Well, now we think we know why Lou Lamoriello didn’t cough up the 29th overall draft pick in 2012.
The fix was already in.
What else are we supposed to read into today’s asinine decision by the NHL to rescind two elements of the punishment it imposed on Lamoriello’s New Jersey Devils for circumventing salary cap rules with a front-loaded 17-year contract for Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010?
The league sent a clear message that year by fining the Devils $3 million, and forcing them to forfeit a third round pick in 2011 as well as a first rounder in one of next four drafts, that it would not tolerate contracts tailored to unreasonably lessen cap hits late in the deal’s term. It was a harsh sanction at the time, especially since there were no specific rules prohibiting that type of activity in the CBA, but it was widely applauded around the league because, hey, no one likes a chiseler, am I right?
And then, four years later, we get this. Today it was revealed that the league has rescinded $1.5 million of the fine and, instead of stripping that first rounder, it will now force the Devils to select 30th overall in the 2014 draft.
Really? What kind of Mickey Mouse decision is that?