There was a minor stir regarding what was ultimately deemed a false report regarding the NHL rejecting the second Ilya Kovalchuk-New Jersey Devils contract, so I thought it would be wise to pass along what basically amounts to a non-update (with a few nuggets that you might find semi-interesting).
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that the league is taking advantage of its five-day window to approve or reject the contract, according to Dmitry Chesnokov and Puck Daddy among other sources.
Puck Daddy learned on Monday night that there has not been a decision issued on the contract by the NHL. The League is still reviewing the latest — and what very well may be the last — contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk.
According to a source close to the negotiation, the contract submitted on Friday addressed all of the concerns raised by arbitrator Richard Bloch in his decision and those the NHL presented during informal conversations between all parties in the last few weeks.
It appears that the League will take all five days given to them by the Collective Bargaining Agreement to make a decision on the contract.
One of the biggest sticking points with the previous 17-year, $102 million deal came in the ludicrous minimum wage years that were tacked on to the end of the failed Kovalchuk-Devils contract. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos tracked down the final year details of a reported 15-year, $100 million new contract and as you can see from his Tweet, the final seasons are a lot more feasible than they were in the previous deal.
Last 3 yrs of Luongo’s deal ave is 1.2M per. Hossa’s 833,000. Ilya last 3 yrs will now ave 2.6M including base of 4M in last 24/25 season..
That certainly seems a lot more reasonable, especially with the lower money contracts veteran players signed to this summer. Few anticipated a scenario in which Kovalchuk wouldn’t have a contract until September, but that seems just about certain at this point. As always, we’ll keep you up to date as this long, drawn-out process (hopefully) comes to an end.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”
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.
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?