The Snowball Effect Begins

Yesterday evening, the NHL released the arbitrator’s decision in the Kovalchuk grievance. As predicted, the arbitrator sided with the NHL. So far this saga is continuing to prove another prediction I gave before Kovalchuk even re-signed with the Devils: Kovalchuk’s contract would be the apocalypse of it all. [For more information: Go To Inside Hockey]

Running with the arbitrator’s decision, the NHL has decided to go retroactive on all of those other contracts that were supposed to be the ‘precedent’ cases going for the NHLPA: Roberto Luongo, Marc Savard, Chris Pronger, and Marian Hossa.

Bloch said in the Kovalchuk ruling regarding the ‘precedent’ cases: “their structure has not escaped League notice: those (contracts) are being investigated currently with at least the possibility of a subsequent withdrawal of the registration.”

Can you imagine if all of those contracts are withdrawn from registration? All of those players would be without a contract and back on the market.

Luongo’s contract is the first to be hit, according to the Vancouver Sun: “Canuck general manager Mike Gillis confirmed in an email to the Vancouver Sun Monday night that the league is indeed studying Luongo’s 12-year, $64 million contract.”

In regards to Luongo’s contract, Bloch wrote:”[Luongo] has a 12-year agreement that will end when he is 43. After averaging some $7,000,000 per year for the first 9 years of the Agreement, Luongo will receive an average of about 1.2 million during his last 3 years, amounting to some 5.7% of the total compensation during that time period.”

James Mirtle of Globe and Mail wrote probably the scariest of all articles last night, dealing with the snowball effect of the rejection of Kovalchuk’s contract: Arbitrator rejects Kovalchuk deal.

While there are many that cheer the ruling against the Devils and Kovalchuk, they fail to see the bigger picture here…where all of this is leading to in the end: a 2012 lockout.

By going retroactive, as many have said, an all out war is about to happen in the NHL. I call it Armageddon.

Do I expect the next Kovalchuk contract to be approved? No. I expect it to be rejected again…no matter what it is.

I’m not sure the NHL understands what they’ve gotten themselves into by announcing that they are the ones with the power, not the players, not the union. People with power that try to oppress those underneath them can expect a civil war.

Think opression is a strong word? Here are a few definitions of the word:

There are several ways one can be oppressed.
One is by being treated with little respect, belittled, and dominated by someone who treats them cruelly: emotionally, physically or mentally.

Another way of being oppressed is by behaving towards them in a way that causes them to be ill with stress, or worry, or just to be of constant bother to them, almost wearing their sense of self worth down to nothing.

Oppression is not a good thing. When someone feels oppressed, they may be letting themselves be available to all kinds of manipulation, almost like brainwashing.

Manipulation…chew on that word for a moment. That’s exactly what is happening now. Manipulating these ‘retirement’ contracts, and possibly rejecting all of them.

While I am not in favor of these types of front-loaded long term contracts, I’m also not in favor of what is happening.

The lesser of the two evils is to allow the front-loaded contracts and re-shape the CBA in 2012. What’s wrong with waiting 2 years to correct the wrongs set out by the current CBA?

The extreme of the two evils is what is happening now.

The NHLPA is weak right now with no clear cut leader to lead them against the NHL. The NHL struck when the PA was at its weakest. Makes you wonder if those conspiracy theories surrounding Paul Kelly’s firing are all true.

Right now, if you are a hockey writer, this is probably going to be the hockey story of our lives…and it all started with Kovalchuk’s contract.

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