Here’s the update on what’s going on with Ilya Kovalchuk.
ESPN’s EJ Hradek tweets that Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has confirmed that a contract has been submitted to the NHL for approval. As part of the process, the NHL has five days to go over it and decide if it passes muster. Yahoo’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that the deal will most likely be approved and Kovalchuk will officially be a New Jersey Devil.
The latest contract proposal between free-agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils will be accepted by the NHL, a source close to the negotiation told Puck Daddy this afternoon.
The report was confirmed by Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record, who later added the NHL must still do a complete review of the framework and that it is “more than a formality.” We’ve already seen one press conference held for a contract that never happened, of course.
As for what the deal could be, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos tweets that it could be something in the neighborhood of 15 years and $100 million, good for a cap hit of $6.66 million a year. The hilarious irony of a deal with the Devils being worth the Number of the Beast is not lost on us.
If that contract turns out to be true, the comparison between that and the 17-year, $102 million deal means knocking off two years and $2 million would mean that this whole battle reaches the absolute heights of madness. If adding $600,000 per year on a cap hit was worth all the bad publicity for all parties, I certainly hope the league can be happy with that.
Once again, however, we’ll wait to see if the NHL does, indeed, give the OK to this contract and we can put this circus of bad publicity behind us and get down to actual hockey news.
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?
Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.
Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.
Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).
A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:
Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.
It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.
After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.
Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.