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Kovalchuk Arbitration Hearing Begins Today

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

If, as expected, arbitrator Richard Bloch rules in favor of Kovalchuk, perhaps as late as Monday, his contract will be immediately validated. But then the Devils will have to find a way to shed some $5-6 million in salary-cap liability by season’s start to get under the $59.4 million lid and still have wiggle room for injuries.

Vital players would have to go, perhaps among Bryce Salvador, Colin White and Dainius Zubrus, either by trade or waiver/demotion.

Most important, such a verdict would validate heavily front-loaded contracts that the NHL claim circumvent the CBA, and become a major NHL demand for the next pact.

Should Bloch back the NHL and find that the contract is indeed an end-run around the CBA, Kovalchuk would again become an unrestricted free agent, and teams like the Kings and Rangers, as well as the Devils, would again be able to bid for his services in a more straight-forward salary arrangement.

Although it appears unlikely, the NHL then also would have the option of initiating its own punitive action against Kovalchuk and the Devils. A circumvention ruling off a league-filed action could cost the Devils $1.5 million in fines, with a similar amount deducted from their cap limit. Kovalchuk himself could be liable to a fine of $250,000-$1 million.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Comments

Mac's avatar

Most important, such a verdict would validate heavily front-loaded contracts that the NHL claim circumvent the CBA, and become a major NHL demand for the next pact.

The most interesting aspect of this statement is that it is the NHL’s own member clubs(i.e. owner’s) who are signing off on these deals.  This is not unheard of in most unionized workplaces however, where employers agree to collective agreement clauses that seem like a good idea at the bargaining table but turn out to be operational and budgetary nightmares!

This will certainly make for an interesting collective bargining process.

Posted by Mac from Canada on 08/04/10 at 11:35 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I hope they validate the contract and Lou somehow has to pull cap space out of his aft.

And people wonder why the Devils have struggled in the cap era…

Posted by Primis on 08/04/10 at 12:56 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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