As he grabbed the Stanley Cup from the hands of teammate Mark Recchi on Wednesday and raised it to the rafters in celebration at Rogers Arena, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made a statement.
The Conn Smythe winner, who almost single-handedly toppled the President’s Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks in seven games, sent a message that rang throughout the NHL.
That message was, “Yeah, you do need goaltending to win a Stanley Cup.”
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According to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, the NHL has issued an ultimatum of sorts to the NHLPA, demanding compliance with a new set of rules concerning high-end, salary cap circumventing contracts or else face the editing of current rule-bending contracts.
Either way, it looks like Chris Pronger’s deal with the Flyers is safe.
After specifically calling out the contracts of Roberto Luongo, Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk and possibly Mark Savard, it was mentioned that Pronger’s deal will be passed on by the league.
On Monday, arbitrator Richard Bloch made the ground-breaking ruling to uphold the NHL’s right to abolish Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million deal with the New Jersey Devils, based on the grounds that the deal was created to circumvent the salary cap.
But as the official news spread, general managers around the league began to tremble, because this ruling didn’t just set a precedent for future deals — it could even change the past. For not only did Bloch tear apart the Kovalchuk deal, he mentioned, by name, the deals for Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, Boston’s Marc Savard, Chicago’s Marian Hossa and Philly’s Chris Pronger, as example of infraction.
Bloch wrote …
“While the contracts have, in fact, been registered, their structure has not escaped League notice: those SPCs [standard player’s contracts] are being investigated currently with at least the possibility of a subsequent withdrawal of the registration.”