Kovy decision by Monday

The Ilya Kovalchuk contract fiasco should be settled by early next week. (REUTERS/Tami Chappell)

The Ilya Kovalchuk contract fiasco should be settled by early next week. (REUTERS/Tami Chappell)

DAVE POLLARD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:57 PM ET

The arbitration hearing into the validity of Ilya Kovalchuk's monster contract with the New Jersey Devils will start Wednesday and a decision is expected early next week, according to a report in the Newark Star Ledger.

Arbitrator Richard I. Block must decide whether the 17-year, $102-million contract Kovalchuk signed with the Devils, which was rejected by the NHL as an attempt to circumvent the salary cap rules, is in fact valid.

Bloch, a labor arbitrator from Washington, D.C., who has law and business degrees from the University of Michigan, could rule on the issue Friday but will likely wait until Monday to announce his decision. Arguments by the NHL and the NHL Players Association, which grieved the league's decision to void the deal, will continue Thursday.


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