“Ilya Kovalchuk looking to make decision on his future today.”
Those were the words tweeted by Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman sometime after noon EDT on Monday. The reality of course, was that there was no decision. Just a plethora of terrible jokes cross-referencing the enormous egos of Kovy and LeBron James. How dare any player agent subject hockey fans to such blasphemous pandering.
The events that unfolded yesterday afternoon (mostly a lot of waiting and speculation) brought out a number of unsubstantiated hypothesis as to what exactly the intentions of Kovalchuk and Grossman could be. Were they simply bluffing in order to drive up a couple of potential offers for the free agent winger? Maybe, but we’re right back where we were prior to Grossman’s ill-fated tweet; asking questions.
The Los Angeles Kings claim to have folded on the Kovalchuk sweepstakes, and the New York Islanders were probably never a player in the first place. So who was left to battle the New Jersey Devils for the services of the mercurial Russian? The picture didn’t become much clearer after Grossman elected to give followers another late-night nibble by stating: “Ilya Kovalchuk choices have been narrowed down, details to be finalized but no announcement tonight….”
It is widely assumed that the Devils remain the front-runner to land Kovalchuk, and with the uncertainties surrounding the Islanders combined with the withdrawal of the Kings… who else could possibly be included in Kovy’s “narrowed down” choices? NJ.com offered the hypothetical situation of the Atlanta Thrashers reentering the negotiations, but at this point it’s little more than speculation.
“Might the Atlanta Thrashers, who offered Kovalchuk a 12-year, $101 million deal last season before trading him to the Devils, have gotten back into the picture?”
If indeed the Thrashers were willing to enter the bidding for their former captain, it could certainly make things interesting as they seem to be the only suitor that has approached Kovalchuk’s desired terms. Then again, Kovalchuk may have already burned that bridge.
So this leaves us again in the position of spending another day waiting and guessing as to how the Kovalchuk saga will play out. It’s a saga that has about as much rewatchability as an Ava Devine film, but that’s where we find ourselves.