The league is looking into whether Marian Hossa’s contract with Chicago had some sort of illegal intent to its structuring. I think the league has better options than actively policing such problematic occurences.

It’s called prevention.

Does anybody know if such an action would circumvent the rights of a player as outlined in the NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement? I think it’s practical not only to the hockey clubs but also to the player as well.

Chris Chelios did it that way.

Joe Sakic did it that way.

Perhaps there’s some sort of legal riff raff from the NHLPA that says that players and agents have a right to financial and personal security by signing long term deals, but perhaps the nature and extent of “long term” should be more clearly defined. It is a contact sport after all, and even guys who don’t actively get involved in the “rough stuff” such as boardplay and hitting still get hurt in different ways.

Such as Rick DiPietro.

Such as Marian Hossa.

In such a case, I would say that the NHL should put a limit to the age to which a player can sign “long term” deals. Such as, you cannot sign a contract longer than 5 years between the ages of 30 and 35, and you can’t sign a deal longer than 5 years that stretches past the age of 35. Also in effect could be a 2 year contract length limit to all contracts signed after the age of 35. This not only eliminates all illegal possibilities a la Hossa/Chicago and also removes the possibility of a player accidentally counting against the cap in their oft-injured and less productive years, a la Vladimir Malakhov.

It would make a lot of cap decisions easier and eliminate the recent trend of locking up players to ridiculous contracts that make little sense in the long run (I’m looking at you, Daniel Briere).