Immediate reg flag on the fact the vet minimum in 2024 will likely not be under 600k due to inflation. I believe Kovalchuk would be signed for $585k in 2027.
Yep, I think that's one solid argument they can make... the contract is below expected league minimum (obvious solution being to raise the contract above league minimum). However, from what I read right after apparently they want to argue that they've never approved a deal this long, or that takes a player to that age (both arguments attempting to address the "precedent" of the previously approved deals).
Clearly the biggest problem for the NHL before an arbitrator (other than the potential league minimum snafu) is that there's nothing "illegal" as spelled out by the CBA about this deal.