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Kovalchuk hearing concludes, decision by Monday

Thursday, 08.05.2010 / 2:45 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

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Kovalchuk hearing concludes, decision by Monday
The arbitration hearing of Ilya Kovalchuk has wrapped up and now the hockey world waits for arbitrator Richard Bloch to render a decision.
The arbitration hearing that will determine the immediate and potential long-term future of star left wing Ilya Kovalchuk has wrapped up in Boston and now the hockey world, specifically Kovalchuk, the New Jersey Devils and the NHL, wait for arbitrator Richard Bloch to render a decision on the matter.

Bloch has until the end of business Monday to rule on whether the NHL was justified in rejecting the 17-year, $102 million contract Kovalchuk signed with the Devils last month. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated at the time the NHL rejected the contract that it was doing so because the deal circumvents the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

If Bloch rules that the NHL was within its legal right to reject Kovalchuk's contract, the Russian sniper immediately returns to unrestricted free agent status. If Bloch rules that the NHL unjustly rejected the contract and it is indeed valid under terms of the CBA then the League must immediately approve the contract.

Bloch spent the last two days listening to arguments from the NHL and the NHLPA. It is unknown if anybody from the Devils, Kovalchuk or his agent, Jay Grossman, were called to testify.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Quote of the Day

I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.

— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday