Can NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA advisor Donald Fehr resolve the Ilya Kovalchuk contract conundrum? A source told Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos via e-mail: “Don’t rule out a possible resolution between Bettman and Fehr moving forward.”
The National Hockey League has until 5 pm ET to either approve or reject the $100-million, 15-year deal Kovalchuk agreed to with the New Jersey Devils on Friday.
Fehr, who previously led the players union in Major League Baseball, has been working for the NHLPA as an unpaid advisor, but is expected to assume the role of executive director in the near future. A month ago, the NHL rejected a $102-million, 17-year contract for Kovalchuk, saying it violated the league salary cap. After the rejection, the NHL Players Association filed a grievance and the league’s decision was upheld by an arbitrator.
The 27-year-old Russian left winger has 338 goals and 304 assists in 642 career games. He had 41 goals and 44 assists last season. New Jersey traded him to Atlanta in February.