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The Kovalchuk contract

The Newark Star-Ledger has the numbers on Ilya Kovalchuk's 17-year, $102-million contract and you should pick an adjective: Eye-popping, stunning, absurd, insane. All of the above. Here's the rundown:

2010-11 and 2011-12: $6 million each
2012-13 though 2016-17: $11.5 million each
2017-18: $10.5 million 
2018-19: $8.5 million 
2019-20: $6.5 million
2020-21: $3.5 million
2021-22: $750,000
2022-23: $550,000
2023-24: $550,000
2024-25: $550,000
2025-26: $550,000

What a joke. And no bright lights in the NHL office or among ownership figured teams will pull this charade? Why isn't the salary cap hit (just $6 million in this case) based on actual annual salary and not the average over the length of the deal? And why isn't there a limit on the number of years? 

Glad to see we needed a lockout for a full year to get these contracts under control.

Update: For more on the deal, read Bucky Gleason's column in today's paper.

---Mike Harrington


NHL free agency
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |