Just 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.