On Ilya Kovalchuk …
TSN: Ilya Kovalchuk said to Sports.ru that he doesn’t have an agreement in place with an NHL team and he hasn’t even spoken with any team.
“I got a lot of friends called. Ask, congratulate,” Kovalchuk said of the rumours, per Google translate. “I answer: That’s how the press in Russia works great, that I have already signed the contract, and the number of years, and the team found… In fact, I have not had any talks with anyone else.”
Kovalchuk isn’t eligible to talk to teams until tomorrow and not officially sign the deal until July 1st.
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Darren Dreger was WGR 550 and was talking about free agent Ilya Kovalchuk. Dreger notes that Kovalchuk and the Rangers have been connected, with some saying they are going to give him a two- or three-year deal.
“I don’t see the New York Rangers giving him that third year because what if things don’t go well for Ilya Kovalchuk. I mean, he hasn’t been in the NHL for what, seven years? It’s been a long time. The game has changed. He’s still an elite talent at the level he’s playing in the KHL, but what if he’s not that in the NHL and he decides after a year he doesn’t want to do it anymore and he wants to go back to Russia. Then you’re stuck with that deal on your books.
“I think that there’ll be a team like the Rangers that’ll give him a year or two, but beyond that it gets sketchy.”
Dreger continues that he does believe the Rangers will sign Kovalchuk. hasn’t heard of another team that is interested as much as the Rangers, but that can obviously change.