Lombardi: "We've decided to put up the wall on this one. I really don't want to comment on it. I think the whole process there through the month of July kind of wore us out as an organization and part of that too was dealing with the speculation. We just feel that right now we're just going to focus on our team, and if it comes back around, fine, but we're inclined not to comment on that right now, to be honest with you."
Translation: "We can neither confirm nor deny..."
Lombardi is maintaining radio silence. Lamoriello is trying to work out a new deal, ten days later. Kovalchuk is training in Russia. Camps start in three weeks.
Frankly, at this point, I think signing with someone not LA and not New Jersey is as likely as signing with the Devils. Signing short term is as likely as signing long term. And maybe even signing with the KHL is as likely as signing with the NHL. Well, probably not that one.
And if I had to guess, I would say that literally nothing is happening. And I think the reason is, Kovalchuk has realized he is not going to get his $100MM/10 years, and everything has ground to a stand-still. The problem is, Kovalchuk has every reason to think some idiot will come along and pony up the $100MM. Because that's exactly what happened a month ago.