NHLPA Files Grievance Regarding Ilya Kovalchuk's Contract
The NHLPA released the following statement: "The NHLPA has filed a grievance disputing the NHL's rejection of the Standard Player Contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk. Under the terms of the CBA, the NHLPA and Mr. Kovalchuk are entitled to an expedited resolution of this matter. The NHLPA will have no further comment until this matter has been resolved by an Arbitrator."
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly responded with a statement of his own: "We have received formal notice that the NHLPA is grieving the league's rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk's contract with the New Jersey Devils. Although there is no defined timetable at this point, we intend to work with the players' association to ensure an expeditious resolution of this dispute. The league looks forward to the opportunity to establish its position before the arbitrator. We will have no further public comment pending completion of the process."
Kovalchuk, the top free agent available this summer, agreed to a 17-year, $102 million contract on July 19. After a press conference was held to officially announce the deal the following day, the NHL rejected it later that night. The decision sparked a firestorm of debate regarding the legality of such deals, especially since there have been similar contracts signed over the past couple of seasons that were allowed to go forward.
According to TSN, once the two sides agree on an arbitrator that person will have 48 hours to make a ruling on the case.