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NHL, NHLPA extend deadline for Kovalchuk decision

Saturday, 09.04.2010 / 2:25 AM / NHL Free Agency 2010

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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NHL, NHLPA extend deadline for Kovalchuk decision
 
The Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation expected to reach a conclusion by 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday will instead continue until 3 a.m. ET Saturday, ten hours longer than original Friday 5 p.m. ET deadline. The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association announced it was mutually agreed to extend the deadline by which the League must reach a decision on the latest contract Kovalchuk signed with the New Jersey Devils.

The contract, which reportedly calls for Kovalchuk to make $100 million over 15 years, was submitted to the NHL last Friday and the League originally had five days to review the contract before deciding if it was acceptable or not.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello issued this statement late Wednesday afternoon: "We have today been advised that the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to extend until Friday the decision on whether to approve or reject the latest contract between Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils.

"We remain confident that the terms of this contract comply, in every respect, with the CBA and meet both the NHL's concerns and the principles of Arbitrator Bloch's decision. We remain optimistic that this extension will result in an approval of the contract and that Ilya Kovalchuk will remain a valuable member of the Devils for the balance of his career.

"We will have no further comment until the decision is rendered."

Kovalchuk this summer has already had a 17-year, $102 million contract rejected by the NHL for circumvention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The League's decision was upheld by a system arbitrator, Richard Bloch.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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