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Nhl Fines Devils


franck5890

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The NHL has decided to place a pretty hefty fine on the NJD for circumvention of the NHL Salary Cap.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=333690

Don't know if I'm the only one, but I think this is absolutely absurd. Thoughts?

I agree. Not because I feel they are innocent, but compared to similar deals in the past, which the NHL not only didn't punish teams but allowed the contracts to go into effect; simply not allowing the Kovalchuk contract was enough punishment. If anyone deserved a harsh punishment, it was the first GMs to try and pull this sort of thing (I'm not sure exactly who the first was, especially since it happened fairly gradually). But by allowing the previous contracts, the NHL was giving some sort of signal that this form of cap circumvention was okay. Now NJ took it a step further, but there's no way that the small difference between the Hossa and Kovulchuk deals is big enough to justify cancelling the contract plus a large fine plus lost draft picks. This seems like in a court of law if one guy steals $100 and his "punishment" is a supposed investigation (and he gets to keep the money), but then his friend steals $120 a year later and has to give the money back and gets sent to jail for 20 years.

NJ is guilty, and I don't feel the punishment is unfair, except that the NHL seemed to signal it was okay in the past. I'm glad the Kovalchuk contract was cancelled, the NHL had to draw the line somewhere. Were it not for the Hossa type deals in the past few years, I'd be 100% in favour of this punishment, were this Kovulchuk front-loaded contract some novel idea, yes NJ should pay. But the NHL can't allow something once and then punish it so harshly the next time when someone else tries it. So cancel the contract, give a firm warning future contracts like this will result in punishment, and move on.

I have a feeling this may have been partially to please the NHLPA. The NHL got some pretty major concessions from them becaues they had the power to cancel Kovalchuk's contract. It probably helps from a PR standpoint to show it isn't just the NHL vs players, but that they are also willing to take the owners to task.

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I agree. Not because I feel they are innocent, but compared to similar deals in the past, which the NHL not only didn't punish teams but allowed the contracts to go into effect.

If anyone deserved a harsh punishment, it was the first GMs to try and pull this sort of thing (I'm not sure exactly who the first was, especially since it happened fairly gradually). But by allowing the previous contracts, the NHL was giving some sort of signal that this form of cap circumvention was okay.

True Graeme,agree...but I thinking now,finally after all is said & done here...will make GM's think twice before trying to pull one over on the weasel down the road.....trying to find a loop hole sometimes will back fire....just ask Lou.

The devils were used as an example/deterant so to speak....just my thought.

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Damien Cox's take on the story. Seems pretty fair to me that NJ should be punished.

When the NHL's board of governors meets Tuesday morning in Manhattan, you can bet Lou Lamoriello will try and make a case that the punishment far exceeded the crime.

Lamoriello is a principled fellow. His hero is Vince Lombardi. He thought he was just playing by the rules when he signed Ilya Kovalchuk to one of those absurd "back-diving" contracts during the summer, contracts than other teams like Boston, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Detroit had signed. Heck, Chicago had done similar deals with Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa, and the Hawks had won the Stanley Cup.

But first an independent arbitrator slapped down the Devils' initial deal with Kovalchuk, and on Monday the NHL chimed in with heavy penalties including a $3 million fine, a forfeited third round draft choice, and the loss of a first round pick sometime in the next four years.

Lamoriello will try to make his case that this punishment is unfair. And it will fall on deaf ears.

See, Gary Bettman has been practically begging teams not to sign these double-digit term contracts for years - Rick DiPietro, Alex Ovechkin - and redoubled his efforts when teams began twisting the CBA even more with torqued contracts that dwindled down to tiny salaries in the final few years just to get a more appealing cap number.

So Bettman and his deputy, Bill Daly, will have no sympathy for Lamoriello. And neither will at least 20 other teams, maybe more, who either couldn't afford to agree to these Kovalchuk-type contracts or saw them as cheating and didn't want to.

Simply put, Lamoriello can complain, but nobody will be listening.

It's too bad, because given Lamoriello's history and background, he undoubtedly wasn't intentionally trying to cheat. He just ended being the wrong GM in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now the price of acquiring a player who really didn't help the Devils in the playoffs last spring has become astronomical.

First, the Devils sent forward Niclas Bergfors, defenceman Johnny Oduya and Canadian national junior team captain Patrice Cormier to Atlanta to get Kovalchuk, along with a first and second round pick. New Jersey also got a prospect and a second rounder back.

