Done Deal-ya: Kovalchuk returns

Monday, 07.19.2010 / 11:34 AM / News
By Eric Marin
Kovalchuk returns to New Jersey.
Big decisions take time, but Ilya Kovalchuk has made up his mind: he’s coming back to the Devils.

Since the free agent signing period began on July 1, almost every day brought new speculation on where the two-time 50-goal scorer might be headed. One of the most coveted unrestricteds in history, Kovalchuk finally ended the suspense Monday, following the Devils’ announcement that he’s staying in the Garden State. A 1 p.m. press conference will be held Tuesday at Prudential Center.

A three-time All-Star, Kovalchuk, 27, is the crown jewel on a roster primed to be an offensive juggernaut in 2010-11. As dynamic a scorer as there is in the National Hockey League, he bolsters a lineup that features a pair of 40-goal scorers in Patrik Elias and Zach Parise.

Kovalchuk compiled 41 goals, 44 assists last season, his sixth straight campaign with 40-or-more tallies. Acquired via trade from Atlanta on Feb. 4, Kovalchuk collected 10 goals and 17 assists in 27 games after landing in New Jersey.

On the power play, Kovalchuk packs a fearsome shot from the point that will be even more potent with the 6-5 frame of Jason Arnott parked in front of opposing goaltenders. Arnott, the auteur of the Devils’ Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 2000, was re-acquired from Nashville on June 19.

Kovalchuk’s signing is the most recent move for the Devils, the clear winners of this year’s offseason. The two-time defending Atlantic Division champions signed defensemen Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov and goaltender Johan Hedberg on July 1. They hired new coach John MacLean on June 17.

60 Responses to Done Deal-ya: Kovalchuk returns

  1. cam7777 says:

    He won't even just go on loan.  Once his salary dips to 3 million, or 550K, he'll "retire" from the NHL, and sign a fat contract in Russia, and make even more money. 

  2. DannyLeafs says:

    yeah.. this kind of thing really needs to be amended in the new CBA, what's the point of a system that is supposed to control over spending if teams can just simply find a new way to overspend. I think we are also seeing revenue sharing used against teams that make the most money for the league. It seems as though it's the teams that aren't making as much money that are being the most irresponsible with it because they know they will get some help from the rich teams that bring in all the revenue.

    It used to be the teams that made the worst financial decisions were the teams that can make a profit regardless of their mistakes. Now the teams handing out the biggest contracts are the teams that have a hard time filling stadiums. It's funny that the Rangers were quiet while the Devils and Islanders were offering up 100 million dollar contracts.

  3. Kev_Leafs says:

    According to TSN – the NHL rejected Kovalchuk's deal.

    I read – elsewhere – that there might be an issue with the last four or five years of the deal – being 525,000 – in that it might be lower than the league's (projected) minimum salary in 2020-27. 

    We'll see shortly I guess.

  4. mojo19 says:

    Sounds like it might not be a 'done deal'

    NHL is rejecting this contract.

  5. mojo19 says:

    I wrote that this contract was bullshit a couple weeks ago, check this shit out.

  6. Kramer says:

    Once again, the Kramer analysis comes thru in the clutch.

    In yesterday's Kramer analysis, I said this 17 year deal is too long to be called a "contract". This is a blood oath!

    The NHL does not allow blood oaths. That's not to say the mafia doesn't influence the NHL.

  7. mojo19 says:

    nice to see u guys make up. haha

    And Cam, Tampa had a terrific offseason, dumping Meszaros on Philly and then stealing Gagne. That's beautiful

    Foster, Walker and Meszaros replaced by Kubina and Bret Clarke. Great job by the great Stevie Y

  8. leafy says:

    Good call Mojo. Regarding the Simmonds rumor, I heard it's Simmonds and a first pick for Kaberle. Maybe it doesn't knock Burke's socks off, but so far I think it's the best deal on the table.

  9. mojo19 says:

    Thanks boys

    And ya Leafy, I don't know if that trade necessarily makes us a playoff team right away but from a long term perspective it could be a good deal. I think the Kings will be a playoff team next year, and maybe even make the 2nd round, so i'd say that pick will be 18-24, somewhere in there. Simmonds is pretty good, don't think he'll be anymore than a Scott Hartnell however.

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