The NHL is truly the worst run Sports League in North America. They make up the rules, and then when clever GM’s figure out a way around the rules the get upset and want to re-change the rules so things go their way. Case in point the new NHL salary cap.
In most leagues a contract counts against the cap in equal installments over the life of the contract. For example if a NFL player signs a 10 million 5 year contract each season his contract counts 2 million dollars against the cap. In the NHL the money counts against the cap s an average per year of the entire contract. For example if a player signed a two year deal where he was paid 2 million in year one, and 3 million in year two his contract would count 2.5 million against the cap in each year.
Of course this system has now been manipulated by clever GM’s. They sign long term deals of 10 or more years that are front laoded, meaning the player is making all of his money in the first three years of the deal, and then the rest of the years are at a million dollars or less. This keeps their cap number very low, and the NHL apparently doesn’t like getting out smarted in this way.
The Red Wings signed two such deals like this before the season ended, and now the NHL is investigating the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Philadelphia Flyers for their deals with Marian Hossa and Chris Pronger. They have even gone so far as to call the Hossa deal a flat out cheat against the new salary cap rules.