Monday, August 9, 2010
Suprised Over Ilya? Don't Be
I know what some of you are thinking: You see the picture above and you are thinking to yourself 'Can this Sabres fan just stop whining about the massive injustice from the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals?' Ok, trust me here, this isn't about that fateful night that still sticks in the minds of the most passionate Sabres fan.
OK, so what in the world does this picture have to do with the Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation?
If you look close, perhaps more then you might realize.
Let's go into the time travel machine back into the 1990's shall we? Plenty of goals were reviewed and reversed, some calls I am sure are still considered controversial (Bill Guerin's reversal as a member of the Devils against the Rangers in the 1997 NHL Playoffs come to mind right away), so the reviews were not perfect.
Then Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals arrived with a vengeance, and the powers that be in the NHL asylum were shaken to their knees, after blowing the call and potentially costing the Sabres a shot at Lord's Stanley. So what did the 'great minds' at the NHL do? Well, they had a knee jerk reaction of course! About 48 hours after No Goal, it amazed me that Bettman and Co were able to change the crease rule so fast based off of 1 really bad judgment.
If only the NHL acted so swiftly and diligent to get other rules changed for the betterment of the game, imagine the possibilities.
Again, are you asking yourself what does this have to do with the Ilya Kovalchuk ruling today? Stay with me, if you have not fallen asleep yet!
The average length of an NHL players career was studied and analyzed by the following website:
The basics? The average length of a career for a forward is 5.52 seasons, which if you are not paying attention, can flash before you and go before you know it. And since the new CBA has been in existence, the NHL teams have begun to offer lengthy NHL contracts. Shall we show a sample of just two?
Henrik Zetterberg: 12 years, 40 at expiration
Marian Hossa: 12 years, 40 at expiration
Remember we discussed that the average length of an NHL player is just over 5 years? Every single one of these contracts is considered a major risk, and why is Kovalchuk's any different? Oh wait, because the NHL does not like it, that is why! I wonder if Bettman's beloved Pittsburgh Penguins gave Kovy this contract, and paired Ilya with Gary's true love, Sidney Crosby, would the same knee jerk reaction be in play?
From this vantage point, I do not think so.
Did Devils GM Lou Lamoriello attempt to circumvent the salary cap for the betterment of his franchise? Of course he did, just like any great GM tries to do to help his team. Go look at the NFL and all the tricks the old San Francisco 49ers pulled while on their way to winning multiple Super Bowls. That is what great organizations do, but of course when the NHL feels like changing something but letting other obscene contacts like Marian Hossa stand, this is what happens.
And do not expect this to be the last knee jerk reaction from Darth Bettman, not by a long shot.
So now the top NHL Free Agent is a 'free agent' yet again, and we are creeping closer to Labor Day. What a surprise that the NHL has turned this into a circus.
And with a clown at the helm of the league, I expect more circus acts in the near future.