Report: NHL may fine the Devils over Kovalchuk contract

Thumbnail image for ilyakovalchuk6.jpgThe strange and unprecedented journey that is the Ilya Kovalchuk story continues to take some more strange turns. Mark Everson of the New York Post reports today that the NHL may be considering taking action against the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk for their potentially cap circumventing contract.

A league source said the NHL is not threatening, but also not dismissing the possibility that the Devils might be liable for a fine of at least $1 million. The fine could go up to $5 million should an arbitrator finds that their $102 million, 17-year contract is indeed a circumvention of the collective bargaining agreement.

In addition, Kovalchuk himself conceivably could be liable to a fine between $250G and $1 million.

I can’t imagine that the NHL would have the nerve to fine a team for signing a player to a contract that was found to be within the rules of the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Then again, who knew that they’d have the gall to reject Kovalchuk’s contract in the first place. They’d have a bit more of a leg to stand on for fining the Devils if the contract is rejected by an arbitrator because they’d at least have the backing of a judge.

As for the whole issue with the NHLPA filing a grievance, tomorrow is the last day they have to file one and it’s almost a certainty that a grievance will be filed against the NHL for rejecting the contract. Then it’s up to both sides to find a “systems arbitrator” to hash out the issue or just have the Devils and Kovalchuk work something else out until then. Should the situation go to an arbitrator, that could take some time to get settled as the two sides don’t have one in place and would need to find someone agreeable to settle the situation.

The bureaucracy never ends.

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    Coyotes’ Rieder undergoes ankle surgery, expected to be out 8-12 weeks

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    Tobias Rieder underwent ankle surgery after suffering an injury at the recently concluded World Hockey Championship, the Arizona Coyotes announced on Saturday.

    Per the Coyotes, the operation was successful and he is expected to make a full recovery. However, the 24-year-old right winger is expected to be out eight to 12 weeks, as he goes through rehab.

    With that timeline, he should be ready for training camp in September.

    For the second straight year, Rieder was injured while playing for Germany in the IIHF tournament. Initially, it was reported that the Coyotes didn’t believe this latest injury was serious.

    This past season, Rieder scored a single-season career best 16 goals in 80 games. He’s about to enter the final year of his two-year contract, which has an annual cap hit of $2.225 million.

    Despite concussion history, Clarke MacArthur says ‘I’m going to play if I can’

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    Ottawa Senators forward Clarke MacArthur has again emphasized his desire to continue his playing career, despite another regular season derailed by a concussion.

    It will, however, depend on what doctors tell him.

    MacArthur missed all but four games in the regular season because of a concussion suffered during training camp. In January, it was reported that this latest concussion would keep him out of the lineup for the remainder of the season — more bad news that followed a 2015-16 campaign in which he played only four games.

    In a surprising development, MacArthur was cleared and returned to the Senators lineup late in the season, just before the playoffs started. During Ottawa’s impressive postseason run, which ended Thursday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final versus Pittsburgh, the 32-year-old forward had three goals and nine points in 19 games.

    On Saturday, he revealed to the Ottawa Citizen that he had been dealing with discomfort in his neck during the playoffs. He was also adamant it was nothing else other than a neck ailment, and that he will get an MRI to see what it could be.

    As for his playing future?

    “I don’t know what the play is,” said MacArthur, per the Ottawa Citizen. “I just want to take a week or two and see how I feel. I still love playing the game. I’ve got to talk to the doctors and take a week or so and see where I go.”

    Despite a history of concussions, MacArthur has in the past stated that he wants to continue playing. He is about to enter the third year of a five-year, $23.25 million contract.

    “If everything works out, then I’m going to play if I can.”

    David Poile finally rewarded with first trip to Stanley Cup Final in 35 years as a GM

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    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) David Poile thought he could squeeze in a quick day off after the exhilarating run by the Nashville Predators to their first Stanley Cup Final.

    Wrong.

    At least 200 texts and emails congratulating him on the Western Conference title greeted him. Then Predators’ only general manager had to deal with logistics, tickets, hotel rooms and talk with league officials to prepare them for the Stanley Cup Final starting Monday night in Pittsburgh.

    It’s Poile’s first Stanley Cup Final after 15 years as general manager of the Washington Capitals and nearly 20 years of building the Predators from scratch as an expansion franchise.

    “After all these years I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and it’s different and it’s a challenge,” Poile said with a big smile. “But I’m ready for it.”

    No general manager has been with his current team longer than Poile, whose father, Bud, won the Stanley Cup playing for Toronto in 1947 and is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Next season, Poile will pass Jack Adams and Glen Sather as the NHL’s longest serving general manager, and only Sather has more games and wins (2,700 and 1,319) than Poile (2,622 and 1,280).

