Well sports fans, the NHL has until 5pm EST today (but maybe tomorrow, Wednesday) to decide whether to give Ilya Kovalchuk’s latest deal with the Devil’s its stamp of approval, or to send this never ending story into limbo and Kovalchuk to a place far worse… Russia.

So, this could be your last chance to take a stab at guessing how this will all come to end, or if it will come to an end at all.

Rumors have it that if the contract is rejected, the Devils are out, Kovalchuk bolts to Russia, and Bettman gets to play in a corner by himself with all the marbles left behind.

Nick Kypreos has announced via his twitter that the new Kovalchuk submission has lopped 2 years off the tail and bumped the salary in the final 5 years from $2.75 million to $10 million, with an average of 2.6M the final the 3 years and a curious base salary of $4 million in the last year of the supposed contract.  He says:

The league can call the 2nd Kovalchuk deal many things… but a “retirement contract” isn’t one of them…

Darren Dreger reported today that an anonymous NHL GM said the Devils and Kovalchuk are attempting to “disguise circumvention,” and that “trying to hide the crime, makes this even worse.”  Not so shockingly this same GM speculates the deal with not be approved.

Devil’s fans across the interwebs hold strong and fast that there is no way the league will deny this contract as well.

The rest of us watch with bated breath, curious to the outcome, poised with tears or jeers.  Many stopped caring altogether a month ago.  Who the hell does this Kovalchuk guy think he is anyways?  He acts like he’s the biggest free agent ever…

So, what do you think?  Here’s a poll on the matter.