The poet Robert Browning once wrote something akin to, "Your reach should exceed your grasp; or what's a Heaven for?"
In terms of the New Jersey Devils, boss Lou Lamoriello certainly has reached out to Ilya Kovalchuk.
Nobody knows the true details, but you can assume that the contract offer was -- is! -- long and fat.
Just 10 days ago that deal looked so alluring to some observers it was freely predicted that Kovy would resume and perhaps even finish his career at Prudential Center.
But when push came to shove, Ilya -- along with agent Jay Grossman -- pushed it temporarily aside for a California junket.
This was no trivial matter.
Not only did Grossman and The Man go along for the ride, but Kovy brought his wife along for the ride and -- one would suppose -- a look around the Los Angeles countryside, the shops along Rodeo Drive and whatever other tinsels the Kings had to offer.
However, for the second straight week, no deal was cut although it certainly appeared as if something about the Left Coast appealed to Madame K.
This hardly was the scenario for which Devils devotees had been savoring.
Furthermore, the feeling lots of Garden State hockey-lovers are getting is that Kovalchuk does not really want to be a Devil after all.
And should -- the key word is should -- that be the case, there's no question in my mind that pursuing the superstar is as big a waste of time as awaiting the IRT #1 Local, uptown or downtown.
Believe me, the Devils' world will not end if Kovy signs with Los Angeles; or mistakenly takes his abundant gifts back to Mother Russia.
The addition of Jason Arnott and the fact that Kovy's exit will assure the re-signing of Zach Parise should be balm to the hearts of the New Jersey crowd.
As my Devils-loving buddy Aaron Whiteman points out, "Kovalchuk is a luxury to the Devils."
And he's right.
Whiteman: "One would assume that Parise and Patrik Elias will be left-wing flanks to Travis Zajac and Arnott, respectively; the position Kovy prefers to play. That would require one of those natural left wingers to play the right side."
We also know by numbers that Kovalchuk on the New Jersey offense appeared to be a square peg trying to get into a round hole.
His individual forays were typically dynamic and he was a good team guy, well-liked by his mates.
But, as Mathieu Schneider -- who played along side Ilya on the Atlanta power play -- told me; Kovalchuk is first and foremost an individualist with whom it's hard to play; a description corroborated by what we saw since he arrived in Newark on February 4.
Personally, I'd love to see Kovy in Devils livery for his exciting play and winning personality. That said, he didn't push New Jersey past the first round and his waiting game suggests that he really does not want to return to Devils Country.
Perhaps young Mattias Tedenby will mature as hoped and make the big club on the left side. Then there's Alexander Vasyunov, another portside prospect.
With Kovalchuk in the Devils lineup, those two young worthies might have their development stunted.
My gut feeling now is that Ilya will eventually sign with the Kings.
If so, good for him. It was nice knowing -- and watching -- him in that brief run as a Devil.
But, make no mistake, the club will survive very nicely if he crosses America -- or the Atlantic!