Only 7 years removed from an NHL lockout due to owners needing players to reduce their salaries so a profit can be made for their team, we are seeing huge contracts again. On Tuesday, the NHL players’ Association and the NHL only gently entered into talks for a new collective bargaining agreement. With negotiations only beginning these high salary deals remind us of frivolous high dollar amount spending begging these two questions.
1. Where are these NHL teams getting all this money to sign players?
2. Is there enough time to complete a deal between the two sides without having a lockout like the one that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season?
Heck, it was only 1972 just 40 years ago when two professional hockey players became widely remembered as hockey’s first millionaires. Derek Sanderson and Bobby Hull were those millionares who left the NHL to sign big contracts with the new World Hockey Association (WHA). Sanderson was only a millionaire on paper. His five-year, $2.65 million deal with the Philadelphia Blazers briefly made him the world’s richest athlete. But he played only a few WHA games before returning to the NHL, so he never collected his millions. Bobby Hull’s WHA contract was worth $2.75 million over ten years, with $1 million of it paid up front. So Hull qualifies as the first guy to make $1 million in a single year. No NHL salary came close to $1 million a year back then.
On Tuesday, the Nashville Predators matched the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet signed by Defenseman Shea Weber with the Philadelphia Flyers last week. Last month Sidney Crosby to signed a 12-year, $104 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. All this after the two year anniversary of the Staggering Illya Kovalchuk; $102 Million deal with the New Jersey Devils over 17 years.
What gives with all these millions? Oh, nothing. Just New Jersey taking a dump on the salary cap, and wiping its backside with the current CBA. So…with all of these Hundred million dollar deals what’s in store for the next CBA. The current CBA is set to expire on September 15, 2012.