Just about two weeks after the NHL filed grievance on the Ilya Kovalchuk deal, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the NHL. The deal is now void and Kovalchuk is once again a free agent. But, what will happen next?
Since Kovalchuk is now an unrestricted free agent, any team can contact him and try to sign him to a contract. The Rangers, Kings, and Islanders are already trying to sign him. But, so are the team that already did sign him to a monster deal, the New Jersey Devils. In a press conference announcing the first deal, Kovalchuk said New Jersey was the only place he wanted to play and making the decision was easy. Even though other teams are going to be throwing him offers, don’t expect him to take it. He isn’t interested in the money and if he was, Kovalchuk would’ve resigned with the Thrashers for over $10M a year. Expect the Devils and Kovalchuk to come up with another contract soon only this one will be shorter and for a little less money to make the NHL happy. You will not see Kovalchuk in any other jersey than the Devil’s unless something rather dramatic happens with the Devils.
More to Come…
In Other News..
- Teemu Selanne signed a 1 year, $3.25M contract with the Anaheim Ducks, as reported he would earlier. There is a good chance former teammate Paul Kariya will sign with the Ducks too.
- The Lightning have entered the Kaberle sweepstakes potentially offering foward Ryan Malone who had a breakout season last year.
- The Flyer’s Riley Cote announced his retirement from playing and accepted a position as an assistant coach of the Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Flyers.