'Semantics' Aside, NHL Rejects Framework Of New Kovalchuk Contract

On Monday, the Devils met with NHL officials in New York to discuss what may or may not work in submitting a new contract agreement with Ilya Kovalchuk. The talks were "conceptual," according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

On Tuesday, Devils officials were in Atlantic City on an unrelated errand, "unable to comment" when asked questions by SB Nation.

On Wednesday, we learned why the Devils couldn't comment. A report in the New York Post, later backed up by Puck Daddy, said that the NHL rejected the framework of a new contract proposed by the Devils.

Note that word: proposed. Not submitted, proposed.

You understand, then, how one of the parties who did the reporting on this second rejection, would get a little ticked off when Gary Bettman basically called that reporting a lie. Here's what the Commissioner said to ESPN's Scott Burnside at the World Hockey Summit in Toronto:

"In order for a contract to be rejected, there would have to be a signed contract submitted," Bettman said Wednesday after addressing the World Hockey Summit. "There has not been a signed contract submitted."

Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy called Bettman's comments "bullshit semantics." Sounds about right.

At the end of the day, the reporting here holds up: the NHL rejected the framework for a new deal, meaning things are back to square one. There's no deal with the Devils yet and the KHL appears to be a possibility yet again.

Training camp starts in three weeks.

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