Earlier reports circulated that Ilya Kovalchuk and the Los Angeles Kings seem to be at an impasse after the Russian winger rejected GM Dean Lombardi’s “best shot” offer. While these rumors haven’t been confirmed by the Kings or Kovalchuk & Co., Elliotte Friedman states that the Kings went as far as they could without “jeopardizing Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson extensions” but Kovalchuk insists on a $100 million deal.
Considering the dwindling list of possible Kovalchuk destinations, it’s stunning that he’s not willing to compromise a bit. (At least if these rumors are true.)
I wouldn’t necessarily count out the Kings altogether, though. Los Angeles still seems to be the most sensible team for Kovalchuk on many levels and don’t forget that contract negotiations can bring out a lot of bitterness. General mangers and agents can use the media to their advantage in these situations.
To be honest, the Kings might be better off trading for Simon Gagne instead. He only has one year left with a relatively cheap $5.25 million cap hit and can provide a nice burst of goal scoring acumen in his own right. The Flyers-Kings connections are there, too, so it could make a lot of sense.
We’ll keep an eye on the biggest story (and perhaps, the biggest mess) of the free agent summer as it goes along. Who knows, we might finally see a conclusion on Monday.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.