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Ilya Kovalchuk Arbitration Hearing Ends; Decision Expected By Monday

The arbitration hearing in the Ilya Kovalchuk matter between the NHL and the NHLPA has come to an end, reports Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. Arbitrator Richard Bloch apparently will not make a decision before Monday, the deadline for his decision.

The grievance hearing in Boston to decide the fate of Ilya Kovalchuk’s rejected contract with the Devils has ended.

System arbitrator Richard Bloch has until the end of business on Monday to submit his decision to the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association.

Bloch can side with the NHL and throw out the 17-year contract Kovalchuk signed with the New Jersey Devils on grounds that it circumvented the collective bargaining agreement, or he could side with the NHLPA by upholding the contract on grounds that the deal is in line with the CBA.

If he says it's a good deal, this mess is over. If he throws it out, Kovalchuk becomes an unrestricted free agent again.