Summer of Kovalchuk

Q: Are the Suter/Parise deals a circumvention of the CBA? A: No

I’ve read a few comments around the interpucks complaining about the questionable legality of the new matching mega-deals for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. I saw several variations on “tell me how this is any different than the Kovalchuk contract!” Okay, I’ll tell you. (If you want to drill deeper into this topic, I highly…

Kovalchuk’s mom told him not to ask for trade from Devils

After nearly requesting trade, Ilya Kovalchuk leads Cup campaign | Puck Daddy Kovalchuk thought his luck had changed when he was traded to the New Jersey Devils in 2010. But more of the same followed. […] The criticism and public pressure […] affected Kovalchuk to the point where he almost requested a trade from the…

The NHLPA’s Case

The NHLPA has to persuade the arbitrator that the differences between the Kovalchuk and Hossa deal are insignificant, and that, if Hossa is allowed, Kovalchuk must be. They will need to to convince the arbitrator that the odds of Hossa making it to 42 are no different than Kovalchuk making it to 44, i.e. neither is reasonably likely.

But the NHLPA also has to be mindful of the possibility that the arbitrator may decide (or already believe) that the Hossa contract ought to have been rejected in the first place. Saying Kovalchuk is just like Hossa only works if the arbitrator believes the Hossa deal is solid. If the arbitrator thinks it’s not…well, there’s not much the NHLPA can do. I guess the game would be over at that point.

The League’s Case against Kovalchuk

According to infallible Twitter, the next chapter in the serial blockbuster known as Kovalchuk Month begins tomorrow, with day one of the hearing. There has obviously been a lot of chatter in the Kovalchukosphere about the NHLPA’s supposedly slam dunk case, Bettman’s vendetta against the Devils, the league not having a leg to stand on, the…

CBA Reading Comprehension Problem?


(1) there can’t be fines because we’re dealing with Article 11; (2) there can’t be penalties because there’s been no interminable investigation; (3) Article 26 “doesn’t figure in yet” so the contract is “safe” — doesn’t seem to be the way the league and the union are interpreting the CBA. Like I said (and have said a million times), the exact relationship between 26 and 11 is not explicitly defined in terms of procedure, so don’t be surprised if it turns out to work in a way you don’t expect.

Kavka’s Toxin – Kovalchuk’s Intent

Kavka’s toxin puzzle – Wikipedia An eccentric billionaire places before you a vial of toxin that, if you drink it, will make you painfully ill for a day, but will not threaten your life or have any lasting effects. The billionaire will pay you one million dollars tomorrow morning if, at midnight tonight, you intend…

In Lou We Trust vs. the CBA

SBN blog “In Lou We Trust” has a post up describing its case defending the legitimacy of the Kovalchuk contract. They are understandably pretty upset over there. However, there are a few points in his post that are inaccurate or misleading. The NHL-Rejected Ilya Kovalchuk Contract with the New Jersey Devils & Article 50 of…

How many 50 goal scorers have gone on to play at 44?

Zero. Okay, how about age 43? One. Messier. Scored 18 goals. Age 42? Three. Messier, Andreychuk, Bucyk. (scored 18, 6, 5.) Age 41? Bucyk, Recchi, Messier, Bobby Hull, Gary Roberts. (scored 20, 18, 7, 6, 4.) Is Kovalchuk in the same league as those guys? Well, yes, he’s in the NHL! Sorry. Other than that, no, he’s not.  

The History of 50 Goal Scorers After Age 26

Before you read this post, I want you to play the following thought experiment. We’ve all heard the various hypothetical/rumored long-term deals bandied about for Ilya Kovalchuk, everything from a (now considered shortish) seven years to an unimaginable 15 years. It’s generally assumed that any deal cap-friendly enough for the Kings (or Devils) would have to be in the…