The NHL wants to eliminate such "retirement contracts" and challenged this one after allowing others to stand.I suppose that this was the final straw that broke the NHL camel's back. It was clear to everyone that the contract was front loaded so badly and that Kovalchuk couldn't possibly play at age 44 that something else was going on.
The bigger question to be asked is "Where is the outrage?" from the NHLPA? With help from trusted radio and TV personalities, they have helped shape the position of the league for once and shed the light on the fact that the contract in question only benefits Kovalchuk and his agent. It's a selfish contract to which other potential players may get buried deep in the AHL to avoid salary cap penalties.
Kovalchuk dismissed money as a main factor in his decision to stay with New Jersey. He instead cited long-term security for him and his family and the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup with an organization that boasts three titles in 15 seasons.Sure, Ilya may have the desire to put a championship ring on his finger, but it is all too transparent to be a mirrored comparison to basketball's LeBron James. He couldn't win a championship on his own, so he has to sell out. But with one last hope that fans can hold on to is that the NHL was built with honorable men and women. So, should the Devils contract hold up to final scrutiny, the fans will most certainly remember and know better.
[Via: Rogers Sportsnet]