Apparently Marc Savard’s agent isn’t too pleased with the NHL taking a stand against long-term money-juggling contracts. While we mentioned it in passing in our story about Chris Pronger’s contract getting the official OK from the NHL, we figured that this deserves some attention of its own. Savard’s agent Larry Kelly was on the Team 1200 in Ottawa this morning was rather vocal about his thoughts on the NHL’s process as well as his thoughts on the job NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is doing leading the league. Sportsnet in Canada spills the details.
Kelly added it is inconceivable that the league would revoke Savard’s contract after free agent season, which begins annually on July 1, has passed.
“You can imagine the lawsuit that would ensue,” Kelly said.
He also added he does not anticipate the NHL revoking the deal.
Kelly also suggested the league needs a new type of leadership at the top, suggesting NHL president Gary Bettman doesn’t properly represent the players.
“I’d really like to see a true-commissioner -style , someone who has the best interest of the game in mind rather than the situation they have now,” Kelly said. “Bettman is (more like) the president of the league and he clearly is on the owners side on every issue. I really think it should be a commissioner. With a commissioner you have somebody who is totally independent and I think it would be a much less acrimonious situation.”
Well all right then. Lesson learned: Do not end up on Larry Kelly’s bad side. All that said, the Bruins and Peter Chiarelli aren’t anticipating any issues to come up regarding Savard’s contract but they’re ready for anything. This, of course, says nothing about the supposed efforts of the Bruins to shop Marc Savard’s wares around the league looking to free themselves of that same contract, but when the NHL is sniffing around wondering if the deal is even legal, that’s going to hamper any trade talks right off the bat.
All we can hope out of all this contract voiding and ultimatum discussion is that both the NHL and NHLPA are happy with the heaps of negative publicity they’re producing for themselves. Not everything is going to be happy bunnies and fluffy kittens as far as news goes, but you’d think at some point both sides would realize that everyone just wants to talk about the game and not the board room hysterics.