Kovalchuk countdown continues

The NHL remained silent yesterday in regard to the latest contract for LW Ilya Kovalchuk submited by the Devils, but details of the new agreement have begun to trickle out.

Arbitrator Richard Bloch ruled that the first pact between Kovy and the Devils was a form of salary cap circumvention due to a precipitous drop in salary over the deal's final years. This latest version of the contract appears to address that issue. Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos (yes, that Nick Kypreos) reported that the final three years of the newly-submitted contract will average $2.6 million, including $4M in the final 2024-25 season. That change should alleviate league concerns and possibly cover the cost of Kovalchuk's new recreational spacecraft and a downpayment on his floating apartment on Mars.

As noted in Kypreos's tweet, the NHL would be opening a big can of worms if it voided this deal, since two other long-term contracts promise Roberto Luongo and Marian Hossa far less money over their final three years. Luongo's deal averages just $1.2M over the final three years, while Hossa's averages $833,000.