Kaberle deadline may ramp up Savard talk

Ever since the 2009 NHL entry draft, when the Bruins and Maple Leafs reportedly had a deal fall apart at the last minute that would’ve sent Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle and draft picks to Boston for Phil Kessel and draft picks, the Bruins and Kaberle have been linked in trade rumors. Kessel ended up going to Toronto in a later deal that saw the Bruins get Toronto’s first- and second-round picks in 2010 — which turned into Tyler Seguin with the No. 2 overall pick and Jared Knight in the second round — as well as Toronto’s 2011 first round pick. Kaberle remained a Leaf.

Voiding Luongo contract would be “in complete violation” of CBA: agent

Prominent player agent Kurt Overhardt doesn’t figure the National Hockey League will void the registered front-end loaded contracts of Vancouver Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo and three other players.

Overhardt, who possesses 20 years experience in contract law, employment law and intellectual property law, noted that arbitrator Richard Bloch’s decision on the Ilya Kovalchuk deal was “subjective” and that the 17-year contract should have been upheld.

Kovalchuk ruling hurts Leafs’ chances of moving Kaberle

If the Ilya Kovalchuk mess was clogging up the NHL shipping lanes and making it more difficult for the Maple Leafs to move Tomas Kaberle, Brian Burke had reason to hope Tuesday would see both a clarified marketplace and new offers for the veteran blueliner.

ARBITRATOR RULES IN FAVOUR OF NHL ON KOVALCHUK'S CONTRACT

NEW YORK — Ilya Kovalchuk is an unrestricted free agent for the second time this summer.

Independent arbitrator Richard Bloch ruled in favour of the NHL’s rejection of Kovalchuk’s 17-year, US$102-million contract with the New Jersey Devils.

The NHL team released a statement Monday night saying it respects Bloch’s ruling and indicated that it still hopes to land the talented Russian.

What’s next for Antti Niemi?

The Chicago Blackhawks have shed the salaries of many of their playoff heroes this summer. But when they walked away from goaltender Antti Niemi’s arbitration award, it set up a baffling scenario.

Yes, the 26-year-old starting goalie for the Stanley Cup-winning team is an unrestricted free agent. Sure, he didn’t play that well in the final against the Philadelphia Flyers, but his steady performances in the three rounds prior and the second half of the regular season make him an extremely