NEW YORK (AP) -The NHL has extended its deadline to Friday for approving Ilya Kovalchuk's $100 million, 15-year contract with the New Jersey Devils.
The league and the NHL Players' Association announced the new deadline Wednesday.
The NHL has already rejected a front-loaded, 17-year deal valued at $102 million because the structure of the deal would have circumvented the league's salary cap. An independent arbitrator upheld that decision.
The Devils and Kovalchuk submitted the new contract to the league last Friday.
"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," Devils president Lou Lamoriello said. "We will have no further comment until the decision is rendered."