Report: CBA will be amended to curb contract loopholes but Kovalchuk's deal will be grandfathered in

Thumbnail image for kovalchukpressconf2.jpgJust as soon as we were getting comfortable with the idea of yet another extended deadline … the NHL and NHLPA are reportedly in the process of making two huge steps. First, word is that the contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk will be approved. Secondly, the two sides will amend the Collective Bargaining Agreement to curb the type of long-term agreements that Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Roberto Luongo and other players signed. TSN has the news.

The two sides are now working on getting the paperwork done in time for the 5pm et deadline both sides agreed upon to render a verdict on the Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation.

The agreement means that Kovalchuk’s contract with the New Jersey Devils will also get approved as part of a new global settlement.

Multiple sources back this report up, so while there hasn’t been an official announcement yet, this is about as reliable as an unconfirmed story can get.

This means that the Devils will indeed add Kovalchuk for a 15-year, $100 million contract (with a $6.66 million cap hit that is fairly humorous). It will be “grandfathered in,” making that deal the contract version of Craig Mactavish skating against other players without a helmet.

It seems like the best solution for a crummy problem. The league needed to curtail these ridiculous, cap-circumventing contracts but it didn’t seem fair to single the Devils out (and didn’t seem practical to kill all of the bad deals). We’ll pass along word once this is official, but it sounds close to a done deal.

Then again, this saga has enough twists to give M. Night Shyamalan a headache, so stay tuned.

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    Habs prospect Juulsen out six weeks with fractured foot

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    Tough news for the Montreal Canadiens and prospect defenseman Noah Juulsen on Thursday.

    The Habs have announced that the 2015 first-round pick is expected to be sidelined six weeks after suffering a fractured foot on Monday.

    The Habs selected Juulsen with the 26th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft following his 52-point regular season with the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League.

    This past spring, Juulsen appeared in two playoff games for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. He turned 20 years old in April and it seemed like the Habs were going to give him a serious look to make the NHL club out of training camp.  

    “We like the way he skates and his transition game,” said head coach Claude Julien earlier this week, before the injury was revealed. “He’s going to get a chance to make this team and if he doesn’t he’s not going to be too far away.”

    Fight Video: Lappin, Puempel land some good shots in preseason tilt

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    Who says players don’t care about preseason hockey?

    Matt Puempel and Nick Lappin are trying to earn spots on their respective clubs, so they know they may have to do the little things others aren’t willing to do to stick around in the NHL.

    On Wednesday night, that involved dropping the gloves against each other. These two seemed to be in mid-season form when it came to throwing punches.

    Neither player is considered a tough guy. Lappin had 17 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Devils last season, while Puempel has 28 penalty minutes in 79 career NHL games.

    Here’s the video footage of the scrap:

    By the way, the Rangers won 4-3 in overtime.

    Flames say they were prepared to contribute $275M for new arena

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    The arena situation in Calgary took another twist Thursday, with the Flames revealing that they had been prepared to contribute $275 million to a new arena.

    The Flames released a nine-page report, which included the financial details of their proposed contributions. The organization said funding would also include $225 million from a Community Revitalization Levy, which would be generated from other developments in the immediate area around the arena.

    Last week, it was reported that the Flames were no longer pursuing a new arena in Calgary. The club reiterated as much in their report Thursday.

    “In a “small market” city, even one with an NHL team, a privately funded arena is not economically viable. The City’s proposal is just not workable (or even for that matter, “fair”, based on other arena deals in comparable cities),” the organization stated in the report.

    “As a result, after over two years of discussions, we see absolutely no basis upon which a new arena agreement can be achieved with the City, and we have concluded that there is no point to continue the pursuit of a new arena in Calgary. Many, including us, believe Calgary is a terrific place for NHL hockey and we certainly have great fans. As such, we will strive to operate, as we have for the past 34 years, in the Saddledome for as long as we believe it is feasible.”

    More from The Canadian Press:

    The city proposed a three-way split on the cost of a $555-million arena, with the city and the Flames each paying $185 million and the remaining third raised from a surcharge on tickets sold to events in the new building.

    Flames president Ken King contended the city’s plan amounted to the team paying the entire cost, or more, because the team considers a ticket surcharge paid by users revenue that belongs to the Flames and because they’d pay property tax back to the city.

    The Flames current arena, the Saddledome, is now 34 years old and has drawn criticism in the past from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. In 2015, the Flames unveiled their plans for a new arena — the CalgaryNEXT project — with an original cost of $890 million.

    The city said at the time that the original proposed plan was not feasible. This issue has since continued for over two years now. In June, Brian Burke said the Flames could leave Calgary without a new arena. King, himself, has said the current arena situation in Calgary is not “viable in the near or long-term.”

    “That’s why we’re having this discussion is about a new facility,” King told the Calgary Herald. “So, if we’re successful in that initiative, our near and long-term future is here (in Calgary). If not, we have to decide what the alternatives are … Anyone can connect the dots to how many choices we have left.

    “If we don’t get a deal, what are our choices?”

    There was also this from the commissioner.

    Kings outlast Canucks in first edition of NHL China Games

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    The Los Angeles Kings came away with a 5-2 preseason win over the Vancouver Canucks in the first of the 2017 NHL China Games. This contest took place in lovely Shanghai.

    Adrian Kempe got the ball rolling for Kings, as he scored the first goal of the game on the power play to make it 1-0 for his team (top).

    Kings forward Tanner Pearson scored a great shorthanded breakaway goal to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 2-0 (check out the Pearson goal by clicking the video below).

    The shorthanded goal against wasn’t the only issue the Canucks power play had in this game. Vancouver managed to score once on the man-advantage, but they finished the game 1-for-14 in that department (yes, it’s only a preseason game).

    with Vancouver trailing 3-0 in the second period, Sven Baertschi finally got them on the board to cut the Kings lead to 3-1.

    Markus Granlund made it 3-2 in the third period, but that’s as close as the Canucks would come to tying the score.

    Pearson extended Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2 before Jeff Carter finished off the game with an empty-net goal.

    These two teams will meet again in Beijing on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. ET.