Devils fined $3 million, lose two draft picks as NHL penalizes club for first Ko

The NHL rocked the Devils Monday by imposing severe punishment for cir*****venting the salary cap with the club’s initial attempt to sign Ilya Kovalchuk.

Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the Devils have been fined $3 million and will forfeit two draft picks, including the team’s first-round draft selection in one of the next four years. The Devils will also lose their third-round pick in 2011.

The Devils will choose which first-rounder they will lose and must notify the NHL after the Stanley Cup playoffs in whatever draft year they choose to give up their pick.

The penalties are punishment for the 17-year, $102 million contract signed by Kovalchuk on July 19 despite a warning from the league that the deal would be rejected. Arbitrator Richard I. Bloch upheld the league’s rejection in an Aug. 9 ruling after the NHL Players’ Association had filed a grievance on the Russian’s behalf.

Kovalchuk signed to a 15-year, $100 million contract on Aug. 27.

Lamoriello did not return calls, but issued this statement: “We were today advised of the ruling by the Commissioner with respect to the Kovalchuk matter. We disagree with the decision. We acted in good faith and did nothing wrong. We will have no further comment.”

16 Responses to Devils fined $3 million, lose two draft picks as NHL penalizes club for first Ko

  1. Leafs_Forever says:

    Wow!  Gary Bettman is a jerk.  Hopefully this will spell the end for his pitiful reign as the commission of the NHL. 

  2. Njd954 says:

    God forbid any popular team does this…..they wont even get a slap on the wrist. You suck gary, pronger is gonna around the same age as kovy when his deal is up and the same goes for luongo and hossa yet once a team like the devils does this its a fine??? get real.

  3. reinjosh says:

    Its not really that bad. 3 million is nothing to a team willing to pay 100 million for one player. The 3rd is also nothing especially in a draft supposedly as weak as the upcoming one. The first can be chosen and with the way the Devils play its a late one at best.

  4. hockey_lover says:

    Heeeeeere we go.  More conspiracy theories when something happens to a persons favorite team that doesnt agree with them.

    Yeeee hawwwww.

  5. Njd954 says:

    it goes for any team not just mine i dont even agree with the lenght of kovys contract to begin with, im just saying if the league approved it then drop it with no infractions.

  6. albertateams says:

    Its still a pretty decent penalty (enough to make GM's think about how future contracts are structured). 3 million is a lot of money to pay for nothing. Sure in the scheme of the devils its not much, but I doubt the Devils owners are overly happy about cutting that check. 

    A 1st and a 3rd round pick is still significant from a hockey operations stand point. It limits what the devils will be able to do from a trade point of view and doesn't help a pretty weak prospect pool (outside of 1 or 2 guys). Even if the 1st is late its still a decent asset that can be used as trade bait or prospect acquisition.
    I guess that pick is simply removed from the draft, so the last place team is drafting 30th to start the second round in the year the penalty is exercised?
  7. Kramer says:

    The was pressure from the mafia for Lamerello to make a deal. Time was running out, the seasons about to start and big bets had to be placed through bookie joints. There's lots of money to be made in the gambling rackets. Lamerello had to no choice but to appease the mob bosses. I've seen enough Sopranos episodes to know how the operation works. It's big business.

  8. CofRED says:

    The penalty is for the contract the league rejected, not for the one it approved.

  9. hockey_lover says:

    Shhh .. that makes sense. Dont use logic.

  10. Leafs_the_word says:

    I don't get how Bettman gives Jersey the option to select which year they give up their 1st.  If you're making an example out of them then do it, take the 1st away immediately, just looks soft otherwise.

  11. CofRED says:

    Or at least make them decide which year after THIS year's Cup final, don't let them wait until a weak draft year or a year when they have an extremely late pick (27-30).  Make them decide right away, don't let them suffer their punishment when it's convenient for them.

  12. Kramer says:

    Lamarello would rather pay the fine than get in hot water with the mob. If you had a hit man after you, who would you rather upset, the mafia or Bettman? Bettman of course. So there you go. Lamarello told the NHL then he'd happily pay the fine. Behind every action, there's a big conspiracy. Everything is organized.

  13. reinjosh says:

    Yeah I assume it would be like how teams get draft picks for unsigned picks who don't sign contracts alla the Wheeler in Phoenix deal or Cherepanov in Rangers deal.

    I think its steep enough for teams like St Louis or other smaller market teams not to try it. I still think its of nominal importance to the Devils. Sure it will stop them for a year in the draft or in trades but its not the end of the world. In the end Kovy outways that loss.

  14. frankinboltonleafs says:

    He may or may not be… what he has done is possibly spark Jersey to be a serious Cup contender where I'd pegged them not to make the playoffs. Kovalchuk is the epitome of the selfish player. Long shifts…the old guard with the Devils openly commented on it when he first arrived, (the old guard will be gone shortly to make cap space). But now Bettman has planted the seed of injustice…just what the Devil's front office needed. Now the focus is on that injustice and not the manour of how Kovalchuk was obtained. I can see Brodeur making this season his swan song now. So I guess I hate Bettman as much as you.

  15. broc says:

    Wow, harsh penalty. Clearly Bettman is trying to set a precedent.

    The Devils deserved a harsh penalty though- while some deals like Luongo and Hossa are bit over the line- the Devils deal with Kovalchuk was a kick to the face. Why not just make a 30 year deal and have a cap hit of 2.8 mil? It might as well have been that.

    Other teams pushed the envelope… the Devils ripped the envelope up and spat in the leagues face- what were they expecting after signing that embarrassment of a contract?

    Look how much getting Kovalchuk has cost that team now.. LOL

  16. albertateams says:

    It could have been much worse, no doubt but it is still a pretty harsh penalty for a club to take. If they wouldn't have done the initial contract they would have Kovy and the picks and money though. So that's kind of circular logic.

Leave a Reply