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And The Bill Just Got Steeper

Add a hefty $3 million fine and the loss of two draft picks to the list of what New Jersey Devils have lost in their pursuit of Ilya Kovalchuk.

The Devils will lose a 3rd round pick in 2011 and a 1st rounder in one of the next four years as a punishment for trying to test the limits of the rules.

Excessive, sure, but there’s a price to pay for pushing the envelope the farthest, especially when you do the pushing in the direction of Gary Bettman.

What have the Devils already given up?

From Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record:

The running tally on what it cost the Devils to trade for and re-sign Kovalchuk
* $100 million in salary
* $3 million fine
* Loss of one first-round pick in next four years
* Loss of 2011 third-round draft pick
* 2010 first-round pick
* RW Niclas Bergfors (2005 first-round pick)
* D Johnny Oduya
* Prospect Patrice Cormier (2008 second-round pick)

And Gulitti also makes mention of the other costs yet to come, as the Devils still need to rid themselves of somewhere between $3 and $6 million to become cap compliant.

Though there’s plenty to like about Dainius Zubrus, he hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire in three years in New Jersey with his best totals—15 goals and 40 points—coming in 2008-09.  With young players like Vladimir Zharkov and Nick Palmieri behind him on the depth chart, it seems Dainius Zubrus and his $3.4 million cap hit are the most obvious targets. 

Whether another team is willing to take him on is another question.  Though, Lou Lamoriello hasn’t been shy about using a demotion to the AHL as a way to shed some salary (see: Richard Matvichuk, Dan McGillis, Alexander Mogilny).

Bryce Salvador seems like an odd man out with Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder both younger and having such similar job descriptions.  He is, however, clearly a better bargain at $2.9 million than Zubrus, and, I mean, can you ever have too many shutdown guys on the blueline?  That doesn’t even take into account his leadership role on the team.

Personally, it would be very tough to see him go, but the fact remains: salary needs to be burned.

It has to come from somewhere.  The question is where.

The bill for Ilya Kovalchuk is about to get steeper.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

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