Puck Daddy - NHL

TORONTO - KHL president Alexander Medvedev read with interest Wednesday that the NHL didn't approve of a another deal between Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) and the New Jersey Devils, after rejecting a signed contract because it circumvented the salary cap.

"Ilya knows that our proposal is still on the table," Medvedev said at the World Hockey Summit. "Actually, I got a call from his agent. I will call after I finishing the discussion with you."

Teased that he could call at that moment, Medvedev said: "It could be big news."

What if, after all this, the end result of the Kovalchuk soap opera is that he plays in Russia?

"Obviously he's a great player, and we want him playing in the National Hockey League, and I believe he wants to play in the National Hockey League," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

"As a matter of fact, during our arbitration on the first contract, he said as much. His priority is to play in the National Hockey League. It's the best competition in the world, and he wants to be in the League. So we obviously want him playing in the league.

"Having said that, I think it's very, very important to protect our rules and to make decisions based on our rules. If it means losing a player, I'd rather protect our rules than make an exception for an exceptional player."

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