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Kovalchuk’s Choices: KHL, Islanders, Devils – SportsUntapped.com
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Added July 6th, 2010 by Chalk

Kovalchuk’s Choices: KHL, Islanders, Devils
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Ilya Kovalchuk has been among the NHL’s top ten goal scorers each of the last seven seasons — and he’s only 26.  So it’s no wonder the Russian forward is the biggest name free agent this offseason.  While the Los Angeles Kings were thought to be the front-runners to land him, the club said Sunday they’ve given up on signing him.

Reportedly, Kovalchuk wants $100  million over 10 years, and the Kings weren’t willing to go that high

Pro Hockey Talk cites a twitter report that a team from Russia’s KHL has offered Kovalchuk a 4-year, $36 million deal, and that Kovalchuk would probably take it if they raised it to $40 million.  Kovalchuk’s Russian agent — he apparently has one agent talking to the KHL and another talking to NHL teams — says the four-year deal would be a good fit because it would run through the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, but thinks that for now it’s still more likely he’ll stay in the NHL.

Before being traded from Atlanta to New Jersey at last season’s trade deadline, Kovalchuk turned down offers of 7 years/$70 million and 12 years/$101 million to stay with the Thrashers.

There’s an unconfirmed report that the Islanders are willing to offer Kovalchuk the 10-year, $100 million deal he wants, while the Devils are still hoping to retain him but probably won’t want to go higher than $8 million per year.

It’s a hard race to call, and the Kings public giving up may just be posturing.  It seems like Kovalchuk’s ego won’t let him sign for less than $10 million per year, but he may prefer going back to Russia.  I can’t see him leaving $50 million on the table to play in Russia, but he’d still only be 30 if he did play in the KHL for four years.

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One Response to “Kovalchuk’s Choices: KHL, Islanders, Devils”

  1. Anonymous says:

    What people should realize is that KHL doesn’t tax.

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