Report: Ilya Kovalchuk hearing

Ilya Kovalchuk's future is being decided in Boston.

Arbitrator Richard Bloch is holding a hearing that will conclude on Thursday to decide whether the New Jersey Devils' 17-year, $102 million contract to the free-agent forward can be rejected by the league, NHL.com reported on Wednesday.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has said that the deal, which is front-loaded, circumvents the collective bargaining agreement by manipulating salary-cap rules.

Bloch can make the ruling as soon as Friday and as late as Monday. If he says the deal is legal, the league must approve it. If he shoots it down, Kovalchuk, who was traded to the Devils last season, becomes an unrestricted free agent.