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Ilya Kovalchuk's contract grievance hearing came to an end, decision expected by Monday

Aug 5, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ilyakovalchuk6.jpgThe Ilya Kovalchuk contract grievance hearing is now over, but the waiting is not. As Dan Rosen of NHL.com points out, system arbitrator Richard Bloch has until the end of the business day on Monday to make his decision.

The arbitration hearing that will determine the immediate and potential long-term future of star left wing Ilya Kovalchuk has wrapped up in Boston and now the hockey world, specifically Kovalchuk, the New Jersey Devils and the NHL, wait for arbitrator Richard Bloch to render a decision on the matter.

Bloch has until the end of business Monday to rule on whether the NHL was justified in rejecting the 17-year, $102 million contract Kovalchuk signed with the Devils last month. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated at the time the NHL rejected the contract that it was doing so because the deal circumvents the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Rosen writes that it is unclear whether anyone in the Devils organization, Ilya Kovalchuk or his agent Jay Grossman were called to testify regarding the contract.

In case you haven’t been following the situation, this could go two ways. Either Bloch will agree with the NHL and Ilya Kovalchuk will be an unrestricted free agent all over again (forcing the Devils to restructure the deal in a way that satisfies the league) or the contract will immediately become valid.

We’ll keep you up to date since Bloch can make his decision as early as Friday or as late as Monday.

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