The NHL slapped Devils GM Lou Lamoriello's 17 year $102 million dollar contract with Russian winger Ilya Kovalchuk last night saying it was a blatant attempt to circumvent the NHL's salary cap system. According to the Associated Press the reason for the negated deal was this:
The contract was rejected because 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 those terms. The star forward was slated to earn only $550,000 in each of the last five seasons of the contract that was to run through the 2026-27 season, when Kovalchuk would be 44.
Now teams like the Detroit Red Wings have offered contracts of a similar nature to stars Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, huge money over at least ten years but the difference in those contracts is that they would expire as those two players are in their late 30's and not mid 40's. Unless your name is Chris Chelios and you can play until your 50's this deal really does smell of circumventing the cap. Anybody wanna guess how long it takes to get reworked?