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Ilya Kovalchuk And Salary Caps

At SB Nation Proper they point out a post on our Predators blog lambasting the obviousness with which the crown jewel of the NHL's free agent season flouted hockey's salary cap rules. Coming from a baseball background I admit a certain unfamiliarity with the rules of salary-capped sports, although the NHL's rules don't seem nearly so arcane as the NBA's; I think at some point an NBA team might acquire Ilya Kovalchuk in exchange for Jamal Mashburn's expiring contract and two picks in the NFL Draft.

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But it seems clear to me that if a league must have a salary cap, it must also be prepared to keep machinations as transparent as the ones that will pay Kovalchuk $550,000 from 2022 to 2027 from interfering with it. If you want to pay Kovalchuk $12 million a year for five years, and the Devils clearly do, than do it, by all means; but teams should be prepared to deal with those ramifications instead of adding six years to the contract as a glorified sinecure to keep cap space free. 

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On a related note, the Cardinals might actually have to sign Albert Pujols to a 17-year contract. 

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