Puck Daddy - NHL

According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, the latest contract submitted for Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) by the New Jersey Devils is the sort of creative attempt at cap-hit management -- or circumvention, depending on your worldview -- that Dmitry Chesnokov reported on earlier this week. 

The numbers, from Sportsnet:

2010-11: $6 million
2011-12: $6 million
2012-13: $11 million
2013-14: $11.3 million
2014-15: $11.3 million
2015-16: $11.6 million
2016-17: $11.8 million
2017-18: $10 million
2018-19: $7 million
2019-20: $4 million
2020-21: $1 million
2021-22: $1 million
2022-23: $1 million
2023-24: $3 million
2024-25: $4 million

(Ed. Note: Leave it to Sportsnet ... as Puck Buddy Darryl mentioned in the comments, their report left out a reference to the 2019-20 season. So we moved the dates back a year after that season, assuming that's what Sportsnet was going for.)

Unlike the first since-rejected contract, it's 15 years instead of 17. It's $100 million rather than $102 million - and, hence, a less lucrative contract than what Kovalchuk turned down with the Atlanta Thrashers, by $1 million.

Its value climbs at the end rather than dropping to sub-minimum salary levels for 2025, and its value never dips under $1 million -- a magic number for NHL-approved contracts in recent years. From Sportsnet:

The new deal will pay Kovalchuk an average of $2.6 million over the final three years, including a base salary of $4 million in the 2024-25 season, the last year of the contract. The original deal had an annual cap hit of $6 million, while the new deal increases that to $6.67 million.

One major detail that remains unreported: The presence of a no-movement clause, and if or when it becomes a no-trade clause at some point in the contract. That was seen as an "escape clause" for the Devils in the arbitration hearing; one assumes it's a major factor here as well.

We'll know the fate of this new contract by 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Do you think it passes the sniff test for the NHL?

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