Well, now's our chance to test that theory about the Ilya Kovalchuk drama being the only thing keeping that logjam of scoring free agents from breaking up and floating downstream—he's re-signed with the Devils for as-yet-undisclosed terms, although SB Nation New York speculates that he'll be earning at least $8 million. The LA Times offers this account from second place's perspective:â†µ
Initial reports said the terms of Kovalchuk's deal were 17 years at $100 million, though that couldn't be immediately confirmed. Tim Leiweke, the Kings' governor and chief executive of their parent company, AEG, said in an e-mail that Kovalchuk "had two very good choices. NJ offered more money. Simple as that."â†µ
It was an odd offseason for this year's star free agent—instead of a bidding war a haggling contest broke out, with Kovalchuk's price being driven down by a collective indifference among seemingly every team who could use him, and Kovalchuk himself not playing the usual game of suggesting he could find himself happy anywhere in the NHL.