Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
The Rock, NJ • United States • 35 Years Old • Male
Source TG Fire And Ice

There have been so many deadline days during the Ilya Kovalchuk saga, I’ve lost track. We’ve got another one coming on Friday. The question is, will it be the last?

After the NHL and NHL Players’ Association mutually agreed to a 48-hour pushback of Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline for the league to approve or reject Kovalchuk’s 15-year, $100 million contract with the Devils, the new deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday.

We went through this drill a couple of days ago, but now we know the stakes are much broader than just a decision on Kovalchuk’s contract. The NHL and the NHLPA have been negotiating to more clearly define guidelines governing long-term contracts such as Kovlachuk’s. The result—if those negotiations reach a positive conclusion—would be an ammendment to the existing collective bargaining agreement and the approval of Kovalchuk’s contract under the pre-alterered CBA.

Although there was a report by ESPN’s Scott Burnside that the sides are “close” to reaching an agreement—and that report might very well turn out to be true—a league source said at 9 p.m. tonight that it was still too early to tell if the sides would be able to complete an agreement by the 5 p.m. deadline or if they would have to push back the deadline again. The sides continued to talk into this evening.

If there is progress, but no agreement, then the sides could agree to push back the deadline again. Even if they do reach an agreement, however, the uncertainty of the NHLPA’s leadership situation might come into play with no executive director in place, though former MLB union chief Donald Fehr is acting as lead adviser in this case. Still, an amendment to the CBA must be approved in a vote by the NHLPA’s 30-player executive board (20 votes in favor would be needed) and getting that done before 5 p.m. Friday could be tricky with players scattering for the extended Labor Day weekend.

The question then might become if the sides could simply settle for an agreement in principle until the NHLPA player representatives can hold their next conference call next week and if that agreement in principle would be enough for the NHL to approve Kovalchuk’s contract (under the previous CBA guidelines) on Friday? Or would the NHL want to wait until the NHLPA officially votes on the amendment before going forward with a decision on Kovalchuk’s contract.If so, that would mean pushing back the deadline again until Tuesday or Wednesday. (A conference call is planned to further discuss installing Fehr as executive director, and, according to ESPN.com’s E.J. Hradek there’s still no guarantee a vote on Fehr will take place that day).

The NHL Board of Governors would also have to approve the CBA change, but that, according to one source, such an alteration would get overwhelming support from team owners, who, like league officials, would like to put some kind of limit on long-term contracts.

The possiblity also exists that, though they have been working in earnest, the sides will be unable to agree decide to give up on the issue rather than push on beyond Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline. Then, the NHL would have to make its decision on Kovalchuk’s contract Friday without the benefit of a CBA amendment to fall back on.

The report that the league had issued the NHLPA an “ultimatum” to accept its terms on a CBA amendment by 5 p.m. Friday or it would reject Kovalchuk’s contract and move to de-register Roberto Luongo’s conrtact and open an official investigation into Marian Hossa’s contract was off base in some areas (using the five highest-paying seasons of a contract to determine cap hit has not been discussed), but there is no question that Kovalchuk’s contract is a major negotiating chip in this process. Still, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said via e-mail that, “no ultimatum has been given to anyone.”

Discussions between the NHL and NHLPA about possible guidelines for long-term contracts began shortly after arbitrator Richard Bloch’s Aug. 9 ruling that upheld the NHL’s rejection of the 17-year, $102 million contract Kovalchuk signed with the Devils on July 19. That was well before the Devils submitted Kovalchuk’s second contract last Friday, but the new deal did bring the issue to a head and some urgency to the matter.

A source said the NHLPA began preparing a grievance on Tuesday in anticipating that the NHL might also reject Kovalchuk’s new deal and was prepared to go to another arbitration hearing. Still, the players’ union also would like clearer guidelines on long-term contracts to avoid further conflict and confusion on the free agent market and continued to work Wednesday with the NHL torward a resolution.

