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Why The NHL Can’t Void Earlier Contracts, and Some Other Stuff



The NHL won’t de-register the frontloaded contracts that teams assumed were kosher.  They just can’t.  The consequences would be vastly damaging, like going back in time and killing a butterfly.  It’s just simply too late to make that move.

"Thanks for throwing me under the bus by taking the scam too far, Kovy."

They have to know they can’t tell the Canucks that Luongo’s contract is no good, or the Blackhawks that Hossa’s is void.  Chicago already traded a half dozen players to make room for that contract.  The Canucks have made some moves themselves, but more importantly, having this come up at this point in summer leaves a major question: what would those teams have done differently in the off-season had they known their big deals were void?  Would either team have taken a run at other free agents? 

Point is, who knows what would be different now had teams been made aware that certain contracts they wrote up were no good – de-registering them now would fully eff with everyone’s roster and cap plans.  If the cap is designed to encourage parity (as in, fairness), it’s not exactly fair to penalize a team a whole summer simply because you changed your mind.

So if the NHL wants to say those contracts are “grandfathered in” when they change the clause that allows for these deals, fine.  Whatever you have to say to let them pass while you plug the hole.

But vaguely implying that you might still overturn them is annoying.  It’s the exact same thing as the Sochi Olympics bargaining chip – They want the PA to make a concession to protect those contracts, even though, really, the PA shouldn’t have to concede shit.  The CBA is what it is til 2012, and technically, those contracts are legal, sooo….. why are we doing you a favour again?  It’s the NHL who needs to make a concession to get the PA to agree to fix the loophole early.

For the record, I’m glad they seem to be willing to work with the NHL on making a fix.  I’m glad they’re talking CBA early.  It just bugs me that the NHL is creating bargaining chips out of nothing, especially with the PA as beleaguered as they are.

Could you imagine if the league told those teams that those contracts were void?  CHAOS.  Pure chaos.  It’d be a painful, tiring circle of arbitration court battles, appeals, fan revolt and misery.  They’re not going to void those deals.  They can’t.  They need to let that butterfly live.

"Note to self, Gary, add that reporter to the list I have written in lipstick at home."


I bet Guerin ABUSED Sid.

I like when my boy Wyshynski gets fired up about something, and this morning he made a nice twitter take-down of the “Crosby’s a drunken sex addict” email (And SB’s coverage of it).  I never really saw what the whole kerfuffle was all about, nor did I see the email, sooo - care to explain, anyone?

By the way, I spent ten straight minutes watching Penguins practice footage yesterday, with Guerin mic’d up (from playoffs two years ago).  What really stood out to me from watching, was that Crosby’s a massive geek (in a likable way), and that Guerin spent half his time trying to rein The Kid in from trying too hard.  Yeahhh, probably best to let Sid play with people who are pushing him, as opposed to the opposite.


Antti Niemi to the Sharks, huh?  That’s pretty cool.  Personally, if I’d just won a Cup and had to be traded, I’d be hard-pressed to get too upset about taking my talents to a good team in San Jose.  Ummm…. can the Isles have one of your three goalies, SJ?  We’ll give you Brendan Witt’s rights.

Yeah that's deterring criminals. I'm sure.


Also on the docket, Nikolai Khabibulin is going to jail in Phoenix, eh?  The prison down here is famous - tent city, as it’s known.  Apparently you just bake outside under huge tents in what’s essentially a massive parking lot, or something.  And ‘ol Sheriff Joe Arpaio makes the prisoners wear pink because…. um, because… wow that’s really stupid now that I think about it.

Anyway, here’s to hopin’ he can get himself outta there early for good behaviour or whatever it is he has to do to get himself outta the clink.


My Wednesday column ran on Hockey Primetime yesterday because, y’know, it was Wednesday.  It’s on getting past the star-struck factor to play hard against names you’ve watched on TV, and you can read it here.


