NHL Approved Kovalchuk’s 15-Year-Deal With Devils


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Former Atlanta Thrashers’ left winger Ilya Kovalchuk was approved to complete a 15-year-deal with New Jersey Devils after NHL rejected initially Russian’s 17-year agreement with the same team. Kovalchuk is expected now to play for the Devils until 2024-2025 NHL season. The agreement between the two sides reached 100 million dollars unlike the 102 million offered for the 17-year-deal, deal which was also widely investigated by NHL, that controlled so far Boston’s Marc Savard, Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and Chicago’s Marian Hossa long-term agreements, too. However, NHLPA associate counsel Roland Lee declared in the same time that he’s pleased that the hockey body finished the rules which regards long-term contracts.

“We are pleased to finalize an agreement which ends the league’s circumvention investigations and also establishes rules on long-term contracts that will provide players, their certified agents and general managers clarity for the negotiation of new contracts. Turning the page on this process is something that will benefit all parties involved.” Lee said. Russian’s deals included low salaries at the end to lower the cap hit. Still, according to the CBA, the average of the annual value of a deal is the cap hit. Thus, Kovalchuk received an average of 8.9 million dollars for the first 11 years of the rejected deal of 17 years, to get 750,000 dollars starting with the 12th year and 550,000 dollars for the rest five years so that at the end to lower the cap hit to 6 million dollars. “For the purpose of salary cap calculations, any long-term contract that extends past a player’s 41st birthday will be valued and accounted for in two ways: The compensation for all seasons that do not include or succeed the player’s 41st birthday will be totaled and divided by the number of those seasons to determine the annual average value charged against the team’s cap for those seasons. In all subsequent seasons, the team’s cap charge will be the actual compensation paid to the player in that season (or seasons, as appropriate).”

Among deal’s stipulations was also included that when the Russian will reach 36 to 40 years of age the compensation to be valued at minimum 1 million. “Additionally, in any long-term contract that averages more than $5.75 million for the three highest-compensation seasons, the following rule shall apply: Solely to determine its value for purposes of the salary cap, a player’s compensation for any season in which he is age 36, 37, 38, 39 and/or 40 shall be valued at a minimum of $1 million,” the contract read.11

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