Kings out of the Kovalchuk sweepstakes, again … Zherdev to Flyers could...

Kings out of the Kovalchuk sweepstakes, again … Zherdev to Flyers could happen today … Leafs looking for winger, not centerman

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Helene Elliott of the LA Times: The Los Angeles Kings have once again said no to Ilya Kovalchuk. The Kings looked at Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman’s, proposal and found they wouldn’t be able to retain some of their young players who’ll be RFA’s in the near future. Kings governor Tim Leiweke, “Dean is trying here, but we know what we need in cap space going forward to keep our nucleus together. We can’t let one guy throw us into panic in a year or two. It is not about cash. It is about cap.” The Kings have reportedly offered 12 years, $63 million ($5.25 million cap hit), and 13 years, $84.5 million ($6.5 million cap hit). The Kings will now probably go back to looking at trades for a winger and top 4 Dman. Their interest in Simon Gagne has lessened.

Larry Brooks via Twitter: Not confirmed, but the New Jersey Devils may have offered Kovalchuk a ‘lifetime’ deal that would give him his $100 million.

Larry Brooks via Twitter: From a reliable source, the Kings have offered a 12 year deal with an average of $5.3 million. Not going to happen, but might open up other options.

Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News: The Philadelphia Flyers and Nikolai Zherdev are close on a deal,  and it could be finalized today. Zherdev has been looking for a multi-year deal worth in the $4 million range. The Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres had shown some interest. The signing of Zherdev would mean that Simon Gagne and his $5.25 million cap hit will be traded.

The Hockey News via Twitter: Brian Burke talked with the The Hockey News, and was asked about the idea that they lack top centers, “Right now, we’re looking for a winger, not a center. So we disagree with the public, I guess.”

Ryan Rishaug via Twitter: Rishaug thinks it would be a good fit for the Oilers to make a trade for Ryan Smyth, who could use his leadership. If the deal were to happen, Rishaug thinks it would be in-season trade if the right pieces fell into place.

Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province: The Vancouver Canucks may be looking for a reliable, physical wingers. The Canucks have 22 players signed with $300,000 in cap space. That doesn’t include Cody Hodgson’s $1.6 million cap hit and Mason Raymond, who’s awaiting arbitration. The Canucks are still considering dealing Kevin Bieksa and his $3.75 million cap hit without taking back much salary. In an interview on Tuesday though, GM Mike Gillis seemed like he wasn’t in a rush to deal Bieksa and could even consider retaining Bieksa.