NHL Tells Kovy "No Soup For You"

NEWARK, NJ - JULY 20: Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils poses for photographs following the media opportunity announcing his contract renewal at the Prudential Center on July 20, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

While this story might not directly affect our beloved Blues, I think it could have a profound effect on how teams operate in free agency now and in the future. For anyone that hasn’t heard, the NHL has reportedly rejected the Devils’ 17 year, $102 million deal for Kovy because it circumvents the salary cap. Well, no kidding! It’s pretty obvious that you don’t sign a 27-year old player to a 17 year deal expecting him to play the whole thing out.  Teams have been doing this for years, and I have said before that it was only a matter of time before the league stepped in and put an end to it.

To back up that last statement, here are some numbers of some other players who have signed similar deals. The hated Red Wings have made two such deals, signing Johan Franzen to an 11 year, $43.5 mil deal and Henrik Zetterberg to a 12 year, $73 mil deal. Those two players will only represent a cap hit of $3.9 and $6 mil respectively, which is the same situation. People who know me understand that I have no problem with bending the rules or finding loopholes to win, but when everyone is doing it, it only takes one person to get busted to ruin it for everyone else. Now that this ruling has come down, the ripple effect will be felt by each and every team who planned on using this strategy in the future. To tie it back to the Blues, that means it is unlikely that we will see guys like Erik Johnson or TJ Oshie getting a deal like this that could keep them in the note for the entirety of their careers, while at the same time allowing for more cap flexibility for the team. So pretty much, the NHL has sent a message to its teams, and that message is that if you are thinking about trying to get around the cap, this is the answer you will be getting…

Tags: Contract Detroit Red Wings Erik Johnson Henrik Zetterberg Ilya Kovalchuk Johan Franzen New Jersey Devils NHL Reject Salary Cap St. Louis Blues TJ Oshie

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