The National Hockey League is crazy. Nothing shows that more than yesterday’s signing by the New Jersey Devils of left winger Ilya Kovalchuk to a $102 million, 17-year contract, another example of the limitations posed by the hard salary cap in the sport.
The enormity of Kovalchuk’s signing, as well as other stars like the Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa and his 12-year contract, is something that boggles my mind, as I grew up caring mostly about baseball and, to a far lesser extent, football, where $100 million deals are the norm, and usually are spaced out over five years. I understand the salary cap in hockey is tough, as displayed the rash of trades made by the Blackhawks since winning the Stanley Cup, but this just seems absurd to me.
Of course, this can always prove to be a shrewd signing by Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello, as Kovalchuk has been the league’s leading scorer since 2001. But, y’know, sports stars can age very quickly. Tack on nearly two more decades and this deal could sour quickly.
But I’ll just have to get used to these things if I want to expand my sports horizons. Because there’s no way in hell I’m going to put up with this crap.