When you land the biggest free agent for 2010, it is understandable to be excited about the signing. When you get that player at a $6 million dollar cap hit, it makes the news that much better. So, why does it feel that Devils fans aren't jumping for joy over this deal. From our Devils site, In Lou We Trust:
I'm going to forthright, I'm not fully excited about the deal. As far back as May, I made the case that while Kovalchuk's talent is unquestionable and there's some evidence he isn't so awful on defense, to re-sign him will present serious problems on the roster both in terms of position and cap space. That is, it would be more trouble than he's worth. As time went on, I re-iterated that point after the recent Mikko Koivu extension. Re-signing Kovalchuk could make it so financially difficult for the Devils given what Zach Parise and Travis Zajac could demand down the line that it would be better to forget about the Russian sniper. Not to mention that goal scorers don't tend to remain goal scorers much later in their career, per this sobering post by Quisp at Jewels from the Crown. So I'm not 100% behind this deal. I don't hate it, but what happens next will affect how I feel about this contract.
How the Devils handle the rest of the offseason will be just as important as landing Kovalchuk was. If the Devils win the Cup this year and have to lose Zajac and Parise during the offseason, will the deal still be seen as a win?