This was previously reported in comments but, as requested, was upgraded to a FanPost to ensure that everyone is aware of this important development in the contract negotiations between the New Jersey Devils and free agent Ilya Kovalchuk. A transcript was recently released of Wednesday's meeting between NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Devils General Manager Louis "Lou" Lamoriello to discuss the terms of the proposed contract.
UNCLE LOU: Mr. Bettman?
BETTMAN: I am extraordinarily busy, sir.
UNCLE LOU: I just wanted to ask about the contract. The lifetime contract, for Ilya. When does he get it?
BETTMAN: He doesn’t.
UNCLE LOU: Why not?
BETTMAN: Because he broke the rules.
UNCLE LOU: What rules? We didn’t see any rules, did we, Ilya?
BETTMAN: Wrong, sir, wrong! Under Section Twenty-Six Point Three of the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by him it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if—and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy: "I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained, et cetera, et cetera . . . fax mentis incendium gloria culpum, et cetera, et cetera . . . memo bis punitor delicatum!" It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You circumvented the provisions of the Agreement. You bumped into the salary cap which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!
UNCLE LOU: You’re a crook! You’re a cheat and a swindler! That’s what you are. How can you do a thing like this? Build up a little boy’s hopes and then smash all his dreams to pieces. You’re an inhuman monster!
BETTMAN: I said Good Day!
UNCLE LOU: Come on, Ilya, let’s get out of here. I’ll get even with him if it’s the last thing I ever do. If Vanderbeek wants a Russian superstar, he’ll get one.
Please stay tuned for further developments in these ongoing contract talks.