Not long after the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk agreed to an astounding 17-year, $102 million contract, the NHL rejected the deal. Just one day after agreeing to the longest contract in the history of the NHL, the league dealt a shameful blow to the Devils and Kovalchuk.
The NHL said the contract was used as a way to get around the salary cap for the league. The NHL sent the contract back to the Devils, where general manager Lou Lamoriello will have to rework the contract in order to satisfy the NHL and Kovalchuk all over again.
In the NHL, teams will pay a player more money up front when the player is usually a better asset to the team, and when the player is likely to have retired the team would then pay the player less. The Devils took advantage of this, as the majority of Kovalchuk’s contract would have been paid during the first 10 years of his 17-year long contract.
They would pay him $95 million during the first ten years, and during his last six seasons he would have been paid less than $1 million. The issue for the NHL was that the contract was formulated to where Kovalchuk’s cap would have been brought down to just $6 million a season for the devils.
The New Jersey Devils will play their first preseason game at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia against the Flyers on Tuesday, September 21, 2010.
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