NHL Rejects Kovalchuk Deal
The National Hockey League rejected a landmark deal today that would have given Forward Ilya Kovalchuk a 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils. The NHL ruled that the longest deal in its history violated the league salary cap.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was quoted on NHL.com saying:
“The contract has been rejected by the League as a circumvention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under the CBA, the contract rejection triggers a number of possible next steps that may be elected by any or each of the NHLPA, the Player and/or the Club. In the interim, the player is not entitled to play under the contract, nor is he entitled to any of the rights and benefits that are provided for thereunder. The League will have no further comment on this matter pending further developments.”
Kovalchuk’s deal was likely rejected because the All-Star was slated to earn only $550,000 in each of his last five seasons of the contract that was set to run through the 2026-27 season. Kovalchuk was to earn $98.5 million in the first 11 years of the deal that would expire when he was 44.
New Jersey Devils President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello issued the following statement in response to the National Hockey League’s rejection of the team’s contract with Ilya Kovalchuk:
“We are extremely disappointed that the NHL has decided to reject the contract of Ilya
Kovalchuk. The contract complies with the terms of the Collective Bargaining
Agreement. We will have no further comment until the process outlined in the CBA is
Kovalchuk, the Devils, and the player’s association still have options to resturcture the deal.