In a situation that’s becoming increasingly more shrouded in mystery, Marc Savard’s agent Larry Kelly mentioned the word ‘lawsuit’ while speaking to an Ottawa radio station on Thursday. According to Sportsnet.ca (sorry, no audio available immediately), while commenting on the possibility of the NHL revoking his client’s contract with the Boston Bruins that began on July 1, 2010, Kelly uttered the words: “You can imagine the lawsuit that would ensue,”.
Kelly also didn’t mince words when referring to the runaround that he believes his client and several other NHL stars are receiving from commissioner Gary Bettman et al:
“I’d really like to see a true-commissioner -style , someone who has the best interest of the game in mind rather than the situation they have now… Bettman is (more like) the president of the league and he clearly is on the owners side on every issue. I really think it should be a commissioner. With a commissioner you have somebody who is totally independent and I think it would be a much less acrimonious situation.”
It’s simply a case of Larry Kelly looking out for Savard’s best interest, but there’s some truth to the vitriol he’s spewing towards Bettman and the league. The NHL’s Friday, 5 p.m. deadline can’t come soon enough for all parties involved. It’s getting difficult to separate fact from fiction in terms of who said what, and who’s being looked at. The Sportsnet article from earlier today includes Chris Pronger among a list of names of players whose contracts are under investigation, while multiple sources are reporting to the contrary; Chris Pronger’s deal is exempt from further examination.
The Boston Bruins signed Marc Savard to a 7-year contract extension that pays him an annual cap hit around $4.2 million back in December. The deal came into effect on July 1 of this summer, and it’s not hard to understand why Kelly would be upset with the potential of the NHL reneging on a deal they had approved just eight months ago. In this case, the NHL clearly drew first blood.