My first fan post so please don't be too harsh
No I'm not here to discuss the voiding of the Kovalchuck contract. Enough people are and will be doing it for some time now. What Id like to do is ask the hockey minds if the NHLPA should have fought the Kovalchuk contract in the first place.
In my time visiting this site, Id like to say that there is a lot of very intelligent people who frequent this site with some very good opinions on hockey. Id like to ask you guys your opinion on this as for the life of me, if the NHLPA is really looking out for the majority of its members, I don't understand why they fought the Kovalchuk contract.
For a while I have been reading a lot of articles about how the biggest problem the players have with the current CBA is not just that it holds contracts down its the Escrow amount they hate. Pundits like Larry Brooks who styles himself as a Bettman hater and pro player keep on telling me how the Kchuck contract and the others not only are fair and don't circumvent the cap but they are also good for the players in general. As I understand it (And I might be wrong, part of the reason for this post) the Escrow is tied to money paid out not cap space. Because it is tied to the money paid out the players for the last couple of seasons have had to pay back the owners a large amount as the expenditures exceeded the amount the players are to get as per the CBA.
Kchucks contract is heavily front loaded, which means that at the beginning of the contract the $ spent on him would be higher than the cap hit. This means that the Devils (and others who have such deals) could spend more $ on that year than what the cap hit is. Therefore increasing the possibility of the whole players union having to pay back Escrow. Based on this and based on the fact that we all know that Kchuk (and others) was not going to play out the entire contract, wouldn't he by retiring early not ever give back (where his cap hit is more than the $ spent therefore making it less likely that Escrow would have to be paid) ?
To me by fighting the contract, it basically says that the NHLPA is more worried about the few superstars and their agents making as much $ as possible at the expense of the other players all having a better chance to give the league back $ through Escrow. Stars account for at most 4 or 5 players per team.
Unless you are telling me that the intent was to give all other players (except rookies who fall under separate rules) the same type of cap circumventing contract that few stars have been able to get (Good luck on somebody like Gervais or Sim negotiating a deal like that), then it really is against what I would consider union like behavior and more of a Pro star and agent conclave. And if that's the purpose that still means that Everybody still likely has to pay Escrow. If I'm Kchuk (or insert other big name star) and I have to give back lets say 5% of my earnings I might be ok with it. But if I'm making league minimum and only might play 5 or 6 years in the league and I'm giving back 5% so KChuck can have 100 Million and retire early..... I have a huge issue with my union.
My biggest problem with this is that I am not an Economics expert or a CBA expert but somehow none of the so called NHL experts have brought up the fact that these contracts screw over the little guy in the union (or basically everyone that's not a star) Am I missing anything? Id really like to know your opinions on this.
On to the second part of my post. If the NHLPA wanted to fight what I think is a good fight for them to fight, I think (and I might be wrong, asking for opinions) I think they should fight the whole lets bury our mistakes in the minors. (Also known as the Redden). Now I'm not going to defend any other players that seem rumoured to be sent down to the minors (Redden, Huet, Finger, last years Witt, those are the ones that come to mind), they are all overpaid. But are they getting sent down because their respective GM's are all idiots for overpaying, or are they getting sent down because there really is an option on the roster (not one you brought along counting on that freed cap space) that's better than them. Why should Wade Redden have to ride the bus in the AHL because Sather is an idiot and now wants a do over? Now I know they technically are allowed to do this under the CBA, but why isn't the NHLPA at least making noise that if you want to get rid of our members, we have negotiated a mechanism (The buyout) and we will instruct our players to not sign UFA deals with said team who does this. After all if they do it to Redden, or Huet, or Finger, why not Cambell, or Drury, or Briere or anybody who at some point is not playing up to their contracts? You sign people to ridiculous contracts, live with them. I say that at 6+ million Redden is a horrible player but at lets say 1 or 2 million a year he is still an NHL player. Now I know the second part is not clear cut a win for the players but to me is a issue worth an unions time (good of the whole instead of good of the least) much more than Kchuck which is clearly not good for most of the union.
Am I missing something? Why isn't anybody in the media telling me a clear reason why the NHLPA should fight that contract?
Thank you guys in advance.