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Kovalchuk contract has been submitted for approval, NHL has up to five days to decide

Ilya Kovalchuk

New Jersey Devils star forward Ilya Kovalchuk, of Russia, listens to a reporters question during a news conference in Newark, N.J., Tuesday, July 20, 2010. Kovalchuk is staying with the Devils after agreeing to a staggering 17-year, $102 million deal with the team. (AP Photo/ Mel Evans)


Here’s the update on what’s going on with Ilya Kovalchuk.

ESPN’s EJ Hradek tweets that Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has confirmed that a contract has been submitted to the NHL for approval. As part of the process, the NHL has five days to go over it and decide if it passes muster. Yahoo’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that the deal will most likely be approved and Kovalchuk will officially be a New Jersey Devil.

The latest contract proposal between free-agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils will be accepted by the NHL, a source close to the negotiation told Puck Daddy this afternoon.

The report was confirmed by Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record, who later added the NHL must still do a complete review of the framework and that it is “more than a formality.” We’ve already seen one press conference held for a contract that never happened, of course.

As for what the deal could be, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos tweets that it could be something in the neighborhood of 15 years and $100 million, good for a cap hit of $6.66 million a year. The hilarious irony of a deal with the Devils being worth the
Number of the Beast is not lost on us.

If that contract turns out to be true, the comparison between that and the 17-year, $102 million deal means knocking off two years and $2 million would mean that this whole battle reaches the absolute heights of madness. If adding $600,000 per year on a cap hit was worth all the bad publicity for all parties, I certainly hope the league can be happy with that.

Once again, however, we’ll wait to see if the NHL does, indeed, give the OK to this contract and we can put this circus of bad publicity behind us and get down to actual hockey news.