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.

[snip]

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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    Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

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    In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

    After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

    The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

    — He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

    — From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

    — Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

    He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

    Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

    The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

    The Islanders also have a game in hand.

    Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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    The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

    As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

    Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

    In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.

     

    Video: Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to career best seven games

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    What is wrong with Sidney Crosby?

    His slow start to the season has been well documented. But, um, he’s been on one heck of a roll offensively for some time and the points continue to pile up.

    Crosby extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games on Monday, as he gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the second period.

    That was goal No. 23 on the season for Crosby. He added No. 24 later in the game on a spectacular individual effort.

    Oh, and here’s his second goal of the night. Not bad.

    Turris: Public trade requests can be ‘very difficult’ to go through, as Drouin saga drags on

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    When it comes to the pressures of trade requests that go public, Kyle Turris can relate to what Jonathan Drouin might be going through.

    Of course, Drouin’s request to be dealt from Tampa Bay made its way into the public via his agent, Allan Walsh, earlier this season.

    The talented 20-year-old forward and third overall pick in 2013 has since been suspended indefinitely without pay for failing to show up to an AHL game while down in the minors and hasn’t played since Jan. 18.

    It’s been a while now, but Turris found himself in a similar situation when, in October of 2011, his agent Curt Overhardt confirmed that the now 26-year-old center wanted to be traded out of Arizona.

    Back then, Turris, another third overall pick, was a restricted free agent and had been in contentious contract talks with the Coyotes. He eventually signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes and was acquired by Ottawa not long after.

    He’s been there ever since, with two 20-plus goal seasons.

    “It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.

    “It was very difficult to do. You’re getting a lot of heat from the media and people, and people within the organization. It was a tough, tough go.”

    Speaking of heat from the media: In addition to the suspension, Drouin was ripped in a local newspaper column — He’s the kid who quit” was one particular line that stands outfor his request and the drama that ensued from that.

    For now, the trade deadline (Feb. 29) approaches and Drouin’s request has yet to be granted.

    The wait continues.