So Kovalchuk is here to stay and the numbers that surround his name are astounding. Obivously there will be changes made in order for the Devils to meet the NHL Salary Cap. Problem is, who goes? According to Capgeek.com, the following players have NTC/NMC in their contract: Elias, Rolston, Arnott, Langenbrunner, Volchenkov, White, Salvador, Brodur and Hedberg but I will get to this in a minute.
The unofficial numbers came in last night and they are 17 years at $102 million with a contract that is front loaded. If the unofficial numbers are right, Kovalchuk will receive 6 million per for the next 2 years and then get a nice raise after that. He'll make 11.5 million for 5 seasons, 10.5 the year after that and then watch the yearly number take a dive each season. Rumors were circulating yesterday that the contract is setup so that Kovalchuk doesn't have to play the entire 17, he could retire, get most of his money and the Devils wouldn't be on the hook for the contract once he retired BUT even talking about that scenario with a player isn't really allowed. The Devils aren't the first to do this with contracts, just look at Luongo's or Hossa's numbers. Kovalchuk contract includes a no-movement clause through June 30, 2017 and a no-trade clause begins on July 1, 2018. That gives NJ a one year window to move Kovalchuk should something not be going right. By the end of the seventh season when that trade window opens, the Devils will have paid Kovalchuk $69.5 million of the $102 million total.
More thoughts after the jump