    Read more:

    The Predators built the NHL’s best defense, and it’s going to be around for a while

    NHL GM of the Year finalists: Oilers’ Chiarelli, Sens’ Dorion, Preds’ Poile

    Poile also was general manager of the U.S. Olympic team in 2014. But he never made it to Sochi after being struck by a puck in the right eye at a Predators’ morning skate, breaking his nose and costing him his vision.

    Now, all across hockey, people are rooting for Poile to finally win a championship.

    “The hockey community in general is elated for him,” said Brian Burke, president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames. “He has performed at such a high level for so long in this league and not been rewarded like this. He’s got lots of people pulling for him to go all the way.”

    New Jersey general manager Ray Shero, who was an assistant GM in Nashville, said his own wife was in tears so happy for Poile and his wife, Elizabeth.

    “I was saying to David, ‘Yeah everybody’s saying it’s so great for David, patient David Poile,”‘ Shero said. “I’m like, ‘David, you’re the most impatient guy know.’ He used to boo the team from our box in Nashville like, ‘David, you’re so impatient.’ He’d boo the team and say, ‘He’s brutal, he’s brutal.”‘

    Poile just missed Washington’ run to the Stanley Cup in 1998 after his contract wasn’t renewed in May 1997. He had gotten the Caps to the Eastern Conference finals only once – 1990. Offered the Toronto GM job, Poile turned down the franchise with 13 titles to put together his own franchise in Nashville like his father had in Philadelphia and Vancouver.

    “I just felt like it was the right thing to do,” Poile said. “I’ve never regretted it. There’s certainly been some ups and downs in this franchise whether it be on the ice or off the ice. But that’s never deterred me to want to go somewhere else or to do something different. Everybody’s treated me very, very well. I’m very comfortable, and it’s a legacy for David Poile.”

    Poile and the Predators had to teach their fans hockey and grow the sport in a region dominated by college football and NASCAR.

    In 2007, the Predators finished third in the NHL with 110 points. Poile’s big trade for Peter Forsberg netted only a first-round loss in the playoffs. Craig Leipold, who now owns the Minnesota Wild, put the Preds up for sale. Blackberry billionaire Jim Balsillie’s purchase might have gone through if not for news he already was taking season-ticket deposits in Hamilton, Ontario.

    Fans rallied to keep their team, and local businessmen stepped up to keep the Predators in Nashville.

    During the turmoil, Poile couldn’t re-sign Forsberg or Paul Kariya and unloaded defenseman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell.

    The man who loves to plan triggered this playoff run with a handful of trades. He swapped defensemen Seth Jones and captain Shea Weber for center Ryan Johansen and All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban, while bringing back veteran forward Vern Fiddler during the season along with trading for Cody McLeod.

    “He’s made some of the biggest trades in the history of the league, which is just so contradictory to his personality,” Burke said. “He’s this cautious guy. I joke with him that I’d hate to watch him get dressed in the morning, trying to decide which tie and which pants. But when it comes time to make these deals, this guy, he’ll shove all the chips in and stand up and yell at you. He’s fearless.”

    Poile took his wife outside the arena before Nashville ousted Anaheim in six games Monday night. He saw thousands of fans bringing lawn chairs just to sit outside the arena and watch on big-screen TVs and marveled.

    “It’s fantastic, the whole thing, the whole experience,” Poile said. “I can’t think of anything that’s ever happened better to me in all my years in hockey.”

    Well, maybe one more thing.

    Nicholle Anderson, wife of Senators goalie Craig Anderson, declares she is cancer-free

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    Their Stanley Cup playoff run is over, but the entire Ottawa Senators organization has received great — and far more important — news away from the ice.

    Nicholle Anderson, wife of Senators goalie Craig Anderson, has declared that she is cancer-free after battling a rare form of throat cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, since October.

    Anderson shared an update on her own personal blog, including a plan for follow-up tests over the next few years:

    On May 25, 2017, I went to the doctors to hear the results of the pet scan.  He informed the scans were clear, however, they saw activity on C1 and C2 (cervical spine).  He was confident it wasn’t cancer/tumor, and ordered a STAT MRI on Friday to confirm the findings.  The MRI showed it is a side effect to radiation in my soft tissue around the c-spine.

    Now we are sending my scans and reports to Sloane Kettering to get a second opinion.  Nothing better than hearing CANCER FREE two times!  I will be continuously monitored for the next couple of years with followed-up pet scans, ENT visits, and tests.  We pray this beast doesn’t return.

    I truly believe hockey helped me through all of this with the playoff run.  I couldn’t have asked for a better year and memories.  My advice to everyone, everyday we are given, we are blessed. Don’t put off what you can do today!  Live life to the fullest because in a blink of an eye it can and will change.

    Craig Anderson, who took personal leave on more than one occasion this season to be with his wife while she went through treatment, also shared the news on Saturday, two days after the Senators were defeated in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    “It was a huge relief,” Anderson told Postmedia. “It was just weight off the shoulders knowing things are going in the right direction. The message (from Nicholle) was just go out there, play and have fun.”