Just in case there were any worries about the Ilya Kovalchuk contract rejection being official, the league indeed made it so. Here is the official statement from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, via NHL.com.
“The contract has been rejected by the League as a circumvention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under the CBA, the contract rejection triggers a number of possible next steps that may be elected by any or each of the NHLPA, the Player and/or the Club. In the interim, the player is not entitled to play under the contract, nor is he entitled to any of the rights and benefits that are provided for thereunder. The League will have no further comment on this matter pending further developments.”
That pretty much follows the “script” so to speak.
As I discussed last night, the next step will involve one of two steps (or at least a close variation of these two). Either the NHL Players Association will file a grievance on behalf of Ilya Kovalchuk or the New Jersey Devils will tweak the contract to spread the money out a bit more evenly (or at least shave a few years off of a deal that would supposedly have Kovalchuk play until he’s 44 years old).
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