Despite the very real possibility that Ilya Kovalchuk will play this season in Russia should his contract situation not be settled in a timely manner Stateside, the NHL has not yet decided whether they'll approve the Devils' fifteen-year, $100 million contract offer to the free-agent left wing. In a potentially encouraging development, Nick Kypreos reports that the last three years of the deal would average $2.6 million a year, with a base salary of $4 million in the final year. (As you'll recall, one of the problems with the original contract was the huge drop-off in salary toward the end of the contract.) The league has until tomorrow to make up its mind, but if it rejects the contract, it might be the last one they're presented with before Kovalchuk opts to play the season in the KHL — and possibly go through this absurd process again next summer. [Star-Ledger]
Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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