The Post headline read that the contract the Devils submitted to the League last Friday is a no-go. It appears, however, that this report is not accurate.
Puck Daddy learned on Monday night that the NHL has not issued a decision on the contract. The league is still reviewing the latest -- and what very well may be the last -- contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk.
According to a source close to the negotiation, the contract submitted Friday addressed all of the concerns raised by arbitrator Richard Bloch in his decision and those the NHL presented during informal conversations between all parties in the last few weeks.
It appears the league will take all five days given it by the Collective Bargaining Agreement to make a decision on the contract.
On Saturday, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti that the club feels "good about what we submitted," the sentiment echoed by our source close to the negotiation.
Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet on Monday night reported that the last three years of Kovalchuk's new contract "average $2.6 million," including a "base of $4 million" in the last season, 2024-25.
In the meantime, KHL President Alexander Medvedev was in attendance when KHL's SKA made their presentation to the media, including announcing the team roster and goals for the season. At the event, Medvedev reiterated that the offer from SKA is still on the table for Kovalchuk. Medvedev jokingly added that Kovalchuk "can still get into a fight for a spot on the third or the fourth line."
But joking aside, as time is running out, the NHL may leave Kovalchuk no choice but to play in the KHL next season.
- Ilya Kovalchuk