Bettman disputes report; Medvedev lurks

It just wouldn’t be a sunrise without a little new light thrown on the Ilya Kovalchuk free agency marathon. ESPN’s Scott Burnside writes that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies the NHL nixed the proposal brought by the New Jersey Devils and Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman.

The New York Post reported Wednesday that the league had spiked the second attempt. The Commish may just be parsing words here, as he states, “In order for a contract to be rejected, there would have to be a signed contract submitted," Bettman said. "There has not been a signed contract submitted."

It’s been previously reported that no contract was actually submitted at the much-discussed Monday meeting between the Devils, Grossman and the league, but rather a conceptual framework. Burnside notes that Bettman did not dispute that there has been ongoing discussion between the parties on what the league would allow under the salary cap.

Meanwhile, KHL top boss Alexander Medvedev, on hand in Toronto for the World Hockey Summit, made it clear that his offer to Kovalchuk was still on the table and said he’d received a call from the winger’s agent yesterday.

As reported by Pavel Lysenko of Sovietsky Sport, and posted on the New York Post’s hockey blog, the NHL will only agree to a contract term of 13 years or less. The last framework on Monday was reportedly for 15 years.

Morning Links