Warnings preceded NHL's bold move

Updated: July 21, 2010, 9:47 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

Guess the NHL didn't buy Ilya Kovalchuk's claims that he planned to go all Chris Chelios and play right through to the end of his league-record, 17-year, $102 million deal with the New Jersey Devils.

Or make that former deal.

The NHL rejected the historic pact late Tuesday night because it believes the contract contravenes elements of the collective-bargaining agreement.

The league's response to the Kovalchuk deal, signed Monday, is shocking on a number ...

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