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Outcome of Savard contract investigation still unclear

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  September 2, 2010 02:18 PM

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As the Devils and the NHL continue their work to make a decision on Ilya Kovalchuk's contract by tomorrow's 5 p.m. deadline, the Bruins have yet to be informed how the investigation into Marc Savard's seven-year, $28.05 million deal might conclude.

"Nothing's been told to me either way," said GM Peter Chiarelli. "Whether [the Kovalchuk] decision will impact it or not, we'll wait and see."

According to the New York Post, the NHL has issued an ultimatum to the NHLPA. The league will grandfather the contracts of Kovalchuk, Roberto Luongo, and Marian Hossa if the NHLPA agrees to the following conditions: That the cap hit on future contracts will not count any season that ends with the player over 40 years of age, and that the cap hit of any deal five years or longer could be calculated by averaging the five seasons with the largest salaries.

In accordance to the 40-or-older proposal, Savard's contract would not be affected. Savard will be 39 in 2016-17, the final season of his seven-year contract. To that end, Savard's contract could be safe. Luongo will be 43 in 2021-22, the last year of his contract. Hossa will be 42 in 2020-21, the final year of his deal.

"I expect Marc to be a Bruin under his contract seasons," Chiarelli said.

In an interview with The Team 1200 sports radio, Larry Kelly, Savard's agent, also speculated that his client's deal was safe.

"I haven't heard anything from the league, but I feel the contract is fine," Kelly said. "It was not rejected on its face. It was registered. I'm not expecting any major problem. If the league were to arbitrarily do something, it would be a very, very serious issue. Marc Savard had a very serious concussion last year. He came back in the playoffs to try and help his team. He was not anywhere near the player he had been. If Marc is without a contract and is a so-called free agent after missing the free agency period, you can imagine the lawsuit that would ensue."

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