Home > Team Signings > NHL Rejects Kovalchuk Deal

NHL Rejects Kovalchuk Deal

The Associated Press is reporting that the NHL has rejected the Devils 17 year, $102 million dollar contract with left-winger Ilya Kovalchuk.

Apparently, the NHL has rejected the contract on the grounds that the years of low salary at the end of the deal serve to only lower the cap hit.

The NHL doesn’t believe that Kovalchuk will play out those final years, which pay him only $550,000.

Neither Lou Lamoriello or Jeff Vanderbeek commented on the ruling tonight. The NHLPA, which approved the deal, can file a grievance on behalf of Kovalchuk. The contract will be void during that process.

As Tom Gulitti reports, the Devils employ Steve Pellegrini, the team’s “cap guru” and vice president of hockey operations, who worked as an NHL cap regulator and knows the CBA inside and out. If the deal wouldn’t work, you’d figure he’d tell the team.

It will be interesting to see where this goes from here. From earlier comments, it didn’t seem like Lamoriello wanted this deal. Now, he may have to go fight for it.

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