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Kovalchuk Derby Could Be Down to Devils and Islanders

It’s no LeBronamania, but the battle for Ilya Kovalchuk gets more and more interesting by the day.

Los Angeles Kings (the 3rd suitor reported for the Devs’ superstar) GM Dean Lombardi confirmed to the LA Times this afternoon that they are out of the race for the man with the 2nd most goals scored since the lockout. Here’s what Helene Elliot reported earlier:

“We took our best shot to meet his needs and the team’s,” Lombardi said in an email.

He would not elaborate on where the Kings’ offer fell short or where Kovalchuk might be headed. The New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders have also shown interest in signing the dynamic winger, who earlier this year turned down offers from Atlanta worth $101 million over 12 years and $70 million over seven years.

For now, unless another team is recruiting him in secret – and excluding any Russian club that may throw money at him – the Islanders and Devils are alone in the race to capture the 27-year old scoring threat. More to come.