It’s hard to forget what took place last summer, especially if you’re a Devils fan. We understand that the NHL hates our team, our general manager and us, the fans. We have come to not only accept that, but also embrace it. People always knocked the Devils for not signing a superstar. Well, they signed one last summer, and the league blew us away. Apparently, it violated the “spirit of the collective bargaining agreement.” Fast forward to last week. The Devils’ nemesis, the Rangers, did what they do best: sign a superstar and hope for the best. This time, however, the NHL approved the contract and rejected a seemingly harmless contract from the Flyers, so I ask the question: What is an illegal contract in the eyes of the NHL? Read on and you’ll see what I’ve come up with.
Legal – A contract that lasts long enough to span a dozen Devils head coaches.
Illegal – A contract that lasts longer than one Nashville Predators head coach.
Legal – Anything that any general manager not named Glen Sather would feel is overpaid.
Illegal – Anything that any general manager not named Lou Lamoriello would become sick over.
Legal – A contract that a typical superstar could realistically play through.
Illegal – A contract that Chris Chelios would look at and flinch.
Legal – Any contract faxed to the NHL during Gary Bettman’s nap.
Illegal – Anything sent to the NHL during those five minutes per day when Bettman isn’t asleep.
Legal – Any somewhat realistic contract that isn’t 30 years long.
Illegal – Anything signed in or near New Jersey, since practically everything is illegal in New Jersey.
Legal – Contracts for players who score goals for a team that didn’t score goals last year.
Illegal – Contracts for players who don’t score many goals for a team that did score many goals last year.
Legal – Anything when the league assumes the player will be injured for 14 ½ years of the contract.
Illegal – A contract for any player traded for Brett Lebda, because anything will be too much.
Legal – One year contracts that take the player to his 43rd birthday.
Illegal – 17-year contracts that take the player to his 43rd birthday.
Legal – Secretly talking with unrestricted free agents-to-be behind the league’s back.
Illegal – Attempting to send an offer sheet to a restricted free agent, as it would violate the “spirit of Steve Yzerman and Dean Lombardi’s plan.”
Legal – Signing a normal contract that draws absolutely no attention from U.S. media.
Illegal – Having a contract consume a full minute on ESPN SportsCenter.
Legal – Any controversial contract on a team that includes Gregory Campbell…before 2011.
Illegal – Any controversial contract on a team that includes Gregory Campbell…after 2011.
Legal – Any contract signed before 2010.
Illegal – Any contract that Gary Bettman randomly selects when he spins the wheel of contracts after 2010.