The New Jersey Devils’ re-worked contract offer to star forward Ilya Kovalchuck has been under review with the NHL and NHLPA since last Friday August 27 and was originally supposed to come to an end September 1st by 5 p.m. ET. Since obviously no decision was made, the NHL extended that deadline another two days.
Originally Kovalchuck was offered a 17 year, $102 million contract, which was rejected by the league for circumvention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. A decision upheld by system arbitrator Richard Bloch.
The new contract calls for Kovalchuck to receive $100 million dollars over a 15 year span. This new contract is only slightly less money and slightly less in length but may just be altered enough to be accepted.
It seems like this type of long-term contract is what Kovalchuck is asking for in order to play with New Jersey but if it were only about the money Ilya could play in Russia for the original 17 year, $102 million dollar deal which still stands if he agrees to join the KHL. I bet Kovalchuck is willing to take a lesser deal in order to stay where the true hockey competition is, the NHL. Maybe it’s the draw of the magical Garden State that’s keeping Kovalchuck in the league, either way it would be nice to keep one of the top scoring forwards in the world in the best league in the world, the NHL.
Lou Lamoriello, Devils General Manager, is confident that a deal will be made and nervous Devils fans will see Kovalchuck on the ice this year. The addition of Kovalchuck instantly makes the Devils legitimate contenders for an Atlantic Division title and another Stanley Cup run.
We will just have to wait and see if the NHL accepts this new contract or if the Devils will have to make a second revision. But as they always say, the third time is the charm.