The saga has come to an end. The biggest free agent on the market has finally decided where to go and it was the right choice. Ilya Kovalchuk has decided to stay in New Jersey. After multiple reports coming from Los Angelas, that he would be getting a lucrative deal from the Kings, it did not pan out and now the Devils have a serious goal scorer.
Everyone knows the deal with Kovalchuk. He wanted 10 million a season and he and his agent Jay Grossman were willing to see that to the end. The Kings flirted with Kovalchuk, even wined and dined him on the L.A. town to try to get him to commit to them. But, clearly Kovalchuk knew which organization was more committed to winning, the New Jersey Devils. Ilya has made it clear that winning is the most important thing to him, hence why he chose the Devils and not to go to the KHL or to a young King’s squad. He want’s to win now and that is what the Devils have always been about, regardless of their recent playoff dilemmas.
As for the contract that was signed, all I have to say is wow. A 17 year deal is nothing to scoff about. This meant that Kovy had to look at the offer, consider it, and finally realize that he was going to become a Devil for life (that includes post Marty). These contracts are becoming more and more prevalent in the NHL, giving teams more of an opportunity to hold onto a player and let them go as they choose. Hopefully this deal does not have any kind of any effect on Zach Parise getting resigned because any true Devil fan would agree to have Zach as a Devil over Kovy any day of the week.
For the most part, this is a happy day in Devil Land and this off-season has been great for New Jersey. With prospect camp wrapping up recently and going very well, the future looks bright for New Jersey, but all I want to see is dominance right now, not in the future. The Devils have taken a major step toward that today.