What the Devil? A fans rant

The current 24 man roster of the New Jersey Devils has a collective salary of $43,579,929, more than $4.5 million over the $39 million salary-cap. Now, I fully understand that we are merely in the beginning stages of capology, and that there is much learning to be done by us fans about how it works. So how exactly is it that the Devils continue to bounce along playing in NHL games, seemingly unpunished? What is going on?First off, lets take a look at the numbers. New Jersey’s current payroll according to www.nhlpa.com:

Last Name

First Name

Position

Team

Compensation 05/06

Brodeur Martin Goal New Jersey Devils $5,237,238.00

Brown Sean Defence New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

Brylin Sergei Centre New Jersey Devils $1,520,000.00

Clemmensen Scott Goal New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

Elias Patrik Right Wing New Jersey Devils $4,180,000.00

Gionta Brian Right Wing New Jersey Devils $627,000.00

Gomez Scott Centre New Jersey Devils $2,204,000.00

Kozlov Viktor Centre New Jersey Devils $1,748,000.00

Langdon Darren Left Wing New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

Langenbrunner Jamie Right Wing New Jersey Devils $1,655,130.00

Madden John Centre New Jersey Devils $3,861,561.00

Malakhov Vladimir Defence New Jersey Devils $3,600,000.00

Marshall Grant Right Wing New Jersey Devils $760,000.00

Martin Paul Defence New Jersey Devils $502,000.00

Matvichuk Richard Defence New Jersey Devils $1,368,000.00

McGillis Daniel Defence New Jersey Devils $2,200,000.00

Mogilny Alexander Right Wing New Jersey Devils $3,500,000.00

Oliwa Krzysztof Left Wing New Jersey Devils $836,000.00

Pandolfo Jay Left Wing New Jersey Devils $836,000.00

Parise Zach Centre New Jersey Devils $703,000.00

Rafalski Brian Defence New Jersey Devils $4,200,000.00

Rasmussen Erik Centre New Jersey Devils $532,000.00

Rheaume Pascal Centre New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

White John Colin Defence New Jersey Devils $1,710,000.00

As already mentioned, that’s a total of $43,579,929. Even without Hep A victim Patrick Elias’ salary, current payroll would be $39,399,929 which is still a hair over the cap limit of $39 million. Something stinks. Here comes the fans rant…

Every other NHL club made sacrifices as to which players to buy out, which players to let go, which players to resign, and which ones to make a pitch for or be forced to ignore, all in the name of fiscal responsibility. For some reason, this doesn’t apply to the Devils. I have heard rumours that as long as the average from October 5, 2005 through April 18, 2006 is under the $39 million limit, then everything is ok. To me, that sounds like a load of bull. Why would the NHL give the Devils an October 1st deadline to get themselves under the cap if that’s the case? And with regards to that deadline, we have yet to see it enforced. What kind of credibility does the league have by allowing this gross violation of a “hard” cap to happen? I as a fan am quite irked by this. We lost a year of hockey over this “principle” of cost-certainty vs. free-market, only to see that it was all a farce. Another question we should be asking is directed not only at the league, but at the hockey media as well. Why are they not covering this? I for one have spent hours scouring the internet, tuning into sports radio and watching as much t.v. sports coverage as possible to see what the ramifications are for breaking the cap. I have found nothing. Since I have neither the access, nor the time, nor the desire to pour through the actual collective bargaining agreement to find out what punishment is required for New Jersey’s actions, I expect the sports media to have the answer, because really, what else do they have to do. Is it similar to the NFL, where fines are levied and possibly draft picks surrendered? I’m sorry to spoil the mood and euphoria of having hockey back, but we did lose a full year over differing ideology, and if this hard cap can’t be enforced, it was all for naught.

I’d really like to hear if anyone out there has managed to find out something I couldn’t, and if there are no answers out there to my question, I’d like to hear everyone’s reaction to this.