Apparently, It’s Ok To Sign A 17 Year Deal In The NHL

If you haven’t noticed, I’m not very up on the hockey scene. But I gotta say, I just can’t believe that signing a player to a 17 year contract is the norm in the NHL. If it is, well I’m just showing you just how much I don’t follow the NHL. And if it isn’t, well it isn’t.

No matter if it’s the norm or not, the real story here is that it actually happened today as Ilya Kovalchuk agreed to a 17 year contract to return to the New Jersey Devils.

Madness I tell you. Madness.

Kovalchuk has signed a 17-year deal which could top $100 million, a source told’s Scott Burnside. The source initially reported the amount as $150 million.

“This was a long arduous process that has taken frankly a little longer than I thought,” agent Jay Grossman said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “But you know what, nothing is worth anything unless you work for it. I can tell you he is very happy to be with the New Jersey Devils.”

Kovalchuk is already 27 so I’m not sure that New Jersey took into account that they could quite possibly have a 44-year-old skating around for them 17 years from now. But I guess that is a reason for someone who could care less either way to get fired up about a contract that will last almost forever.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    hockey is so fucked, there salary cap is so low that in order for players to get 100 million dollar contracts, they need to play till there 50 lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    No sportsman should get 100 million, that is fucked

  3. It's absurd (and, unlike you I DO know quite a bit about hockey). First of all, no way is Kovalchuk going to play for 17 more years. He is NOT Gordie Howe or Chris Chelios. Second, did the powers-that-be in New Jersey not learn ANYTHING from the mistakes made on the Island? One long term, high dollar contact resulted in a player with no desire to play and the other locked them into a "franchise" goalie who can't stay healthy.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. I wouldn't even sign Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechikin to a contact that long.

  4. waddywoos says:

    @teri – this is where knowledge of the CBA is useful. If a player signs a contract and is aged under 35 at the point that the contract comes into effect, then if at any point during the contract he chooses to retire then the money remaining on the contract is NOT counted against the salary cap at all (and nor is it payed to the player I believe although that may be different). Essentially kovalchuck just took a midsized paycut to ensure he was overpaid in the waning years of hie career when he won't be worth that average salary of around million a year, which is a pretty smart deal really.

    For the Devils its a calculated risk that can have a BIG reward. Right now, 6 million or so a year for kovalchuck is great value for a 50 goal scorer. The length of the contract isn't that bad as they're protected against him retiring as I said earlier, and if he continues to want to play while not being good enough to make the devils team then they can ship him to the AHL farm team where he makes alot less because of the CBA agreement over shifting payscales from the two leagues. The main thing is that they're bargaining 6 million a season now translates into the equivalent of 2-3 million a season in 10 years time; which isn't such a bad assumption to be honest.

    This works for both sides, and the NHL is very happy that a top player isn't moving to the KHL to join Nabokov in st.petersburg.

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