Looks like Ilya Kovalchuk has finally done a deal with the Devils that the NHL likes.
The New Jersey Devils have reportedly signed the Russian sniper, this time for a reported 15 years and $100 million that works out a beastly $6.66 million cap hit per year, for the second time in just over a month.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN Friday that a new contract between Kovalchuk and the Devils has been submitted for approval. The league has five days to review the deal before approving or rejecting it.
According to Yahoo! sports blog Puck Daddy, a source close to the negotiations has indicated the NHL will accept the new contract.
"I can't get into it at all," Jay Grossman, Kovalchuk's agent, told the Newark Star-Ledger when asked for details of the contract. "We've never wavered from (not commenting) from the beginning. It's of no benefit to us."
Grossman, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello and Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek met with NHL executives to discuss the framework for a new deal on Monday, although no signed contract was submitted at the time.
The new contract between Kovalchuk and the Devils is the first submitted to the NHL since arbitrator Richard Bloch upheld the league's ruling to void the previous agreement, which would have paid the 27-year-old forward $102 million over 17 years.
The voided contract, signed on July 20, would have seen Kovalchuk earn $95 million in the first 10 years and $7 million over the last seven, resulting in a $6 million cap hit. He would have been 44 years old by the end of the deal in 2027.
The NHL rejected the contract the next day, saying that it circumvented the league's collective bargaining agreement. The NHL Players' Association then submitted a grievance on Kovalchuk's behalf, and from there the issue went before Bloch.
Kovalchuk split time between the Atlanta Thrashers and Devils last season after being traded to New Jersey in February. He netted 41 goals and 44 assists in 76 games.