One of my sources (who will remain nameless, mostly because I haven't made up a name for him/her yet) has emailed me a full transcript of the Kovalchuk hearing. He/she said it was wrapped up pretty quickly.
Arbitrator: Ok, let's get right to it. Is this contract illegal?
NHL: Ummm, no, not really.
Arbitrator: Ok. How is it different from other recently signed contracts?
NHL: It's not, really.
Arbitrator: Fair enough. So why, exactly, is this contract being rejected?
NHL: Becauuuuuuuse! We don't like it and it's not faiiiir! *foot stomp*
Arbitrator: Anything else?
NHL: SIDNEY CROSBY RULES!
Arbitrator: *eyeroll* Of course he does. Anything from the NHLPA?
NHLPA: Do you validate parking?
Arbitrator: See the secretary on the way out.
NHL: Can we get ice cream??!
Arbitrator: Sure. You're paying. Decision to the Devils and Kovalchuk! Let's go to lunch.
There you have it. Go get your Kovalchuk jersey made. He'll be here for a long time.