Then, after arbitrator Richard Bloch rejected the first contract, the Devils finally came up with $100 million deal that, after much discussion, was approved. Now they've been fined and had draft choices revoked on top of it, plus they still have to dump contracts to get under the salary cap.

it's hard to put a value on all of that. How much is a first round draft pick worth in dollars? But you could argue Kovalchuk will, when its all said and done, cost the Devils somewhere between $150 million and $200 million in salary, fines, prospects, draft picks and players. And it's quite likely that he won't put another body in a seat in the notoriously fickle New Jersey hockey market.

Unless Kovalchuk turns into Mario Lemieux, he can't possibly be worth all this. It's like the Devils got on a speeding bus and just couldn't get off.

Perhaps they hoped Bettman would let them off the hook after Bloch ruled Jersey hadn't intentionally circumvented the salary cap. But the commissioner really couldn't. For starters, teams were clamouring for him to take action. He'd fined the Leafs $500,000 and taken away a fourth round pick for messing with the contract of a middling defenceman named Jonas Frogren. He'd hammered the St. Louis Blues back in 1999 for tampering five years earlier with Devils defenceman Scott Stevens, fining the Blues $1.5 million and taking away two first round picks, effectively.

There was just no chance the Devils were going to get away without punishment. In fact, it could have been worse. Under the collective bargaining agreement, they stood to lose the same amount in cap space that they were fined, a nightmarish prospect given that they are already over the cap. But as part of the larger, complicated deal that allowed Kovalchuk's contract to be approved and new CBA rules to be installed making it more difficult to sign these kinds of contracts, the league and union agreed that the Devils wouldn't be fined more than $3 million and there wouldn't be any salary cap implications.

So, yes, it could have been worse for the Devils.

The likely outcome at today's board of governors meetings will be a brief discussion, and then on to other business. If the Devils try and pursue this much further, they risk becoming the kind of renegades they were perceived to be back in the 1988 playoffs when Jim Schoenfeld told Don Koharski to have another doughnut.

They can scream about the Bruins, Canucks, Flyers, Red Wings and Hawks getting away with the very same crime for which they are being punishment, and they won't be wrong.

But it won't get them anywhere, leaving them married for the next 15 years to a player who, unless he becomes a hockey version of Peyton Manning or Kobe Bryant overnight, can't possibly deliver value for the cost of acquisition.

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I agree. Not because I feel they are innocent, but compared to similar deals in the past, which the NHL not only didn't punish teams but allowed the contracts to go into effect; simply not allowing the Kovalchuk contract was enough punishment. If anyone deserved a harsh punishment, it was the first GMs to try and pull this sort of thing (I'm not sure exactly who the first was, especially since it happened fairly gradually). But by allowing the previous contracts, the NHL was giving some sort of signal that this form of cap circumvention was okay. Now NJ took it a step further, but there's no way that the small difference between the Hossa and Kovulchuk deals is big enough to justify cancelling the contract plus a large fine plus lost draft picks. This seems like in a court of law if one guy steals $100 and his "punishment" is a supposed investigation (and he gets to keep the money), but then his friend steals $120 a year later and has to give the money back and gets sent to jail for 20 years.

NJ is guilty, and I don't feel the punishment is unfair, except that the NHL seemed to signal it was okay in the past. I'm glad the Kovalchuk contract was cancelled, the NHL had to draw the line somewhere. Were it not for the Hossa type deals in the past few years, I'd be 100% in favour of this punishment, were this Kovulchuk front-loaded contract some novel idea, yes NJ should pay. But the NHL can't allow something once and then punish it so harshly the next time when someone else tries it. So cancel the contract, give a firm warning future contracts like this will result in punishment, and move on.

I have a feeling this may have been partially to please the NHLPA. The NHL got some pretty major concessions from them becaues they had the power to cancel Kovalchuk's contract. It probably helps from a PR standpoint to show it isn't just the NHL vs players, but that they are also willing to take the owners to task.

QFT-I think this fine reflects how disorganized and not in control the NHL is of this situation.

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True Graeme,agree...but I thinking now,finally after all is said & done here...will make GM's think twice before trying to pull one over on the weasel down the road.....trying to find a loop hole sometimes will back fire....just ask Lou.

The devils were used as an example/deterant so to speak....just my thought.

I'm not really sure that's necessary though, since the loophole has been more or less plugged. Plus, the NHL giving a warning this sort of punishment (or worse) would happen to future GMs trying this would probably stop most from doing it. I mean, it may be the NHL warned GMs in the past, but this warning would be hard to take seriously when you keep approving the deals. Now the NHL has the rejection to prove they are serious.

