The NHL just delivered a heavy blow to the New Jersey Devils for attempting to circumvent the CBA and sign Kovalchuk to a 245 year $12 Billion dollar deal a few weeks back. For a league that has been hesitant to lower the hammer on it’s own franchises in the past this surprising display of force shows the league is serious about it’s salary cap.


"The NHL has come down hard on the New Jersey Devils for deliberately circumventing the league’s salary cap in their original attempt to sign forward Ilya Kovalchuk.

The league announced in a press release Monday that they have fined the Devils $3 million and that the club will forfeit their third-round draft choice in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft as well as a first-round draft choice in one of the next four NHL Entry Drafts.

It will be the Devils’ decision which year they will forfeit the first round choice, they must advise the NHL of their decision by the day following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final in the calendar year in which the pick will be forfeited."

This is a surprisingly harsh judgement against a team that really isn’t doing anything already done by several of it’s brethren in the league and who have already gotten away with it. Devils CEO, President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello hasn’t indicated whether or not he will appeal the decision or if he will simply let the matter be.

Ilya Kovalchuk on the other hand remains stinking rich and could probably care less that his long term employer just took a shot to the pills as a direct result of his greed. This judgement is only speculation and we could be completely wrong but really who cares right? The guy just signed a 15 year deal worth a cap hit of $6.66 for a team called the Devils.

Money, power and a pact with the Devil that lasts for 15 years. What could he possibly do to haters online? 

  • Lowetide

    That’s an amazingly harsh result. I’m all for it, since Lou has been making a mockery of the rules forever.

    But man. Harsh. Suspect they’ll back off the first rounder, maybe reduce the fine by a million and then as a final act Bettman will kiss Lou’s hand and call him Godfather.

    Probably Abe Vigoda gets it too. Poor bastard.

    • Chris.

      I love it… the owners lock out the players depriving me of NHL hockey for A FULL SEASON to get a salary cap in place… and THEN; these same @ssholes go and try to circumvent their own cap!


      Jeff Vanderbeek, and his henchman Lou, should also have to issue a hand written apology to every single fan of the NHL who suffered through a dark cold winter in 2004 without any hockey.

      • Spartacus

        “I love it… the owners lock out the players depriving me of NHL hockey for A FULL SEASON to get a salary cap in place… and THEN; these same @ssholes go and try to circumvent their own cap!”

        It does seem pretty dumb when you put it that way. It’s like chasing a girl for a year then lying and conniving to find a way out of it when she finally agrees to sleep with you.

  • PabstBR55

    So … does that mean that the Hawks, Flyers, Bruins, Canucks and Red Wings will also surrender draft picks?

    Gary Bettman has gone all Tony Soprano. But taking aggressive action doesn’t make up for 3 years of inaction.

    Brian Burke, aka Big Pussy, must’ve squealed, now he’s lying at the bottom of the Atlantic … well the NorthWest anyway.

  • ubermiguel

    Translation: “We’re punishing you because you revealed our incredible stupidity in drafting the CBA and missing this obvious loophole.”

    No kidding they were deliberately circumventing the cap. The problem is: according to the black and white text of the CBA it was perfectly LEGAL! Vancouver, NYI, Detroit all did the same thing, albeit with slightly smaller amounts and lengths.

    F’ing Bettman. If he didn’t support the EIG then bring in the Cap thereby saving the teams of small markets like ours I’d hate him.

    • Ender

      It was likely drafted that way on purpose. There would have been no way at the time to get the players to have agreed to the CBA unless it was deliberately left as obscure as it was. I’m sure the NHL recognized the possibility of abuse, but they probably decided the risk was small and didn’t want to stall a tenetative agreement with the NHLPA in order to plug all the holes tightly then, there, and forever. The NHLPA, on the other hand, probably accepted the CBA as it was because they hoped such an exploit might be possible down the road. They’d have had no way of knowing that their leaderless ship would allow the agreement to be rewritten to serve the NHL only a few years later.

  • bdiddy78

    @ Wanye

    Great post and resulting discussion. I agree with most of the comments here so I will only mention something that hasn’t been commented on: Great pic and caption of Morgan Freeman! It is damn hard to argue with a man as eloquent and logical as he.