Alexander Ovechkin’s new deal is an example of idiocy mixed with insanity.
A quick look at non-professional sports contracts teaches us a simple concept: long-term contracts are not the ideal way to run a business. Offering an employee more job security than the going rate requires only pays if it saves a corporation time, effort, and money.
Would you call giving out the biggest deal in your sport’s history saving money? Unless hockey’s economic picture changes focus and its cap doubles within a year or two, I’m going to say no.
Consequently, don’t be surprised if the 13 year, $124 million contract the Caps just gave their young superstar, Alexander Ovechkin, cripples them like a cheap shot from Ulf Samuelsson in the not-too-distant future.
Remember Cam Neely? He was everything you could want in a winger: a dominant physical force who produced offensively and dropped the gloves when called for. Alex Ovechkin is the closest thing we’ve got to Cam Neely in the modern game, so because of his exciting and blue collar style of play, he’s one of my favorite players. Having him on the Bruins would have been a dream come true. But not even I, a desperate Bruins fan craving a superstar power forward worse than an NBA groupie, would EVER have wanted him for anywhere near that many years or that much money.
Cam Neely could do it all, including pummel cheap-shot artist, career-ruining Penguins such as Ulf Samuelsson.
Cam Neely was great, but if you’ll look back in time, he had to retire from the game at only 30 years old. While his bruising style of play was entertaining and effective, it contributed heavily to his inability to stay on the ice–he never played more than 76 games in any season and his career average was much, much lower at only 55.8.
Alexander The Great is currently 22-years-old. When he’s 30 the Capitals will still be on the hook for almost $10 million a year for another 5 seasons. While Ovechkin is great now, if he’s anything less than stellar for at least 10 more durable years, the Capitals will be dead. They’ll be the New York Knicks of hockey–a team that’s wasted more dead presidents than the CIA.
Alexander Ovechkin just helped make his main rival a very happy and soon-to-be extremely rich man.
I can’t even imagine the insane deals Sidney Crosby and friends will get when their time comes to re-up.
You would think a sport that has fallen off the American radar and is only now starting to recover from nearly complete economic failure just a few years ago would be a little smarter with its money, but then again, if the people who run hockey knew what they were doing, would they ever have locked-out their players in the first place?