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Richard Bloch will be the arbitrator for the Ilya Kovalchuk contract grievance

Thumbnail image for kovalchukpressconf2.jpg

While the NHL and Players Association refused to go on record regarding who, exactly, will be the arbitrator for the Ilya Kovalchuk contract dispute, someone found out anyway. has the word.

The National Hockey League and its Players’ Association have agreed on an arbitrator to settle the Ilya Kovalchuk case, Sportsnet has learned.

Richard Bloch, who has heard CBA grievances in the past, will arbitrate the case which could start on Wednesday and possibly conclude by Thursday.

If you’re looking for detailed analysis on who Bloch is - his preferences, previous decisions, astrological sign - you’ve come to the wrong place. All I know about the man is that he “has heard CBA grievances in the past.”

Update: Low and behold, Gulitti came up with a few details about Bloch.

Bloch, a longtime Wash. D.C. resident, was born in East Orange and graduated from Livingston H.S. before attending Dartmouth and U.Mich Law

Tom Gulitti did confirm with Bloch that he would be the system arbitrator and that the hearing would take place on Wednesday. Bloch would not reveal the location of the hearing, though.

All indications point to this case being resolved by late next week, thank goodness. Raise your hand if you thought Kovalchuk wouldn’t have a new contract until August ...

Extra update: Gulitti shares more tidbits about Bloch, from ruling on European players “defecting” to a case regarding NFL player (and sit-up enthusiast) Terrell Owens.