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Reported NHL/NHLPA agreement could end Marc Savard saga

09.03.10 at 2:46 pm ET
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According to a tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger, an agreement has been reached between the NHL and the NHLPA on a revision to the calculation of salary cap hits. As part of the settlement that has been agreed upon, the latest Ilya Kovalchuk contract proposal will be approved and, if previous reports prove consistent, so-called “retirement contracts” being investigated will be grandfathered.

Dreger tweets that the two sides are working to file the necessary paperwork on the revision by 5 p.m. Friday, the NHL’s deadline for the players’ association to accept their terms.

Previously, a player’s cap hit was calculated simply by dividing the contracts total money by the years of the deal. Teams found a loophole and capitalized on it by paying players big money up front and tacking on additional years for very little money. This meant a player would still get the high salaries they demanded while the team would have a managable cap hit.

Marc Savard‘s contact was viewed as such by the league, as the seven-year, $28.5 million pact paid far more up front than it did over the rest of its life (more than half the money is being paid out in the first two seasons, but his cap hit will be just $4.007 million).

The new rules will make it so that a player’s cap hit is calculated the same way as before, but with only years until the player’s 40th birthday counted. This prevents teams from dramatically lowering a highly paid player’s cap hit. For what it’s worth, Savard’s deal, which has been under investigation since December, would expire less than a month before his 40th birthday and would not be deemed illegal even by the new rules.

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