Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Ilya Kovalchuk will be a Devil for a long, long time. 17 more years, to be precise. The 27 year old stud winger signed a 17 year contract worth a total of $102 million. That only works out to be $6 million a year, on average, but the absurd length of the deal makes it worthwhile for him. He'll be receiving paychecks until he's 44. His actual salary will fluctuate up and down, peaking at $11.5 million for a 5 year stretch in the middle of the deal, and settling down to $550,000 a season at the end.

I get why Kovalchuk signed this deal. He's set for life. In my opinion, he could have gotten more salary for shorter years. But then there's a risk of being a 33 year old free agent that nobody wants because of injuries or lackluster performances. And $102 million ain't peanuts. Furthermore, he gets to play in a "big market" (at least close to one) that consistently fields competitive teams.

And while I think I understand what the Devils are thinking, I still think it's kind of crazy. He'll be drawing a $6.5 million salary in 2020. That's a long time from now. If this were Wayne Gretzky, it'd be the smartest signing in history. But as it is, the Devils have committed a lot of cap space for 17 years.

So if this is what Kovalchuk wanted, I'm glad the Bruins didn't even (apparently) place a bid. The Devils have a great scorer, and will have him for a long, long time.

Maybe Kovalchuk just wanted a deal that matched his uniform number (#17).

Puck Daddy

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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