For now, Kings can't get Ilya Kovalchuk - latimes.com
Word from various corners of the hockey universe was that Kovalchuk is aiming high — think $10 million a year for 10 to 12 years — and the Kings are uncomfortable with that. The deal isn't dead, but its pulse could be less than robust. The New Jersey Devils might be hovering, ready to remind Kovalchuk that travel in the East is less taxing on the body and worth taking a slightly lower payday.
When I read the twitter comment (previous post) I felt kind of stupid for what I said in my previous-previous post, in which I concluded that Kovalchuk was sticking to stratospheric cap number and was, in essence, not so much into that "all about winning, not about the money" thing.
But if Ms. Elliott of the Times is right, and she should know since she is a serious, real reporter and also in the Hockey Hall of Fame, then I retract my second guessing.
Also, if IK wants $10MM a year, New Jersey cannot do that, even spending all of the 10% summer cap increase (see previous post). They can go up to $7MM and change (and even then would spend the rest of the summer acting like the Blackhawks dumping salary).
Lombardi, of course, will never pay $10MM in cap hit.
A few teams do have the cap space to do it. But no contenders.
Note to Kovy: We can add. If you want people to think you're all about winning, be all about winning. Of course, I don't see why we should think that since you've never actually won anything.
Just for the sake of repeating myself a few hundred times, here is a great offer, which I'm confident Lombardi has offered some version of.
10 years / $75MM
11, 11, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3.
You get to be the highest paid player in the NHL for three years. You will get an exponential increase in endorsement possibilities, because you're in LA and your name rhymes with Kobe. You will get to play for one of the few teams in the league that's considered to be built for the future and for the long haul, and is actually also believed by everyone to be an imminent contender, which is what you say you want. And at this average salary (what we call cap hit), the Kings could actually keep (i.e. re-sign) all of the talent that makes them so attractive in the first place. Everybody wins.
Also, Los Angeles is both the center of the media universe (like New York, say) but not under the hockey media microscope (like Toronto or Montreal).
But, whatever, I hear Russia has nice weather, too. And the Islanders have a boatload of cap space.
(also, in case it's not obvious, Anaheim is not Los Angeles any more than Sacramento is San Francisco or Newark is New York; just sayin'.)