The negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA haven't made much sense. Urgency has been lacking and the divide has been great throughout a process that saw both sides appear to be more concerned about their image with the fans than actually getting a deal done.
With that in mind, it was only appropriate that the NHL lockout came with a flurry of new contracts from owners that claimed they were paying their talent far too much money. Perfect irony.
The NHL has stated that their owners feel that players around the league are receiving contracts that are too large. The very same owners then went and gave out an estimated $200 million worth of new contracts to their players on the two days leading into the lockout. Makes perfect sense, right?
If your attention was firmly focused on the lockout – which it probably was – you missed a wave of activity around the NHL. Unfortunately, none of that activity involved any form of negotiations to prevent a lockout but that's a topic to tackle in a different article.
Boston gave Milan Lucic a three-year, $18 million extension. The irony around this deal is almost too much to bear. Amidst the NHL owners stating how grossly overpaid they believe the players are, Lucic is given a contract that pays $6 million a season. His new contract will make him the highest paid player on the Bruins. Lucic tallied 26 goals and a total of 61 points during the 2011-12 season. He's a talented skater but you'll find very few fans that believe he deserves to be the highest paid member on the Bruins, let alone any that think $6 million annually is on point. Lucic's new deal is supposedly the exact type of deal the owners have a problem with and here he receives his new contract hours before the old CBA expires. Perfectly logical.
A few of the other major deals that were announced over the past couple days can be seen below.
Buffalo signed Tyler Ennis to a two-year, $5.65 million extension.
Anaheim signed Cam Fowler to a five-year, $20 million extension.
Nashville gave Kevin Klein a five-year, $14.5 million deal.
The Islanders rewarded Matt Martin with a new four-year contract.
All of these owners directly contradicted the NHL's stance on the expiring bargaining agreement. If the old CBA was so poorly structured, why were all of these owners so eager to go out and sign players under it? It's as if these owners in particular had no major quandary against the old agreement. They couldn't help but go out and spend more money, only to again stand behind the idea that their players are overpaid.