Ilya Kovalchuk to re-sign with New Jersey Devils
He's the Lebron James of hockey.
New Jersey Devils Ilya Kovalchuk (17) goes flying as he tries to get the puck from Philadelphia Flyers center Blair Betts in the second period of their NHL hockey game in Newark, New Jersey, on 10 February, 2010. Kovalchuk is expected to re-sign with the Devils to become the fourth-highest paid player in the NHL.
The National Hockey League's (NHL) Ilya Kovalchuk, 27, is expected to re-sign a deal with the New Jersey Devils today. The deal is thought likely to be for seven years and worth US$60 million. Kovalchuk played for the Devils for the second half of last season after turning down a US$101 million offer from his former team, the Atlanta Thrashers.
Kovalchuk's agent Jay Grossman said via Twitter on Monday night that, "Ilya Kovalchuk choices have been narrowed down, details to be finalized but no announcement tonight."
Several teams have been bidding for Kovalchuk, the NHL's most sought-after free-agent, and it came down to two teams, the Devils and New York Islanders. The Islanders reportedly offered Kovalchuk US$100 million over a 10-year contract, which would have made him the highest-paid player in the NHL.
Kovalchuk, who has had 52-goal seasons twice in his career, had 41 goals and 44 assists last season.
The expected deal with the Devils, which will see the franchise pay the player US$8.57 million/year, will make Kovalchuk the fourth-highest paid player in the NHL. The Washington Capital's Alexander Ovechkin is the highest paid player at US$9.538 million/year, followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, each paid US$8.7 million/year.
The Devils have about US$6 million in cap space available, counting 16 certain roster players. Aside from Kovalchuk, they'd also have to fill six other roster slots, probably for a total of US$4 million, leaving some US$2 million for Kovalchuk. They can exceed the US$59.4 million cap by US$5.94 million until the regular season begins, at which time they must comply.
The 2010-11 NHL season starts on Thursday 7th October when the Carolina Hurricanes play the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland. The Devils open up their season when they host the Dallas Stars a day later.blog comments powered by Disqus
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