When it became clear that the sides would not reach an agreement by the 5 p.m. Kovalchuk deadline, they mutually agreed Wednesday afternoon to push back the deadline to Friday and continue negotiations. It was hardly a gun-to-the-head ultimatum situation.
Filed Under:   Devils   Kovalchuk  
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Blog Archive

10 On Kovi free agency
12 WOW The Devils Make A Great Move!!!!
12 John MacLean is hands on as Devils open prospects camp
12 Is Ilya Kovalchuk moving closer to signing with Los Angeles?
13 Has Kovalchuck lost his footing with New Jersey Devils Fans?
13 Elias understands Kovalchuk's dilemma
14 Elias excited for what future holds
15 Lots of talk but nothing to announce yet on Kovalchuk
15 Kovalchuk Looking Less and Less Likely for New Jersey Devils
15 Kovalchuk desperately wants to be the highest paid Russian!!
15 Devils don't offer veteran center Eric Chouinard a contract
15 Anton Volchenkov: Devils were my second choice
15 MacLean meets the A-Train
16 Are Ilya Kovalchuk's salary demands tied to Alex Ovechkin?
16 Newly-signed Tyler Eckford wants to play his way into a job
16 Devils' World Won't End if Kovy Bypasses Newark
18 Kings believed they had a 50-50 chance of signing Kovinuts
19 Brian Rolston knows that changes are coming for Devils
19 Devils' signing of Ilya Kovalchuk puts a smile on John Mac!!
19 Dainius Zubrus: signing Ilya Kovalchuk was to shake up the Devils
19 What might happen next?????
20 Who Will Go???
20 Which Contracts Will Lou Dump Now?
20 Left winger Ilya Kovalchuk, there is significance to #17
21 Once Kovalchuk's deal is settled, attention to Zach!!!
21 NHL doesn't believe Ilya Kovalchuk will stay untill Age 44
21 contracts similar to Ilya Kovalchuk's deal with Devils
21 NHL Players' Assocation issues statement On Kovi
21 Lamoriello statement on Kovalchuk signing
21 ’t win Ilya Kovalchuk contract showdown
22 It's in hands of Ilya Kovalchuk and union
22 NHL might have picked wrong fight
22 LA Kings Dean Lombardi backs up Kovalchuck Contract
24 NHLPA to file grievance
25 The Kovi Saga
25 NHL prosecution merely a temper tantrum
26 Devils wait for players' union to file grievance
26 contract could trigger a war between Devils and NHL
27 Decision on Kovalchuk is expected nexty week
28 Kovalchuk contract could be restructured by arbitrator
28 Yann Danis Going to KHL
28 Mark Fraser Signed....
29 Newly-signed Mark Fraser vows to be 'mean, physical Player
30 Arbitrator has been agreed upon
30 Kovalchuck Hearing?????
31 Arbitrator - Richard Bloch a NEw Jersey Native
31 Association agree on arbitrator to rule on Ilya Kovalchuk
03 Kovalchuk will attend contract hearing
03 Devils will wear retro jerseys March 18 vs. Washington
04 D day for Kovi and the Devils
05 Roller Hockey at the Jersey Shore
06 Jim Dowd Shore High School Hockey Game set for Sunday
06 Is this is a set-up between Lou and Gary???
09 The arbitration decision coming today
11 Translated article from soviet sports kovalchuck
11 Devils name Rick Kowalsky head coach at Albany
12 HEATS ON!!!!
12 Where do the Devils stand in the market???
16 Today might be the day
16 90 million over 10-13 for kovi?
16 Russian News Paper Reports Devs and Kovi....
17 Contract submitted???
18 Another Quiet day in the Kovi Front
19 Devils still waiting to see what happens with Kovy
19 “Status Quo” On Ilya Kovalchuk And Devils
20 Devils After Marc-Andre Bergeron???
20 Kovi wants nothing to do with the KHL
20 Elias on the Move???
21 Questions Surround Devils in Wake of Kovalchuck saga
22 Brian Burke Testified Against Ilya Kovalchuk Contract???
22 Devils Bringing Hockey Back To Atlantic City
23 Patrik Elias could be moved to sign fellow winger Zach Paris
23 Today could be the Day!!!
23 News 1130 out of Vancouver Reports on Kovi
23 Possible contract for Kovalchuck
23 Devils add more youth to the roster
23 EJHradek_ESPN Reports NJ Devils meet with the NHL
24 News 12 New Jersey Reports on Kovi Contract...
24 Bryce Salvador to Stars...
25 NHL 2 Devils 0.....
25 Lamoriello not frustrated by Kovalchuk process
25 Commish denies report of deal rejection
26 – NYPOST.com
26 Looks Like KHL is out of the question
27 Could this be finalyy over???
30 Devils could part with Zajac if Kovalchuk stays
30 ’ contract, but Kovalchuk retires
31 ’s official decision on Kovalchuk’s TODAY!!!!!
31 Niemi a Devil?????