So arbitrator Richard Bloch’s ruling that Ilya Kovalchuk’s deal with the Devil(s) is null and void because it circumvents the integrity of the collective bargaining agreement was a blow to the NHL. I for one thought it surprising in that the NHL let this go on with others (see Luongo, Hossa, Pronger, Zetterberg etc.) although not quite to this extent. It figured they couldn’t just say something like “Ok this is getting out of hand NOW” and get away with it, but apparently they have.
Amongst the revelations is that due to Mr. Bloch’s ruling the NHL is still investigating other contracts of a similar nature. Canucks GM Mike Gillis has admitted the NHL has contacted them on an on-going basis regarding Luongo’s deal and it seems Pronger and Hossa are also still being investigated.
How crazy would it be if with this ruling in their back pocket the NHL voided deals such as Pronger’s, Hossa’s and Luongo’s. How crazy would it be if these players ended up free agents again and would anyone have room to add them? My bet is these were rubber stamped originally and after playing a year of the agreement it is hard to take the contract away. Although I’m betting quietly behind closed doors Hawks GM Stan Bowman wouldn’t fight it.