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Dreger: NHL, NHLPA must make it clear what is acceptable

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Darren Dreger
9/1/2010 6:45:09 PM
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Unless the NHL and the NHLPA do something to clarify what is or isn't acceptable, the issue of long-term contracts and the circumventions of the CBA and salary cap won't go away.

The fact that the NHL/NHLPA issued a joint release extending the deadline to determine the validity of Ilya Kovalchuk's contract suggests to some that there are conversations going on behind the scenes that may lead to a global settlement of the entire mess.

It's hard to identify what might be included in such a mass settlement, but speculation suggests the league and the players association are discussing both, whether they can agree on specific rules going forward that clearly define what is and what isn't permitted in terms of contract structure on long-term deals, and also where the ongoing investigations into other contracts such as Roberto Luongo's and Marian Hossa's might lead.

Any rule changes or amendments would require a vote by the NHLPA's 30-member player board.  However, it's believed the NHL is very interested in establishing new rules that will create clarity and certainty for all teams, players and player agents, perhaps putting to an end the long-term deals that present a structure that is seemingly designed to evade or avoid the restrictions intended to be imposed by the salary cap.

Ilya Kovalchuk (Photo: Getty Images)

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(Photo: Getty Images)
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