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CBA 101: The Kovalchuk Rule

During the 2010-2011 offseason the New Jersey Devils landed the grand prize of Free Agency, Ilya Kovalchuk, when he was signed to a 17 year $102 million contract. That contract was, as many expected at the time, rejected by the NHL because it was deemed to circumvent the salary cap. At the time, Kovalchuk was 27 years old, so the contract would take him to age 44. Ultimately, the contract was re-worked to a 15 year $100 million deal, and the Devils were penalized to the tune of $3 million in cash, a third round pick in 2011, and a …