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Report- League Rejects Kovalchuk Contract

via Nick Kypreos tweet,

Word I’m hearing is the league has rejected Kovalchuk 17 year NJ contract… Stay tuned….

added 9:34pm, via Ryan Rishaug tweet,

Acc to gord miller. Kovalchuks contract rejected by nhl for cap circumvention

added 9:40pm, Tom Gulittie tweets,

Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek says he had not heard anything about contract being rejected.

GM Lou Lamoriello declined comment.

added 9:41pm, Another Kypreos tweet,

NHL deems Kovy contract “a retirement contract”. Says it “artificially drops cap hit”. Also states its too overloaded the first 10 yrs

added 9:42pm, Gulitti with another tweet,

I can confirm, via a source, that Kovalchuk contract has been rejected

added 9:57pm, John Shannon tweets,

contract is viewed as a circumvention of the CBA…contract would have to be restructured and re-filed.

added 10:03pm, via TSN,

The NHL has rejected Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils on the grounds that it circumvents the NHL’s salary cap.

Kovalchuk was slated to earn $95 million over the first 10 years of the deal and then just $7 million over the last seven seasons. That would translate to an annual cap hit of $6 million per year.

added 10:29pm, via Darren Dreger tweet,

If the NHLPA grieves the leagues decision, the contract remains dead until an arbitrator decides otherwise.

added 10:46pm, via James Duthie tweet,

Best guess: Devils/Kovy could restructure, but agents I spoke to figure Kovy likes his deal just the way it is, and will ask PA to grieve.

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


VooX's avatar

Oh snap…

What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 07/20/10 at 11:39 PM ET

VooX's avatar

And TSN confirms this story as well.  No details yet.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 07/20/10 at 11:40 PM ET

yzer19man's avatar

why would the NHL front office wait till late evening, the day after the signing to figure this out?  Especially after the press conference to officially announce the deal… total bush league…what a joke

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 07/20/10 at 11:52 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Lou is PISSED HIDE THE JELLY !!!  LOL  I saw this Coming & predicted it to a KOOL-AID drinking Devils fan on twitter

Posted by Evilpens on 07/20/10 at 11:54 PM ET


Posted by aaron in phoenix from Section 102 on 07/21/10 at 12:09 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Geez, well this isn’t publicly embarrassing to the league or anything…

Oh wait.  It is.

Posted by Primis on 07/21/10 at 12:09 AM ET


why would the NHL front office wait till late evening, the day after the signing to figure this out?  Especially after the press conference to officially announce the deal… total bush league…what a joke

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL 60610 on 07/20/10 at 09:52 PM ET

They need to go through it with a fine-toothed comb, this is a professional contract worth more than 100 million dollars, and it’s obviously structured to “get around the cap.” It took them “this long” to come to their conclusion.

New Jersey called a press conference, not the NHL.

Friggin’ comment-makers around here are bush league.

Posted by NathanBC on 07/21/10 at 12:17 AM ET

Paul's avatar

The Hockey News contacted Bill Daly, he had no comment.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/21/10 at 12:19 AM ET

DigitalGypsy66's avatar

Wonder if the league is still investigating the Hossa and Pronger deals?  Ha.

Posted by DigitalGypsy66 on 07/21/10 at 12:20 AM ET

Primis's avatar

As much as we all hate the NBA… right about now that whole “max deal” thing sounds kinda’ like a good idea doesn’t it?

Posted by Primis on 07/21/10 at 12:27 AM ET


it’s going to be interesting how Donald Fehr and union will approach it.

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/21/10 at 12:35 AM ET


the day after the signing to figure this out?

Well, since the press conference wasn’t till today it’s possible the contract wasn’t filed until today.  And the lawyers have to go through it pretty thoroughly before they can make any kind of decision.

Posted by Garth on 07/21/10 at 12:38 AM ET


Chris Pronger wins again!

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/21/10 at 01:07 AM ET

Paul's avatar

If you are following, I started a new post on this topic.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/21/10 at 01:09 AM ET


Hopefully the NHLPA stands up for ALL its players, and not just Kovalchuck and realizes that these kinds of contracts cost every player in the league money as Dirk Hoag pointed out.

Posted by Kstewy16 on 07/21/10 at 01:11 AM ET


look at the fallout from this:

In order to retain status as a certified agent ... each agent shall annually certify he has not violated CBA Article 26 (no circumvention).  I hate to be Jay Grossman right now

Commissioner may impose a team fine of up to $5m but no less than $1m; forfeit of draft picks; and suspend a club employee, player or agent.

I can’t wait for DownGoesBrown’s NHL Contract Rejection flowchart

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/21/10 at 01:35 AM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

If the PA decides to take this all the way to the system arbitrator, it may have some pretty big implications for the Devils and Grossman. An arbitrator can impose fines, or even take away draft picks.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 07/21/10 at 02:19 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The lawyers didn’t need to go through this contract with a fine-tooth comb to figure out whether they were going to void it, the info at Capgeek is all they needed to look at.

Write better rules about your contracts. The Kovalchuk contract doesn’t break any rules, it should be allowed.  The NHLPA should be fighting for this one.

What a lot of people fail to remember when talking about how much damage a contract like this is doing to the league or the players is that it’s a risk for both Kovalchuk and the Devils.  If Kovy wants to keep playing for the best trophy in all of sports when he’s 38, he’s going to do it for paltry money and the Devils are going to have to deal with having a $6M cap hit on a league minimum salary.  That’s a risk that both sides have to be willing to take and they were.  If the Devils just waive Kovy at that point, they deal with the fallout of screwing a player and how to attract free agents then.  All the risk is on the individual team and the player.

If the league didn’t like it, they should have passed a rule change and had both sides talking about this before now.  By simply voiding it, the league lobbed a softball to the player’s union to pick a fight they can definitely win, helping to strengthen their positioning in the next CBA talks.

If the NHL can suddenly do things based on “spirit” rather than actual written language, then why didn’t Matt Cooke get suspended for cheap-shotting Marc Savard when there was no officially written rule that said what he did was cheap?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/21/10 at 11:05 AM ET


I’m glad someone around here is familiar with all the intricacies of the CBA, thanks J.J..

Posted by NathanBC on 07/21/10 at 01:23 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.

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