Devils must clear cap space to sign Kovalchuk

The Ilya Kovalchuk watch is becoming a saga, not surprising given his status as arguably the best-ever unrestricted free agent.

Still believed to have the inside track to sign the left wing, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello yesterday repeated his “status quo” mantra regarding his consistent desire to sign Kovalchuk, then added, “Nothing has changed today, yesterday or the day before.”

Speculation began to percolate as how Lamoriello could sign Kovalchuk and remain beneath the salary cap of $59.4 million, or even use his summertime 10 percent excess allowance. He has some $6 million in room, counting 16 obvious regulars, and aside from Kovalchuk, would have to count six more for a 23-man roster, that half-dozen likely to total at least $4 million.

Should he sign Kovalchuk, and the figure of $60 million over seven years offered by one source seems realistic, he would barely have that 110 percent summertime space, and would have to shed some $6 million in salaries by Game 1.

Clearing cap space is a difficult task, especially with eight no-trade contracts: Brian Rolston, Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias (no movement), Jason Arnott, Colin White, Anton Volchenkov, Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg, none of which have expired or contain windows of relief, sources say.

Several of those players are said to have not been approached to waive their clauses.

Bryce Salvador ($2.9 million) and Dainius Zubrus ($3.4 million) appear the most likely sacrificial candidates without no-trade clauses. The Devils have Zach Parise, Elias, Zubrus and Brian Rolston as nominal left wings, where Kovalchuk plays.

News was scanty yesterday, despite Kovalchuk’s agent saying Monday night that the superstar left wing has narrowed down his choices, with details yet to be finalized.

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66 Responses to Devils must clear cap space to sign Kovalchuk

  1. mojo19 says:

    TSN says $1.45 total

  2. nordiques100 says:

    DD from tsn just tweeted that too and now on the website.

    kaberle is as good as gone now.

    lebda isnt big, but can skate and move the puck, brings winning pedigree and a solid depth guy.

    honestly i rather have lebda than corvo or ference at 2.25. or even colaiacovo at 2.25.

  3. leafmeister says:

    Leafs sign Lebda. This certainly means that a defensmen is on his way out.

    We already had too many defensemen, and Lebda plays a semi-similar game to Kaberle, so I think this means the end of Kaberle in Toronto.

    Hopefully Burke got what he wants.

  4. nordiques100 says:

    Bosh who?

    Smart move by MLSE to distract distressed Toronto sports fans over the loss of CB4 by adding someone to the Maple Leaf roster.

    Bosh is a star, but really, most of the GTA and southern ontario will be talking Lebda. lol

  5. nordiques100 says:

    seriously i think Leaf nation will like him.

    he is american, which in these parts is a knock, but he can really skate and if he is still used for less than 15 minutes a game and can bring a bit more offense with more opportunity (no way he'd get that chance behind Lidstrom and Rafalski), he is an excellent fit as the 6th D.

    if he is in your top 4, that spells trouble. hopefully wilson will NOT have Gunnarsson and Schenn rotting on the bench and be playing Lebda 25 minutes a game. then again maybe that would be a good thing cause it would mean Wilson getting fired sooner.

  6. leafy says:

    I say good riddance with Bosh. If he doesn't like this great city, then he can get the f*ck out.

    Btw, Raptors management was stupid not to see this coming and not trading Bosh before this season, especially after what happened with T-Mac.

  7. reinjosh says:

    Stress the words on rumor. Most rumors are started by retarded writers who have no clue as to what they are talking about. And the Simmonds rumor is from Eklund. If your taking any of that seriously, you dont deserve any of my time.

    And I never said Giguere was great. Always said he was here just to mentor. He has talent and experience but he isn't the goalie he was and never will be.

  8. reinjosh says:

    I like the Lebda signing. A little on the small side for my tastes but then again I'm a little biased being 6 foot 8. Solid signing and cheap too.

  9. mojo19 says:

    damn, ur right. It wasn't updated when i first read it.

  10. LeafsneedSteen says:

    It amuses me to no end how everyone whines about Eklund rumors all the while expecting that careful consideration is given to their pristine trade proposals that  they conjure out of thin air.  Take HTR seriously but never ever mention Eklund.  How dare I reference sources.

    Well kid, as usual you're in over your head in an exchange with me, so let's boil it down to the essentials, you do two thing well around here call people morons at any instance your delicate sensiblity is upset in the slightest manner (well that is when you actually read the post correctly) and cheer lead to select few you brown nose. 

    I'm not worth your time now? Over reacting much? Between calling me a borderline troll five times while responding to everything I post, it seems you're either bipolar, fragile or just dense, so go ahead, I dare you to ignore me.

  11. Kessel_Leafs48 says:

    i would really like that lineup as well! i dont find it too farfetched either and it looks to be along the lines of what burkey is thinking too,, i havnt done any research on this but would that lineup be over the cap limit? with the signings and the other penalties and stuff?  just curious thought,

  12. DannyLeafs says:

    Honestly, if the Leafs could get him I think I would rather keep Schenn in the minors than Kadri. I know Schenn is already bigger and stronger, but he plays a style which relies on that, while Kadri relies more on his stick handling and skill level. However, if the Leafs did have both I think it will be a situation where only one of them is playing in most games, and they do a little bit of up and down. I also think that unless Schenn plays so well that he is a must in the NHL, I would rather he be allowed to play in the JR's as he is still eligible. I think he could be a dominate force in that Tournament this year, and it would be a great experience for him.

  13. coyotes_bettman says:

    Yeah because obviously while he was growing up in Minneapolis Minnesota and playing for North Dakota University he always had dreams of playing for the Toronto Maple Leaves.

    When Langenbrunner retires this guy is the next Captain of the Devils good luck on seeing him leave to come to Toronto.
  14. DannyLeafs says:

    I would do a deal where the Leafs take Schenn plus in a heartbeat. It would be an amazing deal for the Leafs if they could get Stoll, Schenn and anything else. Especially when many people scoffed at the idea of the Leafs getting a top 10 pick in this years draft with Kaberle. I think Schenn would have gone 3rd overall in this year's draft (based on what he did the year he was drafted, let alone what he did this year). I am really holding out hope that LA signs Kovalchuk, making it more likely for them to be willing to give up a prospect like Schenn. I do think that if Schenn is moving though, that it would have to be a team in the East. I also wouldn't mind if Toronto had to do a deal where it was Kaberle plus a second teir prospect for something like Handzus and Schenn.

  15. coyotes_bettman says:

    Lebda is gonna be a good fit for the Leafs has some good cup experience and I'm actually kind of surprised that old Kenny H let him walk.

    Obviously you can't start planning the parade on this move but it pretty well seals the fate of Finger and kaberle.
    Also anyone who would trade Kaberle for Schenn straight up I think you're crazy.

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