Questions Regarding the Pending Kovalchuk Deal? You're not Alone

No one cares who answers them, but someone needs to answer some questions.

No, this post is not about Ilya Kovalchuk. His signing with the New Jersey Devils has little to do with the Minnesota Wild. However, the ramifications of the approval of this deal could have far reaching consequences to the league, and by extension, the Wild.

As reported on Wednesday by Larry Brooks of the New York post, the NHL issued an ultimatum to the NHLPA that if they agreed to amend the CBA, the deal would be approved. The stipulations the NHL wanted are:

1. That the cap hit on future multi-year contracts will not count any seasons that end with the player over 40 years of age. The cap hit would be calculated on the average of the salary up through age 40 only.

2. That the cap hit on future contracts longer than five years will be calculated under a formula granting additional weight to the five years with the highest salary.

Now, Brooks has close ties in the PA, so this is likely all true. It is not clear if this would be the final agreement by any means. However, without new details, let's assume it is the final deal.

The NHL says it will grandfather in the Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Roberto Luongo, and Marc Savard deals and no further contracts of this type will be allowed. So basically, the NHL is telling the teams, "You should have cheated before, because now you can't."

My questions, which I have no access to ask so I will put them out there for major media outlets to use:

1. Are only these four deals covered under the grandfather clause?

2. If all contracts previously signed are grandfathered in, how will this effect cap calculations? Will there need to be a pre-Kovalchuk contract and post-Kovalchuk contract line?

3. If previous contracts are not grandfathered in, how does that effect cap hit calculations? Does Mikko Koivu's cap hit change? Does any player's deal with years higher than others have a cap hit change coming?

4. Why 40 years old?

5. Would Chris Chelios' cap hit have been zero for this past season? Is that cap hit for any player over 40 (such as Mike Modano) zero dollars?

Of course, the answers to these questions would lead to follow up questions, but if anyone working for a big media outlet (looking at you Russo) would like to ask these, or similar, questions, it would be appreciated. Some of us are not allowed to ask these questions for fear we wake our mothers.

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