Why Haven’t the Devils Signed Kovalchuk?

Just a quick post on yet another boring day in this long off-season…

For two weeks, the New Jersey Devils sat around with nothing to do, after Kovalchuk’s contract was rejected by the NHL and then sorted through by an arbitrator. During this time you would think that the Devils would have been busy getting a backup plan ready in case the contract was officially rejected after the NHLPA filed their grievance, but instead, they did not, and now we are three days removed from that decision, and no closer to a Kovalchuk contract.

Lou Lamoriello is a genius of a GM and made it clear that although he liked having Kovalchuk, he was not the tour-de-force behind handing him that immense contract. That said, could it be that the Devils do not want to give in and have this new contract eat up such a large cap hit?

The Devils are currently working on a new deal, according to various hockey sources on Twitter, but for some reason I just do not buy it. They had all this time to come up with Plan B, even Plans C, D, and E, but instead they did absolutely nothing. That seems very un-Devil like, and something that would not happen under the watchful eye of Lou Lamoriello.

And to be honest, does Kovalchuk really love New Jersey that much? This is not a suggestion that he would like New York or Los Angeles better, but it took him nearly three weeks to come to an agreement with New Jersey, and if I wanted to sign some place wholeheartedly, I would have been on the phone in the last two weeks so that as soon as the first contract got rejected, I could immediately be signed to a new one.

This is all speculation, but something now tells me that Kovalchuk won’t end up in New Jersey after all, and believe it or not, all Devils fans wouldn’t really be too angry about that.

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One thought on “Why Haven’t the Devils Signed Kovalchuk?

  1. Jim Haggerty

    Greg,

    More and more it is becoming evident that Jeffrey Vanderbeek was the driving force behind this contract offer to Kovalchuk. The move was directly counter to the way Lou Lamoriello usually conducts business. Now that he has egg on his face as a result of the contract being voided, I believe Vanderbeek has gone back to leaving the hockey decisions to Lamoriello. At this point I would not be surprised to see Kovalchuk remain unsigned when training camps open next month, and he may remain unsigned well into the regular season. It may now be in his best interest to go to the KHL for a big one year payout and test the NHL free agent waters again next summer.

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