As the Ilya Kovalchuk contract drama continues to spin, there is a new twist, with the New York Post reporting that the NHL has issued an ultimatum to the NHLPA regarding front-end heavy contracts - specifically Kovalchuk's deal with the Devils, Roberto Luongo's with Vancouver and Marian Hossa's with Chicago.
On Wednesday, league sources told TSN that no ultimatum had been issued, but the NHL and NHLPA did agree to extend the deadline for a decision on the Kovalchuk deal until Friday at 5pm et.
While the source told TSN that there were some elements contained in the Post report that had been discussed, neither side feels any sense of pressure from the other.
The Player's Association say that they continue to negotiate with the league in an effort to deal with the issues that have plagued long-term contracts and they say that discussions are ongoing.
The Post reported that the NHL had told the NHLPA that it would grandfather the Kovalchuk, Luongo and Hossa deals under two conditions:
1. "That the cap hit on future multi-year contracts will not count any seasons that end with the player over 40 years of age. The cap hit would be calculated on the average of the salary up through age 40 only."
2. "That the cap hit on future contracts longer than five years will be calculated under a formula granting additional weight to the five years with the highest salary."
If the NHLPA does not accept these, the Post reported that the NHL would reject the Kovalchuk contract, start the process of doing the same to Luongo's deal, and open an investigtion in the Hossa deal.