There seems to be a lot of indignation out there in the hockey related Twitter world over the Kovy contract's rejection by the arbitrator. I don't understand why, other than everyone having their egos bruised because they predicted it would go the other way.
Look, when you set out to structure a contract with the thought in your head "let's see, how can we put this thing together so that we get a great player and pay him what he wants but don't have to suffer the consequences of a large cap hit under the CBA?" then you shouldn't be surprised when the league calls "balk."
The league should have taken a stand on Hossa. Should have taken a stand on Luongo. Maybe even should have taken a stand on Briere.
This kind of situation happens all the time in law. People try creative things to get around the law. A lot of times the authorities let it go for a while until they are so offended by someone's brash flaunting of it, that they feel they have to drop the hammer on them.
That's exactly what was done here. It's no secret (to anyone but Alan Walsh, who doesn't seem to understand much) that the CBA is in place to protect the owners from themselves and their GM's. They don't police themselves, so they get together and have the league do it for them.
The teams from large markets with deeper pockets will always try to use that to their advantage by finding ways to throw more money than other teams at players to lure them away from small markets. It is a fact of life, and if any league in any sport wants parity, they have to find a way to prevent it.
Circumventing the CBA circumvents parity, plain and simple. Columbus, Atlanta, and Edmonton can't sign players to deals like the Kovy, Hossa, and Luongo deal despite the lowered cap hit because they don't have the cash to pay out 9 million per year, whether it "counts" as that much on the cap or not. So teams like New Jersey, Vancouver, and Chicago circumventing the cap to allow them to use their greater revenue to bring in more expensive talent than small market teams violates the spirit of the law.