Kovalchuk Re-Signs with New Jersey - For Real This Time
Yes, it actually happened this time - no jokes. Ilya Kovalchuk will remain a member of the New Jersey Devils, according to TSN.
While no official word is out on the contract number, a report from 2 weeks ago had us all assuming Kovalchuk would be making $8.57 million each year, for the next 7 years, with the Devils.
A press conference will be held tomorrow to officially announce the deal and all the details, but for now, hockey fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief, as the floodgates of unsigned forwards is about to open.
UPDATE 2:15PM Scott Burnside of ESPN is reporting that the deal will be worth $150 million over 17 years. If indeed true, it would keep Kovalchuk with the Devils until 44 years old. Whether it is true, however, remains to be seen.
Here is the official story from TSN:
Ilya Kovalchuk is staying in New Jersey after all.
The team announced on Monday that the winger has signed a contract and will have a press conference to announce the deal on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Kovalchuk's agent Jay Grossman said on Twitter: "Ilya Kovalchuk will make his decision today (for sure, this time!)".
The 27-year old Kovalchuk, was the best forward available when free agency opened on July 1, and had been rumoured to be heading to either the Los Angeles Kings or the Devils.
In fact, talks with the Kings have reportedly started and stopped three times in the last 19 days, as the two sides tried to come to an agreeable salary.
The New York Post reported on July 5 that Kovalchuk and the Devils were close to an agreement on a seven-year, $60 million contract.
Kovalchuk scored 41 goals and 44 assists last year in a season split between the Devils and the Atlanta Thrashers. He was dealt to New Jersey on Feb. 4 along with Anssi Salmela and a 2nd-round draft pick in exchange for Niclas Bergfors, Johnny Oduya, Patrice Cormier, as well as New Jersey's first and second-round 2010 draft picks.