Kovalchuk is a free agent again. Will the Kings be players in this absurd merry-go-round? Well at this point I at least partially hope not.An independent arbitrator has ruled in favor of the NHL against Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils. As a result, the absurd 17-year contract worth $102 million has been voided, and Kovalchuk is back. If this seems a bit like a horror story where the main character JUST WON’T DIE… that’s because it is very much like that.
Richard Bloch, the arbitrator who decided the case made what is perhaps the only logical decision in voiding the contract. It was absurd, and if it was upheld, there would be literally nothing to prevent the flood gates from opening. However, since the contract was voided, the question now becomes where will Kovalchuk end up? The Kings allegedly aren’t interested in making another offer, though anyone who takes them at their word is smoking some serious crack.
The Kings are in desperate need for some help, especially on the defensive side of things, since Greene went under the knife. There have been some speculations that Lombardi is going to allow his blue line to be patrolled by two rookies this season, but frankly I just don’t see it. Think about it, if there are two rookies to go along with Doughty and Johnson, not to mention Drewiske and his lack of experience, there’s just not enough veteran presence at the position. The Kings are going to need to make a move for another defenseman, and that means they may not have the financial wherewithal to go hard after Kovalchuk again.
Not to mention the old adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I don’t think Lombardi will be a fool again, and we’ll be seeing Kovy play elsewhere next season.