Skip to content

Dealing with the Devils: NHL reverses Kovalchuk punishment

Mar 6, 2014, 12:35 PM EDT

The NHL is set to reverse the punishment handed to New Jersey for the Ilya Kovalchuk cap circumvention incident, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger:

In September of 2010, the NHL fined the Devils $3 million and took away their third-round pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft — as well as a first-round draft choice in one of the next four NHL Entry Drafts.

The punishment was levied after an independent arbitrator ruled Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million deal attempted to circumvent the league’s salary cap (the deal was heavily front-loaded, with Kovalchuk earning $95 million over the first 10 years.)

This summer, Kovalchuk surprised the hockey world by retiring from the NHL with 12 years and $77 million remaining on his deal with the Devils. As a result, New Jersey will have to pay a cap restructure penalty of about $300,000 until 2024-25 — when the contract was set to expire.

Regarding this year’s first-round pick…

New Jersey was set to forfeit its selection at the ’14 NHL Entry Draft after keeping its firsts in ’11, ’12 and ’13. It now looks as though the Devils will select 30th overall regardless of how they finish this year.

There will likely be more to follow on this story, most notably the league’s explanation for its decision. It’s worth noting that the Kovalchuk deal was signed under the Jeff Vanderbeek regime, and Vanderbeek — who had a tumultuous time as Devils owner — has since been replaced by Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris.

UPDATE

The NHL has released the following statement…

The Devils recently applied to the League for reconsideration and relief from a portion of the original penalty, citing primarily changes in circumstances which, in the Club’s view, changed the appropriateness of the sanctions initially imposed.

After due and thorough consideration, the League has decided that a modification of the original circumvention penalty associated with the Kovalchuk contract is warranted.

The NHL also noted the Devils aren’t allowed to trade or transfer their right to the 30th overall selection at the draft.

Latest Posts
  1. ‘We never quit fighting,’ says Pardy with Jets down 2-0 to Ducks

    Apr 19, 2015, 2:51 AM EDT

    Winnipeg Jets v Anaheim Ducks - Game Two Getty Images

    It will be interesting to see what happens as this series heads to Winnipeg.

  2. Video: Kesler catches Myers with illegal hit to the head

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:56 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Anaheim’s veteran forward received a minor penalty on the play.

  3. Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:13 PM EDT

    BU's Jack Eichel A Standout At World Junior Training Camp Getty Images

    “I think I bring a really good winning attitude and I have a lot to offer offensively.”

  4. Video: Sidney Crosby strikes twice to bust personal playoff scoring slump

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:20 PM EDT

    Had one goal in 19 playoff games prior to Saturday.

  5. Video: Rangers’ Stepan opens scoring with perfect shot top corner

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    These teams combined for eight shots in the opening period.

  6. So…what do the Oilers do now?

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT

    Craig MacTavish. AP

    Craig MacTavish has some decisions to make, now that he’s won the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:33 PM EDT

    AP

    Can the Penguins and Jets even things up?

  8. Babcock to go with Mrazek for Game 3

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:01 PM EDT

    AP

    Not wasting any time.

  9. Tarasenko’s hat trick has the Wild singing the Blues

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

    AP

    This series is all tied up at 1-1.

  10. Hartley fined $50,000 after brawl between Flames and Canucks

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:44 PM EDT

    Deryk Engelland’s game misconduct for instigating was rescinded.

  11. Here are the East finalists for Kraft Hockeyville

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

    HockeyVille

    Congrats to Pullar Stadium and War Memorial Arena.

  12. Here are the West finalists for Kraft Hockeyville

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

    HockeyVille

    Congrats to Decatur and St. Michael-Albertville.

Featured video

Sens need to control emotions after Subban slash
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Pacioretty (3972)
  2. K. Letang (3064)
  3. R. Nash (2933)
  4. P. Kane (2899)
  5. M. Stone (2561)