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Report: Ilya Kovalchuk insists on $100M deal

Jul 4, 2010, 10:30 PM EDT

kovalchukshot.jpgEarlier reports circulated that Ilya Kovalchuk and the Los Angeles Kings seem to be at an impasse after the Russian winger rejected GM Dean Lombardi’s “best shot” offer. While these rumors haven’t been confirmed by the Kings or Kovalchuk & Co., Elliotte Friedman states that the Kings went as far as they could without “jeopardizing Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson extensions” but Kovalchuk insists on a $100 million deal.

Considering the dwindling list of possible Kovalchuk destinations, it’s stunning that he’s not willing to compromise a bit. (At least if these rumors are true.)

I wouldn’t necessarily count out the Kings altogether, though. Los Angeles still seems to be the most sensible team for Kovalchuk on many levels and don’t forget that contract negotiations can bring out a lot of bitterness. General mangers and agents can use the media to their advantage in these situations.

To be honest, the Kings might be better off trading for Simon Gagne instead. He only has one year left with a relatively cheap $5.25 million cap hit and can provide a nice burst of goal scoring acumen in his own right. The Flyers-Kings connections are there, too, so it could make a lot of sense.

We’ll keep an eye on the biggest story (and perhaps, the biggest mess) of the free agent summer as it goes along. Who knows, we might finally see a conclusion on Monday.

  1. M. Chapman - Jul 5, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    It’s sad that Ilya Kovalchuk rejected the legitimate $ 100 million dollar offer from the Atlanta Thrashers. He was their franchise player, they desperately wanted to sign him & he decided to look for greener pastures. Now he looks like a fool. That big contract is history. Atlanta traded him to the Devils for good cheap, young talented players & improved their team in the process.

  2. Paturk - Jul 5, 2010 at 2:38 AM

    Kovalchuk is a joke. The Devils traded for him when they correctly thought that he would improve their offense and be motivated to play for a contending team. Oops. Kovalchuk sucked and ended up hurting the team. The guy only wants to win on his terms, and this was proven during the playoffs as Ilya consistently took on 3 defenders instead of passing to wide open teammates. I hope he signs with a Russian team and becomes irrelevant.

  3. Paul - Jul 5, 2010 at 6:12 AM

    The smartest thing Ilya could do is to sign a one year deal with a contending team, get winning playoff experience, prove himself, and then look for a long term contract next year. ie do what Hossa did. Teams will be much more interested once he has done this.
    Ilya played really well last year for the Thrashers and had them at times a winning team. He was unfortunate to be in a team he didn’t really gel well in with NJD and also run up against Pronger and the Flyers in the playoffs.

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