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NHL Approves Kovalchuk Contract, Agrees With NHLPA On New Rules On Long-Term Deals

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It's over.

About an hour after we thought this thing would be pushed back -- again,  the word comes down that the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to new rules on long-term contracts. We don't know the conditions of the agreement, but we should probably expect that the NHLPA made serious concessions.

Darren Dreger of TSN first reported the news. The two sides are expected to make the official announcement around 5 PM Eastern, the deadline set for an agreement.

As a result of the agreement, Ilya Kovalchuk becomes a New Jersey Devil, two months and two days after free agency open and just 14 days before the start of training camp. Kovalchuk's cap hit of $6.66 million a season puts the Devils over the salary cap. They need to be under the cap by the start of the season.

But, for Devils fans (and all hockey fans, really), that's not much of a concern right now. Ilya Kovalchuk is a Devil for life, and a potential crisis between the League and the PA has been averted.

It's over.