We're nearly five full days since Richard Bolch upheld the NHL's rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk's 17-year $102 million contract, and still no word on what Kovalchuk will be doing to move forward. And by "still no word" I mean nothing, zip, nada, literally not a word.
Immediately after Bolch came down with his ruling, there were whispers that Lou Lamoriello and Kovalchul went back to the drawing board. But it appeared as though the originally rejected contract was the New Jersey Devils only successful attempt to land the Russian Sniper. Don't forget that they offered him a 7-year $60 million deal to start with, that was turned down.
So here we are again, playing the waiting game with Kovalchuk. Except this time there are no rumors, there is no current speculation and we know nothing more than the feint whispers that he and Lamoriello are "talking." Although anyone could have guessed that.
The only team that seems to have any chance to jump into the mix, seems to be the Los Angeles Kings. But they swung and missed three times, and I would be astounded if they honestly thought that the fourth time would be any different.
The KHL is still an option, but it still seems unlikely. Let's be honest here, Kovalchuk is in no rush, and the longer he sits on his free agent status the more chance he has of a general manager panicking and pulling the trigger on a regretful long-term deal.
In the end, we're back to square one, playing the waiting game. At least it's familiar territory.