This thing could drag out for several more weeks at this point, so we've decided to start a new StoryStream solely dedicated to Ilya Kovalchuk news. For the rest of the saga, visit our all encompassing free agency StoryStream.
Let's run through the Ilya Kovalchuk-related headlines over at the LA Kings Insider blog, run by veteran sportswriter Rich Hammond, in chronological order from July 1 to today.
A slow, slow day
Enjoy your grilling
On Day 4...
Day 6, coming up
The saga continues
One more day (at least)
After one week...
Yeah, you get the point. Hammond does, too. The first sentence in one of those updates, and this came about a week ago, said "I don't even know if this qualifies as news anymore." And it's true. Just like the LeBron situation dragged on in the NBA, the Kovalchuk situation has officially crossed the line from annoying to absurd.
And there's still no end in sight. The most recent developments?
Well, according to the LA Times, Kovalchuk, who was on the ground in Los Angeles for negotiations on Tuesday, returned home while his agent, Jay Grossman, stayed behind.
Jay Grossman, Kovalchuk's New York-based agent, met with members of the Kings' hockey operations department before leaving Los Angeles on Tuesday night. It's not clear if Grossman and Kovalchuk made any concessions on their initial $100-million price. General Manager Dean Lombardi, who declined to comment, has said the club can't pay Kovalchuk a $10-million average annual salary, retain core players and add the pieces he still needs for the Kings to become Stanley Cup contenders.
So that's where we stand on the Kings front. What about other teams? Well, it looks like the Devils and SKA St. Petersburg are the only teams involved. Tom Gulitti, Devils beat writer, has more on that.
Meanwhile, the Devils are stuck, too. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello remains tight-lipped and he and principal owner Jeff Vanderbeek appear determined to see this through until Kovalchuk signs with them or another team. The only other NHL team that is publicly involved is the Kings. Kovalchuk also has an offer from SKA St. Petersburg—reportedly four years for nearly $40 million total—in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, but it’s clear that returning to his home country is not his preference.
Who knows what's going to happen next, but don't hold your breath on anything happening soon.