Hradek: Kovalchuck ruling could impact Savard

The announcement Monday night that an arbitrator was voiding the 17-year, $102 million deal Ilya Kovalchuck signed with the New Jersey Devils could have an impact on the Bruins.

ESPN.com's EJ Hradek writes that a footnote on the ruling says that the league is continuing to investigate similar deals signed by Marian Hossa, Roberto Luongo, Chris Pronger and the Bruins’ Marc Savard. Hradek confirmed with a high-ranking NHL official confirmed that the league is indeed investigating those four contracts.

Hradek writes:

On Monday evening, a high-ranking NHL official confirmed that the league is indeed continuing to investigate those four contracts. To what end, it's hard to know. Would the league really pull its approval of a previously registered deal? I doubt it, but at least for now, that remains a possibility -- albeit a remote one. After all, the league would have to undertake a similar process with each player in front of different arbitrators.

Of the four players, Hossa is the only one who has played a season under his contract; Luongo, Pronger and Savard are scheduled to enter the first season of their new deals.

Later Hradek discusses Savard's deal:

Because Pronger and Savard are older -- both in their mid-30s -- their deals don't carry the double-digit term. But they do have the same front-loaded financial structure.

Pronger is due to get $33.4 million of his $34.45 million in the first five years of a seven-year deal that will take him to age 42. Savard, meanwhile, will get $25.5 million of his total $28.05 million in the first four seasons of a seven-year contract that will take him to within 17 days of his 40th birthday. (Interestingly, the Boston Bruins now are seeking to trade Savard before he gets his first paycheck from his new deal.)

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli acknowledged the investigation in a statement released later Tuesday afternoon: "We are cooperating fully with the League in its investigation of the Marc Savard contract extension. The League informed us upon their registration of the contract on December 1, 2009 that they would be investigating the circumstances surrounding this contract. From that point on, they commenced their investigation and it has been ongoing since then. On August 4th, I met with two League appointed lawyers as part of the investigation. We will continue to cooperate with the League in any future investigative proceedings if necessary and we will have no further comment on the matter at this time."

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