NHL extends Kovalchuk contract approval/rejection deadline to Friday, 5PM ET

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for kovalchukpressconf2.jpgHey, you remember the second Ilya Kovalchuk-New Jersey Devils contract approval/rejection deadline thing scheduled for 5pm ET today? Yeah, so much for that.

Dan Rosen of NHL.com reports that the NHL and NHL Players Association extended the deadline from today to Friday at 5pm ET, instead.

The Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation expected to reach a conclusion by 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday will instead continue until 5 p.m. ET Friday. The NHL and NHLPA mutually agreed to extend the deadline to accept or reject the latest contract Kovalchuk signed with the New Jersey Devils.

The contract, which reportedly calls for Kovalchuk to make $100 million over 15 years, was submitted to the NHL last Friday and the League originally had five days to review the contract before deciding if it was acceptable or not.

Is it wacky to think that the league is just messing with us at this point? I think I’ve officially run out of silly analogies and metaphors for this situation. Is the NHL the League Who Cried Contract? Perhaps my comparison between the Kovalchuk contract saga and professional wrestler The Undertaker is pretty apt?

While the league is pretty clever for keeping itself in the headlines in the still-somewhat-hockey-light month of September, you have to think that it has at least some egg on its face from the laughable process. After all, unrestricted free agency began on July 1 and while Kovalchuk took his dear time to decide where to go, it’s pretty ridiculous that he won’t have an official home two months later.

Obviously, we’ll keep you up to date as this beyond-tiresome story takes on more lives than a cat. Stay tuned, if you can stand it, at least.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.