He's still in limbo and there won't be a decision until later in the week. Here are some links to other stories while you wait. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Update: Gulitti got confirmation within the last hour that it'll definitely begin on Wednesday. Apologies for the error.
Judgment day is becoming ever more imminent. At least, with respect to the NHL's rejection of the $102 million, 17 year contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk. According to Tom Gulitti, a report out of Russia claims the arbitration hearing is set for
Tuesday Wednesday in Boston. Even if that doesn't come to fruition, the hearing should happen this week as both the NHL and NHLPA agreed to have Richard Bloch act as the arbitrator over this past weekend, per Gulitti.
I don't think there's going to be a whole lot revealed about this case until it actually ends. And that's what really what most people would be interested. As I stated last week, the decision is basically whether the NHL's rejection of the contract will be sustained and Kovalchuk goes back to being an unrestricted free agent (Article 11.6(a)(iii)) or the NHL's rejection will be overruled and the contract is accepted as-is by the league (Article 11.6(a)(v)). The vast majority of the readers here feel that the rejection will be overruled; though given that this is a Devils blog, it shouldn't be any surprise the results would skew in favor of the decision that keeps Kovalchuk in New Jersey.
Nevertheless, I've already posted my own thoughts with citation from the Collective Bargaining Agreement as to whether the deal violates Article 50 (I don't think it does) and what provisions are being followed at this juncture (Article 11.6(a) and not Article 26.13). There really isn't much more to say about this issue. So here are a few links from around the network that you should read while we wait for Bloch's decision:
First, keeping it local, let me tell you all that the Rules & General Guidelines have been updated again. I've added a clarification about the profanity rule. Please read it, as all members of this site regardless of affiliation are subject to these rules. Ignorance of the rules is not a defense for breaking them. Also, since I brought it up, let me highlight again that all of the rules - including ones that govern FanPosts and FanShots - are always on the main page in the left hand column below the SBN drop-down menu of links.
Second, keeping it Kovalchuk-related, Gabe at Behind the Net Hockey has two important posts about where a player is on the ice when he shoots. This first post has examples of where Andrew Brunette, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Chris Pronger have taken their shots on the ice in this past season. This second post takes a stab at estimating shooting talent in the NHL, and finds Kovalchuk to be well beyond the league's average. If nothing else, Kovalchuk's shooting can't be questioned as anything but a positive.
Third, keeping it analytical with respect to the league, Derek Zona at Copper & Blue explains why goons are bad for hockey. In that, over the length of a season, a goon provides such negative value, it could cost your team wins instead of some other depth player in that spot. In retrospect, this may have been why Andrew Peters got bought out this summer.
Fourth, keeping it related to looking at players and figuring out what they can and cannot do well, Japers' Rink's David M. Getz takes a suggestion from Puck Prospectus' Corey Pronman on scouting hockey players, and uses it to score the talents of some of the Washington Capitals.
Fifth, keeping it related to scouting, get an overview of the various European leagues at Puck Worlds. Bruce Peter has summaries of the Czech Extraliga and the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (German league). In the coming days, expect a few more.
Sixth, keeping it related to summaries, Earl Sleek of Battle of California got tipped by Puck Daddy to do the first installment of Mount Puckmore. Basically, it's a project where someone makes their case for the four most important people in the franchise - who would be on a "Mount Rushmore" of their team. Read Sleek's choices at Puck Daddy and start thinking of which three non-Lou Lamoriello people would be on the Devils' "Rushmore." It'll be a little while before it's New Jersey's turn anyway.
Seventh, keeping it related to posts at Battle of California, Rudy Kelly and Megalodon make a bad decision and watched The Love Guru. Warning: Post is filled with profanity, dirty & inappropriate jokes & references, and a movie where the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup. Not a link for the kids or fans of the actual movie as Rudy and Meg tear it apart.
Eighth, take a deep breath and go enjoy the days before the Kovalchuk hearing comes to a conclusion. The Devils will have their second stop of the Jersey Tour in Hoboken this Thursday; we're probably not going to hear about any decision until the end of the week, and the weather appears to be pleasant. Don't just sit here and hit refresh for updates; go and do something.
Please discuss any of these links here (except #1, my ruling on rules are final and not up for debate) or there on those sites. Or even talk about Kovalchuk further, though it's going to be moot soon. Thanks for reading.