Long Term Deals Being Probed
August 2, 2009 by Big Tony
ESPN is reporting that the long term deals recently signed by Marian Hossa in Chicago and Chris Pronger in Philadelphia are being investigated by the NHL. In short the league is considering whether the two players were asked about when they would retire in order to front load a long-term deal to circumvent the salary cap. In my view no matter what these probes turn up the two aforementioned deals along with contracts worked with some Detroit Red Wing players are obviously to get around the salary cap. This rule bending simply needs to stop. At the end of the day the salary cap’s intention is to give medium to small market teams a chance to field championship caliber teams and by making these long term deals the rich teams are simply doing what they’ve always done and spending their way to the top. If the richer teams continue to do that the viability of the league as a whole is in jeopardy and that’s not good for any time. Some argue that the viability of the league generally is an issue for the league officials to deal with and that individual teams have a responsibility to do what they can to win and that’s it. However, in reality “bending” the rules designed to make and keep the league prosperous hurts everyone including the teams on top no matter how many playoff appearances or championships they may bring in. More teams in contention in more cities means better U.S. TV deals and higher sales of merchandise which means more money for everyone consistently over the long haul. So to the big market GMs of the world think about the long term consequences of your actions before you decide to upset the balance by bending the rules to get a competitive edge.