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Hossa's Blackhawks Contract Appears Safe In Wake Of Kovalchuk Decision

The Toronto Sun reports that at least one NHL agent says that even though Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract won’t be approved by the league, those who have already signed longterm deals won’t be affected:

Eyebrows were raised when arbitrator Richard Bloch mentioned the deals Monday while putting the hammer down on Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102-million US contract with the New Jersey Devils. He pointed out all the contracts involved are structured similarly.

A high-profile agent said he doesn’t believe the NHL would kill or even attempt to kill any of those deals.

Of the contracts, only Hossa has received any money so far. The rest kick in next season. If they were rejected, the players could become unrestricted free agents — a highly unlikely scenario.

“The NHL isn’t going to do anything with these deals. Nothing is going to happen,” said the agent. “They’ve been trying to investigate most of these deals for a year.”

“I can tell you they certainly aren’t going to rip up a contract that has already been signed and approved by the league.

“That’s the difference: The deal that Kovalchuk signed was never approved by the league. The rest of these deals passed the smell test.”