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NHL's Ilya Kovalchuk easily could play into his 40s

Updated: July 23, 2010, 10:47 AM ET
By Maria Burns Ortiz

The NHL has rejected Ilya Kovalchuk's 17-year, $102 million contract because it doesn't believe the star forward plans to play that long and sees the front-loaded deal as simply a way to get around the league's salary cap. Obviously, no one in the league office has been told that 40 is the new 30. On the chance Kovalchuk, 27, actually aspires to make it to the final year of his lifetime deal, he wouldn't be the first player to skate well into his 40s.

Mark Messier, age at retirement: ...

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