Saturday, August 1, 2009

NHL Investigating Flyers

According to ESPN, the NHL is investigating the contract the Flyers recently gave to defensemen Chris Pronger. They are also looking into the contract given to the Blackhawks Marian Hossa. The NHL thinks the Flyers and Blackhawks may be trying to circumvent the collective bargaining agreement.

The NHL will hire a outside firm to see if the Flyers discussed when Pronger would retire as they were negotiating his contract. Pronger's deal will give him $7.6 million the first year and the second year; $7.2 million the third year; $7 million the fourth year; $4 million the fifth year; and $525 thousand in the final two years. Since the hit the Flyers will take on the cap is the average yearly salary of the contract, the Flyers will only have to absorb a little under $5 million a year.

The NHL believes that Pronger told the Flyers when he would like to retire, and the Flyers added on the extra few years so that the cap hit would be less. It is a clear lope hole in the collective bargaining agreement. The NHL is worried that these GMs (like Paul Holmgren) are using these front-loaded deals so that they would have more money under the cap.

I don' think the NHL could possibly prove their argument. How are they going to figure out how the Flyers negotiating the Pronger deal? The punishment for the Flyers could be fines and/or loss of draft picks..