After getting their 17 year, $102 million deal with Ilya Kovalchuk rejected by the NHL for salary cap circumvention, the New Jersey Devils are still trying to negotiate a new deal that will satisfy the requirements of Kovalchuk as well as the NHL.
The original deal would have seen Kovalchuk make $95 million in the first ten years of the deal but only $7 million during the final seven years of the contract, giving an average cap hit of $6 million. The deal would end up finishing when Kovalchuk is age 44, where it is assumed that he will not be playing in the NHL by that time.
The NHL rejected the contract because of the details stated above and their decision was upheld by an arbitrator after the NHLPA filed a grievance towards the NHL’s decision.
Ever since, the Devils have been trying to create a new deal with Kovalchuk with no success thus far. Reportedly, the Devils had talked about a new framework for a Kovalchuk contract to the NHL on Monday and the NHL deemed that the new framework would also be unacceptable. Now people have mistakenly thought through this development that Kovalchuk had signed a new contract which is completely false as Kovalchuk has not signed anything and no formal contract was submitted to the NHL. This was just the Devils and the NHL talking about a new concept the Devils had for a Kovalchuk contract.
With no contract yet, there is a stronger chance that Kovalchuk will go back to his home country of Russia and play in the KHL, whose season begins on September 8th.
More details to come in the upcoming days about the Ilya Kovalchuk saga.
SFC Viewer: Does that mean a return of your series “NHL Love Connection” featuring Ilya Kovalchuk?
Mike Cosentino: Unfortunately not.