For those of you that don't know, one Mr. Ilya Kovalchuk, signed, on July 19, a 17-year, $102 million deal with the New Jersey Devils. It has since been rejected by the NHL, contested by the NHLPA, and taken to the offices of arbitrator Richard Bloch to settle.
So I'm not gonna say that I'm particularly a fan of Mr. Kovalchuk's monster 17-year deal, mainly because I think that, when it comes to sports, tying yourself down for 17 years is kind of pathetic. I mean, people don't know what's going to happen in the next few years (Case in point: the Tampa Bay Lightning in the years between the 03-04 season and the 07-08 campaign, when they went from rank 1 and the Stanley Cup to rank 15 and the toilet), let alone the next 17 years. Don't get me wrong, I respect the Devils front office; they must be doing something right to have created and maintained a respectable hockey giant. But, they have done so in a very defensive manner, centering their team around one Martin Brodeur who is already past his prime, and unlikely to maintain his level of play for the next five years, let alone seventeen. And, again, while acquiring one of the top and most consistent scorers in the NHL is one of the biggest steps a team could take towards becoming a more offensive team, from Kovalchuk's point of view this does not seem quite as alluring.
However I will support his decision considering the fact that he is the most sought after free agent on the market, and thus probably had more qualified people brainstorming ideas (and electing this one) than most people even know in their lives. And also, from a not-as-business-related side, he, that is, Ilya Kovalchuk, the guy who the deal effects, seems to actually want it. So I'll respect what he wants to do with his life.
So, to sum up the past two paragraphs, while I agree with Kovalchuk's decision to stay with the Devils, but disagree with the terms of said deal, I think Kovalchuk should get the deal.
It's been reported that a decision from Richard Bloch is expected by next Monday. Let's see who will have more depressed people: New Jersey or L.A.
Meanwhile, a giant meter showing the chances of resurrecting the Winnipeg Jets seems to be inching closer and closer to the line labeled "100%."