Over And Out: L.A. King’s Out Of Kovalchuk Sweepstakes…Again!

July 8th, 2010 No Comments

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Los Angeles Kings are now officially out of the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes.

The Kings are said to have sat down with Kovalchuk on Wednesday in hopes of revisiting contract talks and coming to some sort of deal. Unfortunately, it appears as if Kovalchuk’s demands are just too high, which has resulted in King’s general manager Dean Lombardi pulling the plug on a deal.

The reality is, the Kings know they have a lot of good young talent on their team and, as such, they will have to tread carefully if they chose to re-sign them, which looks to be the direction the team is leaning towards.

Los Angeles Kings’ governor Tim Leiweke told the times:

“Dean is trying here, but we know what we need in cap space going forward to keep our nucleus together. We can’t let one guy throw us into panic in a year or two. It is not about cash. It is about cap.”

It’s a shame the two sides couldn’t work out a deal, Kovalchuk would have been a tremendous fit for the King’s and the marketing opportunities afforded to Kovachuk would have been off the charts.

It appears as if the Kovalchuk camp will now turn their sites back to the New Jersey Devils, who were rumored to have offered Kovalchuk a seven-year, $60 million deal earlier this week.

The New York Islanders have also been rumored to be in pursuit of Kovalchuk with as much as $100 million over ten years being offered, but those rumors look to have no validity to them as it has been very quiet on the Islanders front.

The KHL remains an option for Kovalchuk, that said, it has been said that the money Kovalchuk was seeking from the KHL may not be as lucrative as he once thought, thus the refocused effort on finding a suitable NHL offer.

Fellow Russian Evgeni Nabokov, who played a total of 563 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks, signed a four-year, $24 million contract with SKA St. Petersburgh of the KHL, leading many to speculate that other Russian’s (including Kovalchuk) could be looking to cut ties with the NHL in favor of playing at home.

While the KHL offers great food for fodder, I still can’t see a player of Kovalchuk’s ilk and age looking to leave the NHL. Simply put, it’s too early and you just gotta believe that Kovalchuk is serious about winning a Stanley Cup first.

Until next time,

Peace!

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