Savard's agent will fight for his contract

Boston Bruins' Marc Savard is one of the NHLers whose contract is under review by the league. (QMI...

Boston Bruins' Marc Savard is one of the NHLers whose contract is under review by the league. (QMI AGENCY)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:46 PM ET

Larry Kelly wasn't pulling any punches Thursday.

Not only did the Ottawa-based lawyer/agent suggest the NHL needs new leadership at the top, he told the Team 1200 morning show he'll launch a lawsuit if Marc Savard's seven-year, $28-million extension is voided.

"We haven't heard anything from the league. We feel our contract is fine and it complies with the CBA in all respects. It was not rejected on its face and it was registered with the league," said Kelly.

"If the league were to arbitrarily do something, it would be a very serious issue. Marc Savard had a very serious concussion. He came back to play in the playoffs to try to help his team, but he was not anywhere near the player he had been. If Marc is without a contract, and a so-called free agent after he has missed the free-agency period, you can imagine the lawsuit that would ensue."

Kelly also took a shot at commissioner Gary Bettman.

"I'd like to see hockey with a true commissioner, somebody that's there with the best interests of the game in mind, rather than the situation they have now with Bettman who is a president of the league," said Kelly. "He clearly is on the owners side in every issue. That reflects in all of the decisions with Colin Campbell in the discipline."

Kelly's comments come as the NHL is deciding whether to approve or reject Ilya Kovalchuk's 15-year, $100-million contract with the New Jersey Devils -- negotiated after arbitrator Richard Bloch sided with the league and threw out a front-loaded 17-year, $102-million deal last month.

Former Canucks player rep Brendan Morrison, who's now a free agent, blamed the owners for the contract mess.

"It's amazing how the owners find a way to circumvent the (CBA) and it's going to come back to the players to rectify," said Morrison. "How many more parameters do we need to put in place in order for these guys to curb spending?"

Morrison also offered some advice to Bettman.

"Maybe he should do some due diligence with the actual owners association and talk to these guys directly. They're doing it to each other, it started with guys started to offer restricted free agent-deals and all these teams start panicking, so they lock up all their young guys to huge contracts and now it's coming back to the players to rectify and I don't think it's right."

-- With files from Hosea Cheung, QMI Agency


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