The New Jersey Devils and winger Ilya Kovalchuk agreed to a 17-year, $102 million contract on Monday in a move that has universally been decreed as crazy. It must especially seem so to those who don’t understand the economics of hockey and probably don’t comprehend that the deal is a way for New Jersey to battle the salary cap while still giving their star player buku bucks.
Yet it is crazy for a number of reasons. We’ve seen what happens to guys — here’s looking at you, JaMarcus Russell — who earn fat, long-term deals and have no incentive to work harder. And think about it — 2027 is a long-ass time from now. I might even be married by then.
Just think of what the world was like in 1993. No high-speed internet. Zach Morris cell phones. To get directions, you needed an actual map. To get news, you read an actual newspaper. There was only one cable news channel. And flannel was cool as hell.
In the context of the NHL, life was also a lot different. We’re talking Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques here. And awesome Canucks jerseys.
So knowing all that has changed in the past 17 years, what can we expect the world to look like when Kovalchuk’s contract runs out?
(With Conan-style delivery) In the year 2027…
- Zambonis will fly.
- After The Big One hits and sends the majority of California into the Pacific Ocean, the Yuma Kings finally raise the Stanley Cup and dedicate it to their devastated former region. The victory is achieved over the Moon Cheesemakers, formerly known as the Florida Panthers, who were forced to relocate after global warming raised the ocean’s level and sent Miami under water. Attendance improves twofold for the franchise on the Moon.
- Speaking of global warming, hockey is now the most popular spectator sport in North America as it is the only place where most of the general public can view ice.
- In other sports news, Brett Favre steps away from football for the final time after his second hip replacement.
- Finally besting Michael Jordan at a record, LeBron James announces his fourth unretirement to join the Brooklyn Nets.
- The University of Phoenix celebrates its first Big 64 football title, but loses the national championship game to Tulane, which is one of 12 schools not on probation.
- Rex Grossman Jr. earns a scholarship to play at the University of Florida. To celebrate, his father throws him a party. It falls incomplete.
- Speaking of former Florida QB’s, the now-aging Tim Tebow becomes just the second NFL player to be killed in the middle of a game, adding intensity to the Broncos-Raiders rivalry. However, he makes history the next week by become the first NFL player to return from death and leads the Broncos in a stirring second-half comeback against the Santa Fe Jaguars.
In the world outside of sports…
- Juan Gabriel Sanchez de Leon, our first gay Mexican-American president, finally marries his life partner in a Rose Garden ceremony.
- Mel Gibson finally hits for the “racism cycle” when he refers to an Australian TV interviewer as a “Skippy Poofter.”
- Talking is now considered a quaint old person habit, like wearing socks with sandals, as people communicate by text even when sitting next to one another and on dates.
- The newest iPhone has an app that allows you to have sex with your phone.
- As predicted in Back to the Future II, the double-necked tie has become a fashion staple.
- Lindsay Lohan wins the Oscar for… just kidding! But if she’s alive, we’ll be there to hand her one of those lifetime achievement deals.
-Thanks to ironic neo-hipsters, flannel is cool as hell.