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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dreaded "C" Word... Contract... And How Kovalchuk Did Not Become "Koval-cha-ching"

And all that THAT implies regarding one insanely talked-about player since free agency started: Ilya Kovalchuk.

I almost didn't write a post about the three-ring circus revolving around this young man, seeing as so many other people were writing about him that I feared it would be the same old rehashing a few days too late. But I figured I could put it into my own words and my own view, and besides, the blog needs material, and this is Grade A, top-choice fodder. So here goes.

Kovalchuk has been mightily chased after by a few teams since July 1. People had been expecting this since the end of the playoffs for the Devils (who traded for him late in the season), and so it was- the Kings, Blues, and Islanders were just a few of the teams involved. To my chagrin, the Isles even reportedly offered Kovalchuk $10M a year, which he refused, apparently. (Thank God.) Then there was talk of him signing ultra-long-term with the Kings for a couple of days... until (not so much) out of the blue, the Devils came along and offered him a 17-year deal worth over $100 million.

And he accepted.

But the good old NHL didn't.

The next day, the league rejected the contract on the terms that it circumvented the salary cap. The Devils decided that they would spread out the money so that Ilya would get more now, less in the later years, thus lowering the cap hit to about $6M a season. Not cool by the league's standards. (Source: Yahoo!Sports) So now it's back to the drawing board, and Kovy's future remains up in the air.

As long as we don't/didn't take him, I'll be happy, and here's why: this is a guy who is projected to be sub-par after 12 years, who hasn't won a Cup, and who is a big name and provides offense, but in my opinion would not be a good fit for the system that Scott Gordon has implemented. And us paying through the nose for him long-term would be a disaster whether or not it gets us up to the cap floor. We would be much better off going for a Lee Stempniak or an Alex Frolov (both of whom are reportedly still available). But I digress.

This has been a wild, wacky saga, and who knows how it's going to end. All I know is, I'm kind of tired of hearing about Ilya Kovalchuk on Twitter, Facebook and everywhere else. There are plenty of other players worth following and hearing about. Let's focus on them and leave this sad story alone for a while.

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