Ilya Kovalchuk Contract Void: Now What For the NHL?

August 9th, 2010 by TAB BAMFORD Leave a reply »


Monday afternoon the NHL finally received a formal decision regarding the 17-year, $105 million contract offer from the New Jersey Devils to Ilya Kovalchuk.

The arbitrator has ruled in favor of the NHL, voiding the contract. Kovalchuk is now an unrestricted free agent (again).

This ruling could have historic impact not only on the NHL, but across professional sports; the NHL voided the contract because it circumvented the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This ruling limits the abuse of loopholes. While the ruling voids Kovalchuk's contract, it does not address deals given in previous years to players like Philadelphia's Chris Pronger and Chicago's Marian Hossa.

Widespread impact will undoubtedly be felt from this ruling, starting in the NHL. After the 2011-12 season, the NHL is eligible to renegotiate their current labor agreement. This could provide enough fuel to create a situation where the league has to deal with another work stoppage, which could cripple the game. The league has two years to figure it out, though.

Outside of the NHL, this decision could weigh on the negotiations between the N ...

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