Devils Need Cap Space For Kovalchuk

New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello says it is ‘status quo’ on the Ilya Kovalchuk front. But a report indicates the Devils need cap space to make a deal happen.

Speculation began to percolate as how Lamoriello could sign Kovalchuk and remain beneath the salary cap of $59.4 million, or even use his summertime 10 percent excess allowance. He has some $6 million in room, counting 16 obvious regulars, and aside from Kovalchuk, would have to count six more for a 23-man roster, that half-dozen likely to total at least $4 million.

Should he sign Kovalchuk, and the figure of $60 million over seven years offered by one source seems realistic, he would barely have that 110 percent summertime space, and would have to shed some $6 million in salaries by Game 1.

Clearing cap space is a difficult task, especially with eight no-trade contracts: Brian Rolston, Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias (no movement), Jason Arnott, Colin White, Anton Volchenkov, Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg, none of which have expired or contain windows of relief, sources say.

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