Report: Ilya Kovalchuk contract grievance hearing will 'definitely' take place Wednesday

Thumbnail image for kovalchukwithstrangestatue.jpgContrary to earlier reports, it appears that the Ilya Kovalchuk contract rejection grievance hearing will take place Wednesday in Boston rather than Tuesday. The news comes from Tom Gulitti.

The hearing to decide the grievance about Ilya Kovalchuk’s rejected contract will definitely begin Wednesday in Boston.

Kovalchuk’s mother, Luba, reportedly told Sovetsky Sport that the two-day hearing would begin Tuesday-according to Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov. But I have confirmed that the hearing will definitely begin Wednesday and be held in Boston. A ruling is expected Friday or Saturday.

Luba Kovlachuk said that her son delayed his return to Russia to attend the hearing.

Gulitti’s been the best source (in my opinion) of information on this situation, so if he says it will “definitely” happen than I’d say it’s likely true. That means that we might have to wait until the early part of the weekend for the news, but we should still go into next week with the knowledge that Kovalchuk will either be an official New Jersey Devil or the two sides would need to hammer out a new agreement.

It’s still pretty hard to believe that the Kovalchuk saga is now past the 30-day mark, but the good news is that we should see it come to an end reasonably soon. Unless, of course, the arbitrator rejects the contract and Kovalchuk inexplicably has a change of heart.

If that happens, reach for the Tylenol because this one might never end.

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    Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

    Mike Richards

    The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

    Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

    Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

    “Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

    Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

    • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
    • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
    • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

    … Yeah.

    Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

    Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

    Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

    Jonathan Quick

    Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

    Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

    Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

    Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


    A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

    Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

    It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


    After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

    Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.