Give the New Jersey Devils credit. They gave star forward Ilya Kovalchuk a 17-year contract worth $102 million even though they knew it was insane. The deal would have paid the 27-year-old winger $98.5 million over the next 11 years but cut his salary to $550,000 over the final six to lower the annual salary-cap hit. The NHL has rejected the contract.

It's a gaping loophole in the NHL's CBA. But this is nothing new in professional sports. Remember Bobby Bonilla? The New York Mets owed Bonilla $5.9 million and wanted to buy out the last year of his contract in January 2000. But they didn't have the cash to do so right away. So then-general manager Steve Phillips concocted a deal in which ownership would delay payment until 2011 and in return give Bonilla $1.19 million a year ... for 24 years!

These things happen more often than you think. Alex Rodriguez allowed the Texas Rangers to defer some of his then-record $252 million contract signed in 2001. Unfortunately, owner Tom Hicks has gone bankrupt, so Rodriguez is now in line as a creditor waiting on $24.89 million.

Football, too, has had its share of crazy. Steve Young signed a record 10-year, $40 million deal with the Los Angeles Express in 1984. The league went bankrupt in 1986, and Young still gets an annuity of $200,000 every year.