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Nothing new on the Ilya Kovalchuk front, says Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello.
"Everything is the same as it was the last three or four days," Lamoriello claimed. "Nothing changed. I don't have anything to add to that."
Actually, the Los Angeles Kings might be moving closer to signing the left winger.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Kovalchuk is in L.A. today talking with Kings GM Dean Lombardi. They are meeting in El Segundo, Calif.
It is believed Kovalchuk and agent Jay Grossman are looking for a 10-year, $100 million deal. The Kings reportedly have offered 12 years for $63 million (a $5.25 million cap hit) or 13 years at $84.5 million (a $6.5 million camp hit).
Lamoriello was asked if he is philosophically against signing a player to a contract 10 years or longer.
"I don't think philosophically," he responded.
Regardless of what the Devils might be willing to do, it seems Kovalchuk is trying very hard to sign with the Kings. Lombardi has already turned down two proposals from the unrestricted free agent. One of the proposals apparently asked that Kovalchuk be paid a low salary with a high bonus in 2012-13 because that has the potential to be a lost season because of a work stoppage when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
Whatever happens with Kovalchuk could have an impact on what the Devils can offer Zach Parise after this season.
Lamoriello said there is a chance the team will look to sign Parise to an extension this summer.
"We'll see," he said. "We'll certainly try to get that done as quickly as possible."
Lamoriello said he has kept Parise's next contract in mind while dealing with Kovalchuk.
"You always keep it in mind. You never do something today with tomorrow not in mind or in sight or thought," he said. "I've always said that when you run an organization or a professional team you have to have a 4-5 year plan in your mind that changes every day.
"You have to have a template and a feeling for when players' (contracts) expire, what's available and what's not available. You have to be absolutely cautious at this time with a new CBA coming in two years.
"When you have a player of the stature of Zach, you don't lose sight of that."
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Lamoriello was excited about the players in prospects camp.
"I'd be disappointed if two or three out of this group here weren't on our starting roster," the GM said.
Vladimir Zharkov is not among the players attending prospects camp. He is in Russia completing his college degree and had only one month left. He was willing to come, but would have had to take the entire semester over, so the Devils said to stay home and complete his studies.
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Albany (AHL) still does not have a head coach.
"Not yet. We will very soon," Lamoriello said.
And he said he is still looking to make a trade to improve the Devils' NHL roster.
"There are a couple of things we'd like to do." he said. "You certainly can't do them without someone else participating, but I think before the end of the summer we'll make a couple of changes."
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