The NHL is Waiting on Ilya Kovalchuk to Sign

July 12th, 2010 No Comments

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with his New Jersey Devils teammates.

Once again the NHL is waiting on the Kovalchuk saga to end prior to beginning the quest for other talents.

Currently it is rumoured that the New Jersey Devils have offered a 17 year contract worth $100 million. While the rumoured deal with the LA Kings would be 15 years worth $100 million.

The structure of the Devils contract offer appears to be front loaded money for the first 10 years of the contract and then the remaining seven years drop down to $1 million or $2 million per season. This would keep the deal to approximately a $5.8 million cap hit over the 17 year term.

In Toronto, GM Brian Burke seems to have decided to sit on the offers for Tomas Kaberle at this time. Surely once Kovalchuk is signed some of the teams that missed out will still be looking for an impact player and Kaberle fits the bill. Do not lose sleep over this one folks, we could be waiting until just prior to training camp to put the Kaberle rumour mill to rest.

In regards to Mike Modano, it appears the Detroit Red Wings would really like to have his veteran presence on their team. However he appears ready to take his time and let the transacations fall where they may around the league prior to making his decision.

Also, there have been rumours flying about from reliable sources that the Kings would like to add Simon Gagne of the Flyers if they miss out on the Kovalchuk sweepstakes. It is said that the Flyers would push hard to acquire the Kings best NHL ready goaltending prospect in Jonathan Beriner in exchange for Gagne.

This could be a good deal for the Flyers if they can acquire the quality goaltending that they so desperately need. Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher are NHL caliber goaltenders, but I do not see them leading their team between the pipes for multiple seasons.

It is also interesting to note that the rumour is Marty Turco rejected a contract offer from the Flyers. The dollar value was below the $1.550 million they signed Michael Leighton for. Interesting to say the least, I would personally attach more value to Turco than Leighton. But of course that is just my opinion.

While we are on the topic of goaltending, it appears there are some rumblings coming out of Vancouver that NHL ready goaltender Cory Schneider could be trade bait. He currently has a two year $1.8 million deal which has a cap hit of $900,000 per season.

With his cheap contract could he be a potential target for the Flyers in a Simon Gagne trade? The Flyers could surely use the 24 year old goaltender between the pipes. Schneider is most definitely ready for NHL action, but would likely need at least one season prior to becoming a number one netminder.

Until Kovalchuk signs these are all just unconfirmed rumours. Once he does put pen to paper the log jam that has become the offseason will open up. That is when all the excitement will begin for sportswriters and fans of the NHL everywhere!

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