Kovalchuk is staying with the Devils. He’s got a 17 year contract, but we know they don’t expect him to be playing when he’s 44. The Devils just want the annual cap hit to be as low as possible.
Kings fans are surely upset that they can’t order the Kings Kovalchuk jersey they wanted, but they should think about what the signing might have done to the cap space when the young players’ contracts (including Drew Doughty) need to be resigned. The Kings definitely need a bit more power up front and Kovalchuk would have been that. But at what cost? I believe there are other options out there that wouldn’t tie up as much of the Kings’ cap space and may ultimately be a better fit for the team.
Dean Lombardi tried to get Kovalchuk for the Kings, but was unwilling to sacrifice his team’s future for a quick fix. He’s been building this team properly and Kings fans should be happy Lombardi cares enough to spend the time.
It’s good to have the Kovalchuk situation over so everyone can move on to other things. Think of all the time Kovalchuk has given the people who were on full time Kovalchuk rumor watch. I can’t even count the tweets I’ve seen go by in TweetDeck about him this last week. Now, all those tweets can be about other free agents and random rumors.
Enjoy your Kovalchuk-free time, hockey fans!