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Jacobs: Circumvention, demoting big contracts both costly games

09.29.10 at 4:17 pm ET
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This summer, it came to light that the Bruins were among the teams accused by the league of circumventing the salary cap with the signing of Marc Savard to a seven-year, $28.5 million deal. Though the deal was structured so that the latter years of the deal carried lower salaries and thus brought the overall cap hit down, it does not go past his 40th birthday and seemed to be a far cry from the 17-year Ilya Kovalchuk deal that was rejected before being tinkered with and finally accepted in an agreement that dropped the Savard investigation.

“I think they threw out a wide net and tried to be as inclusive as possible of everyone that they thought had extended contracts,” Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs said. “Whether they thought it was fair or not, I don’t know, but I didn’t feel there was any problem with it.  If we have to stand scrutiny, that’s what we have to do.

“I think all the contracts have to be looked at that way, and at least from Boston’s standpoint, I think the commissioner made a valued judgement on this and I think clearly the arbitrator agreed on the Kovalchuk one, so he was right there, but fortunately he put an end to it. It was a very expensive situation, though.”

As for how the team will approach deals in the future, even with the NHLPA and the league reaching an agreement to prevent future circumvention, Jacobs noted that there’s still plenty of reason to be cautious with contracts and how they fit within the CBA.

“I think Boston is going to be a lot more sensitive to that,” Jacobs said. “Boston’s going to be very aware of the circumvention areas, and there’s a lot of things that can go into that terminology, circumvention. We’re sensitive to it.”

Jacobs had a few other interesting comments during his media scrum, with the Rangers’ demotion of Wade Redden bringing up the possibility of the Bruins sending a big-money player to the AHL when Marco Sturm and Marc Savard return from long-term injured reserve.

“Hopefully we’re not doing that,” Jacobs said, noting in the process that the team has done so with Peter Schaefer in the past.
Though Michael Ryder‘s name was not brought up, speculation ran rampant in the offseason that Ryder could realize a similar fate to get his $4 million cap hit out of the picture. Jacobs said that the team would “like to be a little more fiscally responsible” than to have one of its higher-paid players lacing up in Providence. In the end, Jacobs said that if the team were to make a move similar to the one the Rangers did, it would be general manager Peter Chiarelli‘s call.
“He’s got to win, that’s what it’s about,” Jacobs said. “But these people are already in your inventory. You’re paying them one way or another. I think he’s flushed with some very talented young players. I know that’s the way I see it. I know that’s the way he sees it, and he’s got to give them exposure some way or another. How he brings them up is going to be difficult, perhaps.”
Read More: Jeremy Jacobs, Marc Savard, Michael Ryder,
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