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NHL Rumor: What’s The Real Story With Ilya Kovalchuk?

What’s the real story behind the trade rumors out of LA that include Ilya Kovalchuk?

Earlier in the week, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that the Los Angeles Kings had informed veteran forward Ilya Kovalchuk that he will not be in the lineup “for the foreseeable future.” Friedman update that report on Thursday, but there’s still plenty of speculation that Kovalchuk’s days in a Kings uniform are over.

Friedman explained his report in his latest 31 Thoughts article that Kings GM Rob Blake sat down with Ilya Kovalchuk‘s agent JP Barry to talk what;s next for the sniper, who’s hasn’t been all the “snipey” since returning to the NHL. Details of the meeting were not revealed but Friedman was given an indication that a few options were discussed. Among them: “working on a trade; leaving the team; staying until his bonus is paid in December, then leaving; mutually terminate.”

What are the Kings Saying?

Meanwhile, the Kings have called Kovalchuk coming out of the lineup nothing more than a healthy scratch to a player — something they’ve already done with others this season, namely Tyler Toffoli.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Kings and Kovalchuk haven’t made any firm decisions yet on his future and that the key date here is December 15th, when Kovalchuk’s bonus is due and his salary becomes a lot more affordable for other NHL teams.

As Friedman admits, this could simply be the Kings trying to prove a point. Complacency and a lack of production won’t be tolerated and whether your name is Toffoli or Kovalchuk, you’ll come out of the lineup if you’re not producing. More likely, this is the beginnings of Kovalchuk’s time in L.A. coming to an end.

Just don’t expect him to walk away from the team or voluntarily retire if it means leaving a ton of money on the table. That’s not likely to happen.

Related: Don Cherry Speaks: “I Would Have Apologized”

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  1. Pingback: T.J.Brodie Update: Alert and Responsive – NHL Trade Talk – Hockey Rumors

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