So it looks as if the summer of kovalchuk has at long last coming to an end. After a couple failed attempts to get a deal done with the Kings, a surprise offer from the Islanders for 10 years $100 million dollars that was nothing more then a false rumor that was created by a writer at the LA Times and spread like a virus all through the internet in less then 24 hours. And a unprecedented 17 year $102 million dollar deal that was rejected by the NHL because it violated the CBA.
And now it may have finally come to an end. After tsn reported (even though ek claimed to have known it 1st with his e5, but was about 20 minutes late) Kovalchuk and the devils came to an agreement on a 15 year $100 million dollar deal that would make him a devil for the rest of his career, and with an annual cap hit of $6.66 million per year. Now of course the NHL will have to approve this in order to be totally official, but this contract is not like the one they rejected a month ago where it is loaded heavily up front the 1st couple of years and then is worth a few million dollars through years 10-15, and then worth about the league minimum in years 16-17. This new contract does not seem to violate the CBA in any terms since the contract maintains it's yearly value all the way.
I would be very shocked if the NHL does reject this new deal. If they do, then I think Kovalchuk will just sign a short term with the devils or another NHL team or take the big pay day from the KHL. Even though Kovalchuk has said he wants to stay in the NHL, and hasn't considered going to play in his native Russia. Another thing to consider is once the contract is approved by the league, where will the devils fit homegrown scoring star Zach Parise, who will command a ton of money when his current contract expires.
There has been some rumors thrown around about the devils moving Patrik Elias, but that seems unlikely. Other devils who are rumored to possibly be on the move in order to free up space to lock Parise up long term are Dainius Zubrus, Brian Rolston, and Bryce Salvador. Lou is gonna have his work cut out for him, but as the longest current serving GM in the NHL he has shown time and time again that he can make big moves and still have a very competitive team. It also doesn't hurt that you got a future hall of fame goaltender like Martin Brodeur in net for a couple more years.
Plus as I read that Kovalchuk's deal was worth $6.66 per year, I couldn't help but listen to "The Number Of The Beast" from Iron Maiden all because of the line in the song which singer Bruce Dicinson belts out "666, THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST".