Was the LA Kings reported 15-year, $80M offer for Kovalchuk good enough?

Thumbnail image for kovyandparise.jpgWe’ll wait on more official news about the exact details of the Ilya Kovalchuk deal (latest rumors are that it was a 17-year, $102 million deal with varying reports regarding how much its front-loaded nature could slap realism in the face). In the mean time, there are also reports about the failed offer.

That would be the attempt leveraged by Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Various reports, including respected beat writer Rich Hammond, indicate that the Kings presented their final offer of a 15-year, $80 million contract on Thursday. That would have meant a $5.33 million cap hit for the life of the deal, though who knows what kind of creative way Kovalchuk would have received way more money early on.

Today will mark a pivotal moment in the history of the Kings (and the New Jersey Devils, for that matter). The higher-ups are putting on a good face, for one thing. Ken Campbell discusses the positive side for the Kings.

The fact is, the Kings wanted Kovalchuk badly, just not badly enough to blow their brains out and potentially compromise their roster for the next decade. And, by golly, isn’t that a breath of fresh air? Kovalchuk wanted the Kings badly, just not badly enough to turn down an offer that was much better financially. And don’t forget, it’s not as though Kovalchuk spurned L.A. for the New York Islanders here. The Devils are a perennial contender, so any accusations Kovalchuk simply chased the money are ludicrous.


From the time Lombardi took over the Kings’ hockey department four years ago, he has maintained the club would be built properly. If the Kings were going to get star power, it was going to come from within. Los Angeles would be fiscally responsible, build through the draft and develop players at a reasonable pace.

And it’s very tempting and easy to dispense with that kind of logic when a talent such as Kovalchuk comes along. Some people pay lip service to building through the draft, then look at their roster and, for example, deal two first round picks for a 40-goal scorer who might not make the roster appreciably better.

Kudos to Lombardi for not getting sucked into that way of thinking. The Kings had their price and were not willing to exceed it, even when Kovalchuk held firm on his financial demands – something he’s fully entitled to do as a UFA, by the way.

(Interestingly enough, Campbell mentions that the Kings might have been willing to go with a 12-year, $64 million deal. Perhaps that was an outdated version of their final offer?)

OK, now that I’ve gotten other sides out of the way, I thought I’d ask you: did the Kings do enough to court Kovalchuk? Was their alleged 15 year, $80 million offer sufficient? Should they have offered him more money over more years? Or perhaps a bigger annual salary over a shorter term? Feel free to vote in the poll below.

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    Don’t glare: Heritage Classic start time delayed

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 22: Cam Talbot #33 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during practice in preparation for the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic alumni hockey game on October 22, 2016 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Oilers play the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 23, 2016. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)
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    Update: Puck drop is now scheduled for 4:53 p.m. ET.


    It’s not a familiar situation for the NHL, but it has happened before: a weather delay for a hockey game.

    The Winnipeg Jets confirmed that the start time for their Heritage Classic game against the Edmonton Oilers has been delayed. The glare of the sun appears to be too much.

    At the moment, it is not yet known how severe the delay will be. Puck drop was originally scheduled for just after 3 p.m. ET.

    That’s a bummer, but at least it inspired a joke that would probably make Ilya Bryzgalov smile:

    Warm-ups were moved to 4 p.m. ET. PHT will keep you posted if there are any other changes.

    Great news: Jacques Demers back at home after hospital stay

    MONTREAL- NOVEMBER 22:   Former Montreal Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy embraces his former head coach Jacques Demers during his retirement ceremony before the game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on November 22, 2008 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Bruins defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
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    OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers is back at home after going to a hospital Saturday.

    Demers’ Senate office would only confirm that the 72-year-old Demers, a Canadian senator, was at home Sunday, but didn’t provide any details about the reason he went to the hospital.

    Demers had suffered a stroke in April, but he was at the Canadiens’ home opener Tuesday night, smiling in a wheelchair while handing a torch to captain Max Pacioretty to close out a pregame ceremony.

    Demers led the Canadiens to their most recent Stanley Cup in 1993. He also coached the Quebec Nordiques, the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues.

    Demers was appointed to the Senate in 2009 by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but later left the Conservative caucus in December to sit as an Independent.

    At the time, he said he was uncomfortable with some of the fallout from the Senate expenses scandal and didn’t like to have to vote the Conservative party line all the time.

    Goalie nods: Talbot vs. Hellebuyck vs. the elements

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 22: Cam Talbot #33 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during practice in preparation for the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic alumni hockey game on October 22, 2016 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Oilers play the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 23, 2016. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)
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    So, let’s assume that the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets will eventually play in the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field on Sunday.

    Every indication is that Cam Talbot and Connor Hellebuyck shall get the nods for their respective teams. Most assume, with the firepower on hand, that this could be a high-scoring game.

    Hellebuyck isn’t flustered about all the goals the Jets have allowed so far, as he told NHL.com.

    “It’s not something you’re really worried about,” Hellebuyck said. “It’s early in the year, it happens to a lot of teams. If you look at the trends in the past 10 years, there’s always a lot of goals being scored at the beginning of the year.”

    They’re not just facing dangerous offenses. They’re also dealing with the conditions, as the game was already delayed by the glare of the sun.

    Goalies are already accustomed to having their views compromised by screening forwards. Will Hellebuyck and Talbot squint through the Heritage Classic?

    Elsewhere …

    Wild at Islanders – Darcy Kuemper vs. Thomas Greiss

    Coyotes at Rangers – Louis Domingue vs. (probably) Henrik Lundqvist

    Canucks at DucksRyan Miller vs. (likely) John Gibson

    Get set for the Heritage Classic with hot dog facts and more

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 22: Morris Lukowich #12 of the Winnipeg Jets alumni moves the puck in front Steve Staios #24 of the Edmonton Oilers alumni during the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic alumni hockey game on October 22, 2016 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)
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    The Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field this afternoon. You can watch it on NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2 or NHL.tv at 3 p.m. ET.

    With that in mind, let’s get prepped with super-important stats about unhealthy food, interesting photos and fun facts.

    • Want to get an in-depth look at the rivalry between the Jets and the Oilers? NHL.com and Sportsnet both have some great retrospectives.
    • The CBC notes that there was rain ending in the morning but it’s expected to be cloudy. Overall, sounds like a nice climate for an outdoor hockey game. NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika wonders if the sun’s glare might cause some issues.
    • No doubt about it, the futures of both franchises will be on display, from Connor McDavid to Patrik Laine.
    • The league’s PR department tweeted out some silly facts: 425 lbs. of cheese curds “will top poutine” during the event and 2.5 kilometers (about 1.55 miles) of hot dogs and “smokies” will be consumed.

    (Imagines one enormous cheese dog.)

    Now that you have important food facts in mind, here are a few fun photos as promised.

    Should be a great time.

    Oh, and in case you missed it, here is a recap of Saturday’s wonderful alumni game: