NHL Free Agency: Ilya Kovalchuk Out Of Los Angeles Kings’ Reach

The Los Angeles Kings are reported to be out of the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes.

At one point, they seemed like the front-runners, but after a lucrative offer from the New York Islanders, the Kings have fled from the Russian superstar.

Kings GM Dean Lombardi would not tell exactly why they removed their bid on the talented winger.

"We took our best shot to meet his needs and the team's," Lombardi explained to the Times' Helene Elliott on Sunday.

There are a few possible reasons why the Kings withdrew themselves from the Kovy sweepstakes: Maybe Kovalchuk didn't like the idea of playing in L.A.; maybe he liked the offer from the Islanders or Devils better.

Or maybe he just, flat out, wanted more money that the Kings don't have to spend.

This leaves the New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders as the last two teams believed to be in the race for Kovalchuk. Garth Snow has confirmed that he has made an offer to Kovy. Rumour has it that deal is worth about $10 million a year for 10 years.

The Isles have plenty of money to spend, so they have the upper hand over the money-tight Devils in the bid for Ilya Kovalchuk.

If Kovy signs with New York, that would almost immediately turn them into a playoff team. Imagine Ilya Kovalchuk on the same team, maybe even on the same line, as John Tavaras. That'd be deadly, my friends. With the additions of Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina, they have solidified their defence as well.

With Kovalchuk now off of L.A's radar, they might focus on re-signing fellow Russian winger Alexander Frolov.

Frolov has played with the Kings for his entire NHL career, but his numbers have been declining over the past four years. Last season he scored 19 goals and 51 points, which is nothing compared to his 35 goals and 71 points four years ago.

Also, with the Kings no longer having Kovy as an option, this shuts down other trade r...

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