After years of harrumphing about (but ultimately approving) contracts that did not make a total mockery of the collective bargaining agreement but assuredly did stick out their tongues a little -- the
Surprisingly, at least to our way of thinking, an arbitrator ruled the NHL did have a leg to stand on.
In truth, the Devils had done nothing that other teams like Detroit (
This whole affair seemed so un-Devils like. Maybe Lamoriello, a grand admirer of the Montreal Canadiens dynasty teams, was just trying to emulate the late
But certainly the Kovalchuk contract case made for some strange bedfellows. The Players Association took up the player's -- and the Devils' -- cause by filing a grievance, which kicked off the proceedings that led to the decision Monday. So now we know: lions and lamb will lie down together.
Given Kovalchuk's effusiveness at the initial news conference about his apparent home until 2027, it would be a surprise if agent
Surely the NHL will work to tighten the language after the CBA expires in 2012. While many people viewed the league's new hard-line stance on the Kovalchuk contract as the first skirmish in the next negotiations, sometimes a cigar is just a smoke and a contract that plays faster and looser with the CBA than any of its predecessors is simply that.
The reason teams offer these kinds of contracts: they seem to work. The Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup final behind
Anyway, this story isn't over. Kovalchuk will need a re-written contract or, horrors, a new team. And the NHL can muss up the Devils a little with sanctions, if it so chooses. See, there are second acts in Russian lives.