According to infallible Twitter, the next chapter in the serial blockbuster known as Kovalchuk Month begins tomorrow, with day one of the hearing. There has obviously been a lot of chatter in the Kovalchukosphere about the NHLPA's supposedly slam dunk case, Bettman's vendetta against the Devils, the league not having a leg to stand on, the groundwork being laid for CONSPIRACY if the league should prevail, and even Brian Burke conceding, essentially, that these kinds of deals are bogus and bad for the league but basically allowed by the CBA.
I'm not so sure they are allowed, as I said in a previous post.
[Burke] assumes that the only way to prove circumvention is to demonstrate that this one guy (Kovalchuk) will retire before he gets to the end of his contract. Obviously, one can't prove that Kovalchuk will not play till he's 44 anymore than one can prove Kovalchuk is not immortal. Yet the argument, "we just don't know if he's immortal, we will have to wait and see what happens," as the basis of an employment contract that extends to the end of time, is incontrovertibly stupid. And we wouldn't have to wait till the end of time (or his death) to prove it either.
I've laid out my argument in bits and pieces over several posts, but to celebrate Arbitration Eve, I decided to boil it all down to one short post. I failed to make it short.