As I said before, I have no problem with punshing GMs who circumvent the cap, and NJ clearly falls in that category. It's just the inconsistency that bothers me.

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The NHL has decided to place a pretty hefty fine on the NJD for circumvention of the NHL Salary Cap.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=333690

Don't know if I'm the only one, but I think this is absolutely absurd. Thoughts?

I agree I think it is horrible what they have hit the Devils with. I have a feeling this may make some owners and players a little uneasy.

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I'm not really sure that's necessary though, since the loophole has been more or less plugged. Plus, the NHL giving a warning this sort of punishment (or worse) would happen to future GMs trying this would probably stop most from doing it. I mean, it may be the NHL warned GMs in the past, but this warning would be hard to take seriously when you keep approving the deals. Now the NHL has the rejection to prove they are serious.

As I said before, I have no problem with punshing GMs who circumvent the cap, and NJ clearly falls in that category. It's just the inconsistency that bothers me.

The punishment and the closure of the loophole are unrelated, though... Or, well... They ARE related in that this particular deal opened the way for the NHL to close said loophole, but the punishment was coming prior to the agreement of reopening the CBA, wasn't it? :unsure: I also think, according to what Damien Cox had to say, that a lot of general managers may have wanted Bettman to punish the Devils. As the NHL has commented previously, they were investigating these other deals (Hossa, Luongo, etc.), but the Kovalchuk deal was the deal that went beyond those and allowed the NHL to have an independent arbitrator rule in their favour that this deal circumvented the cap. New Jersey may have been punished heavily, but Cox also lists a few other examples of the NHL handing out punishment over the past decade.

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Perfect case of making an example out of someone. Should they of been punished? Sure. You knew that was inevitable when the legue ruled against them. But 3 mill and a first and 3rd round draft?

I'm fine with the 3 million but the third round draft? That's a bit harsh and yes they got made an example of, so obviously they didn't deserve it but it had to happen to somebody, so the devils suffered. And just a question... who will that third round pick be awarded too, i'm pretty sure the league can't draft players.

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I think what really should have been done was a statement being made that "from henceforth, we (the NHL) will punish teams acting in such a way by the following means:", thus avoiding the need to 'set an example'. Unless I am missing something, the Devils were by no means made aware of the possible punishment they could face, especially since they were just following the path created by multiple teams before them. I think Graeme said it best when disallowing the contract was punishment enough.

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I think what really should have been done was a statement being made that "from henceforth, we (the NHL) will punish teams acting in such a way by the following means:", thus avoiding the need to 'set an example'. Unless I am missing something, the Devils were by no means made aware of the possible punishment they could face, especially since they were just following the path created by multiple teams before them. I think Graeme said it best when disallowing the contract was punishment enough.

JEEZ! You all sound like Jersey fans! :P:lol: Shouldn't the general managers been aware that the NHL was looking into these types of contracts? I mean, it seems everyone else was aware that the NHL hated these deals, was investigting the ones that came before, and was trying to find a way to stop them from happening. if NJ wanted to be bold and take those types of deals to the next level with the most ridiculous contract ever, then it's their own fault for taking the risk. NJ weren't just innocent victims in this whole thing.

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JEEZ! You all sound like Jersey fans! :P:lol: Shouldn't the general managers been aware that the NHL was looking into these types of contracts? I mean, it seems everyone else was aware that the NHL hated these deals, was investigting the ones that came before, and was trying to find a way to stop them from happening. if NJ wanted to be bold and take those types of deals to the next level with the most ridiculous contract ever, then it's their own fault for taking the risk. NJ weren't just innocent victims in this whole thing.

But a first and a third round pick? Even if they did know that the NHL was looking into these deals, I can't imagine that anybody would have reasonably forecast this level of punishment. Besides, why not fine the Blackhawks, Canucks, Bruins, Red Wings, etc. for making the exact same deals? Maybe not to the same degree, since they weren't quite as obvious, but there's no arguing that they intentionally violated the cap in the exact same way that Jersey did.

Honestly, this just seems petty to me. Lou Lamoriello has a history of 'bending' the rules as much as he can, and as Bob McKenzie reported the other GMs and owners put pressure on the league to step in and punish this deal. If it had been any other GM I seriously doubt that the consequences would have been anywhere near this severe, and that's just blatantly unfair.

It's no different than how an enforcer or agitator is going to get suspended twice as long for the exact same infraction as a 'nice guy' or a star player. It's all about reputation.

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