Marion Hossa’s Contract Under Investigation

The NHL contract police are after Marion Hossa and the Chicago Blackhawks. They apparently aren’t thrilled with the 12 year term a and how the final years of the contract are at a greatly reduced rate; 1st 7 years at $7.9 million, and down to $750,000 in the last 2 years. Hossa’s salary cap number is $5.23 million. The NHL is looking to see if either side had talked about retirement during the negotiations.

If the Hossa and the Hawks had discussed when Hossa might retire (before the his 12 years are up), the Hawks could face a up to a $5 million fine and loss of draft picks.

“The NHL is looking to put a damper on these 10-plus-year contracts with throwaway years tacked on at the end,” a league executive told the paper. “They are building a strong case against Chicago to make an example of them. This issue won’t just go away. Lots of other GMs are supporting the league here.”

I’m pretty sure that Hossa’s retirement had been discussed at some point, and the same with all the other long contracts that have been given out lately, most of them have reduced rates in the final years. Did the NHL just make up this rule about talking about retirement during contract talks for this situation? If it’s not in any previous rules, how are they breaking them, and subject to the fine and loss of picks? Looks like another hair brained idea from the NHL to go along with successful hockey markets like Phoenix.


  1. #1 by Derek at July 31st, 2009

    There is a valid point here. What’s to stop teams from signing players to even longer, front end loaded contracts to circumvent the salary cap? They should be looking at the Pronger deal too. 525 000 in the last 2 years when he’ll be about 40 and likely to retire…

  2. #2 by Jeff at August 2nd, 2009

    The League made the rules, and they have to live by them. They’ve approved all of these contracts.

    They are so disorganized there, it is embarrassing.

  3. #3 by Derek at August 2nd, 2009

    I see a simple answer. Make whatever the contract pays per year count against the cap that year instead of averaging it out for the duration. Presto…

  4. #4 by Jeff at August 2nd, 2009

    Any changes have to be collectively bargained.

  5. #5 by Dave at August 10th, 2009

    This is a non-issue. Hossa already retired. During the Stanley Cup finals this year against Pittsburgh.

  6. #6 by Jeff at August 10th, 2009

    That is hilarious.

    Though to be fair, he was playing hurt.

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