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Sound the broken record: Kings, Kovalchuk fall short of a deal again

Jul 8, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

kovalyawn.jpgIt’s now been a solid week of Ilya Kovalchuk rumors, whining and (perhaps) tiresome greed.* Maybe you’re still riveted by the whole saga, but my guess is that most of the hockey world is worn out by the talk.

* – And not just tiresome greed on Kovalchuk’s part, either. Watching this situation play out is a lot like watching those two amoral rich guys from “Trading Places” getting into a slap-fight.

Still, the discussion wages on and we’ll take you through it. Details emerged of Kovalchuk’s renewed (yet fruitless) talks with the Los Angeles Kings. LA Times beat writer Helene Elliot provides some numbers from unnamed sources.

Attracted by Kovalchuk’s production and electrifying style, the Kings reportedly offered him $63 million over 12 years, an annual cap hit of $5.25 million, or $84.5 million over 13 years, an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.

Several sources familiar with the situation but not authorized to talk publicly said Kovalchuk hasn’t compromised on an average annual value of $10 million, close to the NHL-leading $9.538-million average Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin earns in a 13-year deal.

The Kings say they can’t accommodate Kovalchuk, retain their core and bring in the support players necessary to become a consistent Stanley Cup contender.

Kovalchuk seems to be at a pretty obvious fork in the contract talk road. If he turns left, he could receive those huge wads of cash that he really wants – or something close to his dream deal – but there’s a catch; he’d have to continue to be a star on a dimly lit team of misfits. He has the option of going right, too, though. In that scenario, Kovalchuk would sacrifice a few million (maybe per year) to play meaningful hockey for a contender.

Obviously, he wants both, but after seven days of hand-wringing does he expect the perfect situation to pop out of mid-air like some monetary genie? Is he simply struggling with this fork in the road? Perhaps he wants Lebron James to decide his basketball future so the Russian left-winger could get more spotlight to himself?

It might seem like we’re playing an Ilya Kovalchuk broken record, but we’re doing all that we can to keep you informed about the situation. Of course, sometimes the message can get muddled through all the back-and-forth and the many smoke screens supplied by both sides.

Who knows, we might even stumble upon something of substance this weekend.

  1. msnbcislame - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Did you just call the NJ Devils a bunch of misfits?? What are you? A rangers fan?

  2. Gman35 - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    A bunch of misfits??? This writer is a clown!!!

  3. Adrian - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Pretty sure he meant the Islanders

  4. GregEZ - Jul 8, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Id say the Islanders got a better future than the Rangers my friend. EL NINO!!! Have fun at your new Garden with bridges in the ceiling…Coliseum will still have better sightlines with its leaky plumbing and all!

  5. James O'Brien - Jul 8, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    To clarify, a bunch of misfits does NOT mean the NJ Devils. In case you missed it, the Devils aren’t sending him the type of 10 year, $100 million deal that he wants.
    That being said, I might indeed be a clown. That is a debate for another day.

  6. E.P. - Jul 8, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    It seems to me that if Kovi wants a chance to win the cup, he will go to New Jersey. If he wants more money, then he will go to the Islanders. Plain and simple.

  7. B.D. - Jul 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Kovy needs to stop waffling and make a decision! How many of the Devil’s are sitting around waiting to hear about their own fates while he’s waiting for all the $ to be thrown at him. I would be curious to know what the players think, although I am sure Lou has a gag order issued on that!

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