Sooo, still waiting on the Kovalchuk thing.  It’s a shame that this whole saga has become the most news-worthy thing from the guy’s NHL career to date.  I mean, not like he hasn’t been spectacular and scored a ton of goals, just sayin’, if he has a Wikipedia page, this fiasco should be the lead paragraph.

And on that note, I’m out for the day!  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll be back.


20 Responses to “Why The NHL Can’t Void Earlier Contracts, and Some Other Stuff”
  1. Danimal says:

    speaking of mic’d up. Watched Roddick get ousted yesterday and during the match Roddick dresses down an umpire on a call. Plain as day, everyone hears it, all the mic’s pick it up, and it greatly enhances the entertainment of the match. My question is, I watch Wild games, you can see Clutterbuck and others dressing down opponents and jawing with the opposing bench, yet when Fox Sports North airs their “Mic’d up” segment inevitably during the game, it will be some lame stuff that fans don’t care about. Why can’t the NHL figure this out and let fans hear and enjoy what players are saying, other than worrying about having to bleep out every 4th word? Seriously, if tennis can air what the players are saying, the NHL should be able to figure this out. Rant.Over.

  2. jtbourne says:

    HBO should buy like, ten NHL games a year and run them like they do “Hard Knocks”. Fans would eat themselves alive they’d love it so much. Not sure why that’d be their reaction to pleasure, so let’s just ignore that part of my point.

  3. Nathan says:

    Everyone I ever talk to is extremely interested in this idea. How can you not be? Kevin Stevens vs Brian Bellows every night.

  4. crushasaurus says: has the Crosby email article. I have no idea why SB Nation touched it with a barge pole. I felt exactly the same way when Deadspin ran that article about Brett Favre showing a cheerleader his third leg via SMS — a serious allegation with no evidence that serves no other purpose other than increasing traffic significantly.

    Poor show.

    Also, you’re late to the 80s Hip Hop Fantasy Team Name Ball 2010, hosted by Twitter.

  5. Danimal says:

    I would buy HBO just so I could watch a 100% mic’d up/unfiltered NHL game. I am not alone on this.

  6. HockeyBroad says:

    What I find interesting to listen to are the discussions that since Hossa has already played a year on his contract (vs the others which start this year), if his contract got voided, would it void the Stanley Cup win? That to me seems like the most ridiculous suggestion out there and it would not only have the league/NHLPA shooting themselves in the foot but the entire leg. Because assuming they voided any games he played in, it would void not only the entire Stanley Cup run but 3/4 of the Blackhawks season. Crazy talk.

    It just seems so ridiculous that they investigated and waved these contracts through over the course of the past year, and then suddenly Kovy’s contract is in the spotlight, so there’s all this talk about reviewing/revoking these other contracts. If they can review them now, a year later, how often will they keep reviewing them?

    If they can’t wait for the next CBA to amend the loophole, they should just grandfather the existing contracts and flat out state what they will/won’t accept going forward.

  7. Casey says:

    It’s worth skimming the Crosby thing, just for sheer entertainment value. It’s so completely incoherent and over the top that calling it any sort of “serious allegation” is probably giving it too much credit. The “drunken sex addict” thing is only being talked about because it’s the only allegation that could be remotely possible. The main “accusation” (and I can’t even call it that without the air quotes) is that the Penguins and the NHL are covering up the fact that Crosby is a rapist and murder by hacking into computers (including the accuser’s) and deleting the evidence. There is also some convoluted argument about google search results, something about a porn star with some crazy Star Wars-sounding name, and a declaration that the accuser is going to “transfer [their] affections to Sedin.” No indication of which Sedin, or whether or not the author realizes that there are, in fact, two of them. Most of what I’ve seen has been screenshots from some of the message boards that this person has been spamming, so there might be even more in the email.

    Honestly, I think most of the attention that people are giving this comes from how pathologically strange the entire screed is. There are probably also a lot of people who are just echoing the drunk/sex-addicted part because its Crosby, without realizing that the accusation comes buried inside a healthy dose of insanity. Anyway, it’s kind of a fascinating look at how people latch onto celebrities, and certainly a look into a highly delusional mind. Hopefully this all ends in someone getting some much needed psychiatric help instead of a libel suit.

