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The move of the National Hockey League to impose a $3 million penalty on the New Jersey Devils for violating the league's salary cap rule should motivate controversial left winger Ilya Kovalchuk to play even more in his career. The NHL management earlier made the tough decision to impose the huge monetary penalty after the Devils earlier signed Kovalchuk to a 17-year, $102 million contract in July that circumvented the league's salary cap. The NHL said the money should serve as deterrent to other NHL teams not to commit the same mistake like what the Devils did.

Aside from the stiff monetary penalty the NHL management also took away the team's two high draft picks over the next four years. It can be recalled that the Devils reworked the July deal to a 15-year, $100 million contract which the NHL eventually approved. The Devils were surprised and sad with the decision since the team firmly believes that they have done nothing wrong and had acted on good faith in making the deal. Now that the NHL had made it decision it finally put the issue to rest and will not anymore issue anymore statement on the matter. The huge fine might be huge for the Devils but experts said signing Kovalchuk to a huge long-term deal is a wonderful move for the team.

With 338 goals and 304 assists in 642 career NHL games, Kovalchuk was the biggest prize on the free-agent market this season. He had 41 goals and 44 assists in 2009-10, a season he split between the Atlanta Thrashers and Devils, who acquired him in a multi-player deal in February. Now that the Devils paid dearly for giving him a lucrative long-term contract, Kovalchuk should perform even better to show the world he deserve the deal given to him by his team. The NHL season is just around the corner so make it a habit to watch the professional hockey games live by getting NHL tickets at discount.
 
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