So far, we’ve shared the official statements from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly as well as the near-non-statements from the NHL Players Association and Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman. Since we went that far, let’s see what New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello had to (barely) say. Here is his statement, via the Devils official Web site.
“We are extremely disappointed that the NHL has decided to reject the contract of Ilya Kovalchuk. The contract complies with the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will have no further comment until the process outlined in the CBA is complete.”
When I read that, I picture Lamoriello saying this through a classic “feigned smile while gritting teeth.” He might even be crushing almonds in his hands in this imaginary vision.
Many wonder if this even would have happened had Lamoriello not made comments about the loopholes the team took advantage of. Some think it’s unfair that the Devils were singled out when other teams signed players to deals that logically won’t be completed while others think that the 17-year deal went a little too far. (Even for loophole deals.)
It will be interesting, if a bit nauseating, to see how this situation plays out in the next few days. As always, we’ll keep you up to date as the Kovalchuk saga drags along.