  8. Kennedy says:

    Is trash talk different in the minors? I was at a Grand Rapids Griffins game and a guy named Brookbank was yelling at the guy in the other penalty box about pooping his pants. Literally he said pooping. All I could figure was more kids around in the AHL so they have to watch it a little more – it was a Sunday afternoon game.

  9. jtbourne says:

    Casey, thanks for the rundown. I actually did go skim a few pieces of it and man, it is sorta crazy it was ever even brought up, other than it’s fun to have something hockey to talk about right now that isn’t Kovalchuk’s contract.

    Kennedy – Ha, um, noooo, there’d be no censoring anywhere. From what I can tell, it’s the same all over. Shield your virgin eyes here, people, but it’s pretty much “You’re a pussy, he’s a pussy, your coach is a pussy, any time, any place, I fight guys like you on the way to fights, fuck off.”

  10. Kennedy says:

    That’s what I thought! My first hockey game I was around 4. We got seats right next to the Leafs bench at the Gardens. All game, F this, F that, F you….so the trainer comes out at intermission and apologizes on behalf of the team and the guys will try hard to now swear. This actually doubled the swearing. Afterwards it was F this…then a look over at me…then another fuck…and on they went. I loved it. My mom, not so much.

  11. Kennedy says:

    The NHL suspended Avery 6 games for saying “sloppy seconds”….how long would the suspensions be from a mic’d up game?

  12. Alanna says:

    I know you’re a fan of good psych-up/intro/at-bat music and I wanted to make sure you caught this from yesterday’s D-back’s game: Classic

  13. PVeltkamp says:

    I don’t think in Averys case he was suspended for what he said. “sloppy seconds” said on the ice wouldn’t have garnered the least bit of attention. It was that he called a reporter over strictly to say what he said. It was the negative image he brought to the game and the league, not so much the language or words he said.

  14. Nathan says:

    PVeltkamp, And also slandering the name of a third party not involved with the NHL.

  15. KForbes says:

    So yeah,
    After a long and interesting discussion late last week talking about blogs being considered as media and gaining access to dressing rooms and credentials for game, are we actually ending this weekend talking about how a blog ran with the ramblings of a crazy person muttering about Sidney Crosby?

    Anyone else see the humour here? This is exactly the fuel that burns the argument against blogs getting access.

  16. nightfly says:

    Whew… I can remember, in the early days of Crosby’s career, stumbling across a geocities site which was a fangirl’s barely-disguised drooling over the yet-to-even-grow-peach-fuzz star-in-waiting. (New record for hyphens? Hope so.)

    The merciful end of geocities will spare you a link… but how bad was it? Let’s just say that fan fiction was involved. These allegations strike me as a TMZ-era variety of the same.

  17. Neil says:

    That’s a really good point about the Luongo/Hossa/etc. deals, I hadn’t really considered how absurdly unfair and chaotic it would be to go after those deals after the teams in question have already played a full season, made trades, etc. (I think there was a Stanley Cup in there too that I guess would have to be voided?)

    Another reason I don’t understand their reaction to these previous long-term deals is that from what I’ve read, the deals were sent to the NHL for their thoughts before they were technically submitted, just to make sure that the NHL was ok with it. So you’re going to say “yes”, then let a team do their finances/trades/contracts for a year, then say “we’re going to look into this”?? Chaos would be a nice way of putting it, because it seems completely dishonest. I have to think that some of this posturing from the NHL is just to bully people, but with only one year to go, what the hell is the point of that? Is this the NHL looking ahead already to the next round of CBA negotiations….?

  18. Mike says:

    The more mic’d up, the better. You can’t write that stuff. Best hockey threat I ever received- and it was from an actual enforcer: “Every time you open your mouth, I’m going to shut your eye.” Strangely, our conversation came to an abrupt end. Had several responses once I got to the locker room.

  19. Patrick Pryor says:

    Mike, Dont forget to mention that was on the bench and it was your teammate.


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