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Kovalchuk Sweepstakes Update | July
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UPDATED Wednesday-11:48AM (Dave)- NBC Sports is now reporting that Ilya Kovalchuk is very close to a deal with SKA St Petersburg in Russia’s KHL. For Kovalchuk, this would mean a temporary vanishing from the spotlight of North America and the NHL, which cannot, presumably, be good for his image if he desires to return to the NHL in a few years. As for Islanders fans, this seems like a good idea because he wont be on the Devils, (out of sight, out of mind).

 

UPDATED Monday-10:00PM (Dave)-Katie Strang now reports that the Islanders are out of the running for Kovalchuk, as heartbreaking as this sounds, it may very well be true. According to Hockey Island he Islanders have expressed interest in Frolov and Ponikarovsky.

UPDATED Monday-9:46PM (Dave)-In light of Jay Grossman's comments, we can now speculate that no formal announcement will come tonight, and it's seeming more and more like the New York Post's earlier report of the 7yr/$60M NJD deal is purely a myth circulated through an echo chamber; remember, the New York Post is not renowned as a "credible" source for hockey news. But the final three suitors look to be the Islanders, Devils, and the KHL's St Petersburg team.

UPDATED Monday-8:30PM (Nick)-Ilya's agent Jay Grossman tweets "Ilya Kovalchuk choices have been narrowed down, details to be finalized but no announcement tonight...." So lets just hope its the Isles. Well find out...hopefully tomorrow.

UPDATED Monday-6:40PM (Nick)-Some sources say that Kovy could leave the NHL and go to Russia's KHL. Well we'll see. It's pretty quiet now. But it's likely to pick up again later. This is driving hockey fans crazy as you can see on Twitter. We all expect Kovy to make a decision sometime today/tonight as tweeted by Jay Grossman, Kovalchuk's agent. Islander fans are keeping their fingers crossed. Remember to follow IHB on twitter just click the link at the bottom of this article. I will be tweeting throughout the night when I hear legitimate information.

UPDATED Monday-4:44PM (Eric)-Reports from multiple sources now have Kovalchuk signing a seven year, $60 million contract with the New Jersey Devils, as Dave reported earlier.  The Islanders name has fallen under both this report and the report the Kings have dropped out.  The resigning hasn't taken place yet, but has picked up steam in the news.  If he doesn't resign this evening, it appears likely we will wake up tomorrow morning with Ilya officially staying in Jersey.

UPDATED Monday-2:48PM (Nick)- As tweeted by Chris Botta, Garth Snow is in his office at the Coliseum. This could mean he's trying to work something out with Ilya and his agent.Or he could be inquiring about other players. Also reports say that Atlanta may be back in bid for Kovy, but not confirmed yet. I guess well just have to wait....

UPDATED Monday- 2:02PM (Dave)- The New York Post is reporting that Ilya is likely to sign with the Devils, today. They are offering him a 7 yr/ $60M contract. This is NOT official, however, multiple sources are circulating this rumor.

UPDATED Monday- 1:03PM (Nick)- Kovalchuk is likely to make a decision today on what team he will sign with. When news breaks, IHB will report it. Keep your fingers crossed that it's the Isles. Stay tuned...

Sunday-Ilya Kovalchuk has turned down the Kings. Dean Lombardi, the Kings GM stated "We took our best shot to meet his needs and the team's." Sources confirm that the Flyer's, Penguins, and Rangers show interest in him along with the Devils wanting to resign him. Eklundfrom HockeyBuzz tweeted "Still in on Kovalchuk...the Atlantic Division-Pitt...3 NY teams and Flyer's. could get interesting tonight. may drag on though...." So you just read it, things can fire up tonight. Be sure to check back at the blog as the IHB staff will update you if something more breaks out. I will be tweeting tonight with anything I hear.

IHB would like to wish you all a safe and happy fourth. Have fun and be safe!

IHB_NICK/ IHB_DAVE/IslesHockeyBlog