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Ilya Kovalchuk Free Agency
Member No.: 361
Joined: 24-May 06
Anyone else been paying attention to this? By far the strangest free agency period ever, thanks to Kovalchuk and his agent. Even if you are not a fan of the NHL, you gotta look up the stories on this. I'll try to explain, but I'm not sure if it will be any good.
Let's start out by saying Ilya Kovalchuk is the top scorer over the last 8 seasons...meaning he has not lead the league in each of those seasons, but he has altogether scored the most goals over that period of time. He is 27, and hit the free agency market on July 1st. His team at the time, which he had spent all of his career with (the Atlanta Thrashers) offered him 101 million over 10 seasons. He rejected, and was traded to the New Jersey Devils, who got knocked out of the playoffs in the first round...losing 4 games to 1 in a best of 7 series. Then July 1st comes. My team (the Los Angeles Kings) were believed to be big players in trying to sign him, and it was well-known he wanted to come here. The Kings are an up and coming team, and most NHL teams don't have the cap space to sign a player like Kovalchuk...so it seemed like a perfect fit. It went like this:
Negotiations start, Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils are only rumored teams to be after him.
He wants too much, so the Kings say no. Then all of a sudden, a darkhorse team comes in and supposedly offers him 100 million over 10 seasons. Nothing ever happened with that.
Rumors say that he is close to inking a deal with the Devils...doesn't happen.
He then comes back to the Kings with a counter offer...too much. This happened 5 or 6 different times of it looking dead, and him coming back to the Kings trying to make something work. He wants too much.
So 2 days ago, the Devils make a ridiculous bid and sign him to something like a 100 million dollar deal over 17 seasons. He is 27 now, which means he would be playing til he's 44. Not likely, and teams have been finding crazy ways to "beat" the salary cap since it was implemented in 2005 with these long-term contracts.
Just about an hour ago, the NHL actually puts their foot down and says no. They rejected the contract. It's really been crazy and entertaining, you should really read up on it if you get a chance.
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