Soon after the NHLPA filed its grievance regarding the Ilya Kovalchuk contract as expected, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly released a statement in response. Craig Custance of the Sporting News blog The Grinder shares Daly’s comment.
“We have received formal notice that the NHLPA is grieving the League’s rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract with the New Jersey Devils. Although there is no defined timetable at this point, we intend to work with the Players’ Association to ensure an expeditious resolution of this dispute. The League looks forward to the opportunity to establish its position before the arbitrator. We will have no further public comment pending completion of the process.”
While the Kovalchuk saga features plenty of twists and turns, these official statements are as dry as a plain three-day-old bagel.
What I’m really anxious to find out is just how long it will take for the NHL to find an independent arbitrator. In the mean time, Kovalchuk will find himself in the odd position of not really having a true contract but also not actually being a genuine free agent either.
His quest to receive a $100 million has been pretty absurd and it’s not over yet. As always, we’ll keep you updated as this story potentially drags on through the hockey-poor month of August … and dare I say, beyond?