SBD/Issue 238/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NHL Reportedly Shuns Devils' Second Attempt At Kovalchuk Deal

With NHL Reportedly Turning Down Another
Deal, Could Kovalchuk Head To The KHL?

The Devils' attempts to sign LW Ilya Kovalchuk to a new contract "have been confounded again, denied encouragement from the NHL on their second try at a contract," according to sources cited by Mark Everson of the N.Y. POST. The NHL yesterday reportedly "continued its hard line by criticizing the framework of a deal the Devils and Kovalchuk's camp optimistically presented for comment Monday." Everson writes by still failing to approve a contract between the Devils and Kovalchuk, the NHL is "risking being the culprit if one of its most talented players leaves for Russia, as time becomes a factor in Kovalchuk's decision where to play." Aside from the "looming opening of Russia's KHL season Sept. 8, Kovalchuk's main but less preferred other option, going back to the drawing board again jeopardizes" Devils President, CEO & GM Lou Lamoriello's "desire to complete the Kovalchuk signing and subsequent cap-forced jettisoning of important players by the Sept. 17 start of training camp" (N.Y. POST, 8/25).

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