Yahoo! Sports has reported that the former Atlanta Thrasher and could be New Jersey Devil is yet again on the free agency market. Kovalchuk’s monstrosity of a contract was ruled today as void by independent arbitrator Richard Bloch. The ruling has sent the Russian sniper and the New Jersey Devils back to attempt to work out a new long term deal.
The 17 year, $102 million dollar deal would have been the longest contract in NHL history had the deal not been rejected by the NHL and Mr. Bloch. Although the deal was set for 17 years, it is highly speculated and almost guaransheeed that there was no realistic belief in Kovalchuk lacing the skates up for the Devils in 2027.
This ridiculous contract was created in a manner that would allow Kovalchuk to get the big time money he desired while keeping the New Jersey Devil’s salary cap concerns in check.
Over the first 10 years, Kovalchuk was set to be paid a total of 95 million dollars with the remaining 7 million spread over the final seven years. Due to this, the salary cap hit would be a mere 6 million a year. A small price to pay to have the league’s number one goal scorer since 2001 on your team.
Many have speculated that because Lou Lamoriello is currently 67 years young, the deal may have been formulated with that in mind. The GM, President and CEO of the team would be at the finality of the contract, 84 years of age. The likelihood of him still being as integral a part of the team as he is now is quite improbable thus alleviating some of the pressures he might have with it going through.