BREAKING NEWS: Kovalchuk Contract Denied by Arbitrator

Multiple news outlets are confirming that arbitrator Richard Bloch has sided with the National Hockey League in the Ilya Kovalchuk case.

Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils was originally rejected by the NHL on July 21st due to salary cap circumvention. With the way the deal was structured, Kovalchuk would make $6 million in the next two seasons, $11.5 million from 2012 to 2017, $10.5 million the next season and $550 000 in the last five seasons. If Kovalchuk were to play all 17 years of his contract, he will be 44-years-old by the time it expires.

Kovalchuk has spent the majority of his eight year career with Atlanta but was traded to New Jersey before the Olympics last season.

With the decision, Kovalchuk now returns to the free agent market and is eligible to sign with any team.

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