Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.


When was that?

Lou Lamoriello has been re-crowned Geniusest GM of NHL land. All hail Lou and his nimble side-stepping of the salary cap. And to the letter of the CBA, there is nothing to complain about. But if a clause that wasn't fully fleshed out, though its intent is crystal clear, allows Lou to slip his self-woven salary noose, then count me out of the cheering section.

Swapping Malakhov for Korolyuk isn't a problem, in my mind. The transaction put on show Lou's resourcefulness and flexibility. Trade one salary for another, while getting emergency call-up depth costing a first rounder as payment for the accommodation. Fine. The Sharks get a pick for dealing with the Devil.

What I have a problem with is Mogilny's contract getting wiped. Not that I would argue with an independent medical evaluation and its mountain stream purity. Nor would I argue with the fact that Mogilny's hip prevents him from playing in the NHL. Understood; Mogilny has a bum hip. I'm a huge fan of AlMo, but his physical abilities diminished beyond the point of utility while in the Blue & White. When exactly did Mogilny's ailment become "long term"?

The problem is that his hip prevented him from playing in the NHL last year too. Which raises the sarcastic question; Does Lou have to pay Alex for last year? Not to mention Mogilny's hip prevented him from being re-signed by the Maple Leafs after the 03-04 season. And if you accept the above statements as true, somehow Mogilny's hip didn't prevent Lou from offering him a $7 m contract.

The CBA directly addresses signing aging stars and is very explicit, if lacking in thoroughness, when dealing with the issue of those salaries applying to the salary cap. Player retires, counts against the cap. Play in the minors, counts against the cap. Get signed while injured and unable to play, GM gets out of jail free.

I guess the drafters of the CBA didn't think to include a "sentimental GM overpays for damaged goods" exclusion. Lou should be thanking his lucky stars, or Bettman or some over-worked and under-paid CBA proof-reader, because his biggest GM boo-boo just went bye-bye despite the intentions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

And let me just clarify that if it can be proven that Mogilny's long term injury somehow became long term while under contract with the Devils, rather than the condition existing prior to Lou signing Mogilny, I take everything back...and Lou is the geniusest.


  • At 10:59 PM, Blogger Alan Linquist said…

    You seem surprised and indignant that Lou managed to find a way out of this ugly spot. Indignant I can understand, but surprised?

    Dude knows his CBA. Many other teams would have been screwed if they were in New Jersey's position, but L.L. has a degree in Capology from the University of Fuck You I'll Do Whatever I Please.

    You can hate it, but you have to admit that it's impressive all the same.

  • At 8:47 AM, Blogger Alan Linquist said…

    I re-read your post this morning. As it turns out, you weren't surprised.

    My bad.

  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger ninja said…

    No worries. I'm just happy you are commenting.

    I am somewhat surprised that no one else thinks a pre-existing degenerative condition can be re-classified as "long term" and make cap hell go away.

    Why can't other veterans claim cumulative injuries from playing for 20 years as 'long term' injuries and save their team from the GM?

    Can Andreychuk's slowing legs be considered a long term injury preventing him from playing in the NHL last season?


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