Ilya Kovalchuk Update: Arbitration Looming

August 3rd, 2010 No Comments’s Dan Rosen is reporting that Ilya Kovalchuk’s arbitration case will commence on Wednesday with a decision being made public as early as Friday.

The NHL rejected Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million deal based on the fact that they felt the contract circumvented the CBA.

The onus will be on the NHL to prove that the Kovalchuk deal was, in fact, signed with the intention of side-stepping the CBA, which, given the wording of said CBA, will be tough to do.

While many NHL fans do feel the Kovalchuk deal is reasonable, there are more than a few that feel the deal is “insane”, especially in light of the fact that the deal is front loaded and that Kovalchuk would be 43 years old when it expires.

Many believe, given how little will be owed to the talented Russian sniper in the final five years of the deal, that Kovalchuk fully intends to retire after 12 seasons.

It will be up to arbitrator Richard Block to decide if the Kovalchuk deal will stand or if the deal will, in fact, be seen as illegal.

If Block sides with Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils the deal will stand, as is.

If Block sides with the NHL the two sides could elect try to hammer out the sticking points in an effort to make a deal work or Kovalchuk could once again be deemed a free agent at which point Kovalchuk could opt to sign with another NHL club, the KHL or sign another deal with the Devils.

Until next time,


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