The consensus: Ilya Kovalchuk wants a lot of money.
Beyond that, we don't really know what's in his brain. Most people seem to think that the Los Angeles Kings are still the front runner to land his services this summer, and that the New Jersey Devils are still in the mix as well. But a new team is suddenly in the mix.
Charles Wang's crazy New York Islanders. Lighthouse Hockey has the full details:
Both NHL.com and Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank are reporting that Garth Snow is in discussions to bring Kovalchuk to the Islanders. The numbers being thrown around right now are in the range of 10 million over 10 years. With the Devils recent signings they can only offer 7.5 million (and that's if they go over the 10% that your allowed to go over during FA, you still need to get back under the cap) and the Kings have been silent on him for most of today. I'll try to boil down the drama.
Word from the Ilya Kovalchuk camp is that he wants to win now and plans to sign with the Devils unless the Kings can offer more then the Devils. Supposedly the Kings offered him 7 Million a year, while the Devils have told him to wait until they clear space for him. This appears to be an interesting move by Lou in order to get Kovy in a position that there are no suitors who can afford him, allowing Lou to swoop in and offer him a lower deal. Much like how Nabakov and Turco are going to have to take much less then 6 million soon if they want to play in the NHL this year.
There's no doubt that the Isles need the contract, even if it's an insane $100 million over 10 years contract. They're under the salary floor, for one, and Wang needs the leverage to be able to push his beloved Lighthouse redevelopment project through in Hempstead, where the team plays.