My very own Matt Barry comments section - Matthew Barry - Kovalchuk, Kaberle, Mitchell and the Stupid Dustin Brown Rumor
Yes, the Kings have asked about Kovalchuk. Grossman told them N.J. gets first crack. Kings brass have felt used and abused but Lieweke wants to be sure that it’s dead once and for all. (It is Tim, can we please get on with our lives? Stop buggin Lombardi already!)

It won't be over until Kovalchuk is signed and the deal is approved by the league. The whole NJD "gets first crack" tells us exactly where we are. It's June 28th (about). Lou has reverted to his early July mode of "we're trying to work it out." Lombardi has returned to his early July radio-silence. Kovalchuk has said nothing. Personally, I think anyone who says this or that is certain to happen is just hoping for a quick resolution of this story that's already over-stayed its welcome. I don't blame them. But I have no clue how this is going to play out.

However, I don't know if Kovalchuk is willing to sign for $10MM less than he just tried to sign for, or if he's willing to come off his "beat Ovi" numbers, and I don't know if Lou will go as high as a $7MM cap hit, and I would be willing to bet two of those three things will be necessary.

I’ve been told the Kings do have an alternative plan (and a possible trade in the works) for a top 6 forward once Kovalchuk signs. Kings fans will be very happy if it does happen and a certain east coast team's fans will be shocked. (Eklund I'm sure will be investigating while I'm still sleeping.)

I almost don't care who comes in. I'm just afraid of who might go out. Stoll, Williams, Ersberg...fine. Thomas Hickey, Oscar Moller, Jacob Muzzin, Kyle Clifford, Colten Teubert, Nicolas Delauriers, Jonathan Bernier, Andrei Loktionov, Viatcheslav Voynov, Brayden Not yet. One of Hickey, Voynov oir Deslauriers will be great. One of Teubert or Muzzin, probably. One or both of Moller and Loktionov. Wait to see what happens.

I know that's not realistic. I know you have to give to get. I will be upset if we lose any of those guys for someone over 30 who doesn't score 30 goals.

Yeah, I overvalue prospects. It's true.

[...] Willie Mitchell: Mitchell wants the Kings, the Kings want Mitchell. Hearing its more about numbers and a possible multi-year deal. Could be the Kings are waiting to see where Kaberle falls before pulling the trigger. No later than Monday I’m told (hence the waiting on Kaberle).

Mitchell, as I've been saying for weeks now, would be great. And he's got concussion problems, so he's a perfect Lombardi signing.