Talk about crazy! I could not believe what I was reading when the Devils signed Kovalchuk to a 17 year contract. I thought Lou must have gone crazy. Then I started to see details and didn’t like what I saw right away. I know Pronger, Hossa, and others have contracts that back down on money at the end to lower the average cap hit, but not 7 years worth! That length is the SAME LENGTH as Pronger’s entire deal! Maybe if they had a 27 year deal with the last 17 years at $500k, they could have really lowered his average price? And that is the problem. For over 1/3 of the contract term he was earning 3% of the contract value.
So now how can they fix this in the next CBA and make it more fair for all? Here is my idea. Take the salary cap number to be the average of the preceding year, current year and next year of the contract. For teams that resign a young player, they could have an advantage since they paid him less the year before. That would cut down on some movement and allow teams to develop more players for longer. For guys that sign with a new team, their cap number is the average of the first 3 years. For contracts with less than 3 years remaining, it is the average of the rest of the contract. Alright I know there are some cases I am missing here, but you get the idea and the NHL and NHLPA can work out the rest. No more front loading or back dumping contracts. Sign the guy, pay him, and count his salary against the cap. Also give teams with young cores the chance to keep the young guys for one more contract.
Good Night and Good Hockey!
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