So, as the controversy entered it's third month, it finally came to a close. The National Hockey League has approved a new, 15-year, $100 million contract agreement between the New Jersey Devils and superstar Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk.
Here's the confirmation from the NHL and NHL.com writer Dan Rosen:
The Ilya Kovalchuk saga has come to an end.
Kovalchuk will be a New Jersey Devil after all, and the circumvention investigations of the contracts for Roberto Luongo, Marc Savard, Chris Pronger and Marian Hossa will not be pursued.
Earlier Saturday, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association agreed to a global settlement to cease the investigations linked to cap circumvention for the above contracts while adopting regulations to govern long-term contracts of five or more years.
The regulations will be added as a supplement to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and apply to all contracts signed from today. As a result, NHL officials agreed to register the new Kovalchuk contract as it was submitted by New Jersey last week and terminate their reviews of the contracts already registered for Luongo, Savard, Pronger and Hossa.
There's a lot more to look into here about contracts and how things will change down the road, but those are for another day. It has been the strangest time of my admittedly short career writing, this Kovalchuk ordeal. There will be analysis from both a Devils and media perspective Sunday in my column. I'll update this with any statements from the league, PA or the Devils before the night is over.
I'm just thankful it is finally ended. Jim Morrison expresses it best: