the Canucks, Marc Savard has been the target of countless salary dump-related trade rumors and the Flyers unwittingly signed Chris Pronger to a 35+ contract.

Still, it sounds a bit far-fetched that the league will want to deal with such a mess all summer long. The NHL already has some egg on its face and will have a messy struggle ahead when it comes to coming to an agreement on a new CBA. We’ll keep you up to date as the Kovalchuk contract rejection fallout continues.

Scroll Down For:

    Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

    blackhawks
    Harry How/Getty Images
    13 Comments

    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

    The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

    The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

    The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

    Getty Images
    3 Comments

    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

    The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

    The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

    Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

    The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

    tampa bay lightning
    Scott Audette/Getty Images
    2 Comments

    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

    Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

    Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

    Rasmus Sandin
    Julian Avram/Getty Images
    2 Comments

    TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

    The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

    “Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

    The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

    Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.