Friday, July 31, 2009

Dudley Jumped Ship at the Right Time

More bad news for the Blackhawks front office. According to TSN, the NHL is investigating Hossa's new 12 year contract with Chicago to determine whether or not it improperly circumvents the CBA.

What the Hawks did was pretty transparent. Hossa's deal pays him almost 8 million per year for the next seven seasons, but the team will only feel a 5.5 million dollar cap hit. The reason for that is that Hossa's salary drops to 4 million a year for the 2016-2017 season, then to less than 1 million a year for the final 4 years of his contract.

Now, you could look at that and say that it makes sense to build in a declining salary for a player whose skill will be declining as he ages. Indeed, Hoss will be 42 by the time this contract expires. And if the Blackhawks honestly intended for the Magician to play in Chicago until the ripe old age of 42, there would be nothing wrong with that.

The problem comes in when you figure that Dale Talon probably had a good little chuckle to themselves about signing a contract for 12 years with a player who will probably retire in 8 years at the most. That means the Hawks get Hossa's services for the next 8 years, paying him a pretty fair market value of 7.9 million a year for most of that time, but only have to suffer a 5.5 million dollar cap hit thanks to those four years when the only Blackhawks games Hossa is likely to see are the ones he watches on plasma tv from a castle in Slovakia.

Loopholes are there to be exploited. Unless the league and NHLPA built in a "spirit of the law" type anti-circumvention clause in the CBA, this type of deal is shady, but not illegal. Since TSN is indicating that there is a risk of $5 million in fines and a loss of draft picks, there must be some kind of clause in there with that specific penalty.

For the Chronicle, I'm Razor Catch Prey.


Mr. Speaker said...

Perhaps they could settle this by forcing the cap hit to remain on the books, but at a diminished value (a la buyouts) when Hossa is sure to retire in 6 or 7 years because his fragile shoulder can't take anymore abuse?

Definitely shady and pretty obvious that there was intent to use this loophole to their advantage. I really don't understand why there is a limit on length of contracts. Honestly, unless a player is under 25, anything above 8 years seems foolish and absurd.

Here ends the rant.

Mr. Speaker said...

Oooops, that should read: "why there ISN'T a limit..."

Humble apologies for the typo.

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