Has Precedent Been Established in the Case of Ilya Kovalchuk’s Contract?

July 31st, 2010 by Trent Reinsmith Leave a reply »
In less than a week, we will have an answer in the case of the NHL vs. The New Jersey Devils in regard to the Ilya Kovalchuk contract.

The case will be heading to an arbitrator within the next few days.  

The arbitrator will decide if the 17-year, $102 million contract was within the rules of the current collective bargaining agreement.  

If the arbitrator, Richard Bloch, decides in favor of the NHL, the contract will be voided and Kovalchuk will become an unrestricted free agent.

If Bloch decides in favor of the Devils, the contract will be approved and Kovalchuk will be a Devil until he is 44 years-old.

The NHL argues that the contract circumvents the current CBA.  Their point being that the contract was written in a way for the Devils to absorb a reasonable salary cap hit of $6 million over the 17 years of the contract while knowing that Kovalchuk will never play out the term of the contract.  

The problem with the argument is that there may already be a precedent set with previous approved contracts.

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