This is starting to get messy. Tom Gulitti is also reporting today that the NHL has told the “Kovalchuk Camp” that they would not accept their most recent proposed structure. Here is the quote from Gulitti:
According to multiple reports, the NHL did not approve the latest contract framework the Devils and Ilya Kovlachuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, presented at Monday’s meeting at league offices in Manhattan.
The Devils and Grossman have been working on a new deal since arbitrator Richard Bloch upheld the league’s rejection of the Devils’ 17-year, $102 million contract with Kovalchuk in his Aug. 9 ruling. Monday’s submission—not an actual contract—was not the first the Devils/Grossman made to the NHL since then. This has been a continuing process over the last 16 days as they have been trying to put together a contract structure that they are certain the league will approve before officially signing it and submitting it for approval. Apparently, their latest attempt also was not good enough.
The indication here is that Lou Lamoriello and the New Jersey Devils have tried a few times to get a contract structure accepted. The NHL, who to their credit is still holding their firm line, has rejected all of the proposals. There are no reports to how many other proposals have been made.
For those of you who are confused as to what is going on right now, let me take a moment to explain. Lamoriello and Kovalchuk’s camp are meeting with NHL League Officials to ensure that the structure of their new contract will be accepted, before they even submit it. So the proposals that are being rejected are not official contract submissions, they are the proposed structure of what a contract would look like.
Apparently they are having trouble doing that.
On a personal level Lamoriello needs to bite the bullet here. Either take Kovalchuk at a reasonable cap hit, without trying any of the tricks, or let him walk. Obviously the NHL, after their recent victory in arbitration, is not going to give in on this situation. Kovalchuk -- who seems to be all about the money at this point -- might find it easier to run to Russia and take that 3-year $45 million contract still sitting on the table.
We’ll keep you posted as more comes down the pipe. Till then make sure to visit In Lou We Trust for more.