Ilya Kovalchuk: Will He Dance Again With the New Jersey Devils?

levinakl@levinaklCorrespondent IIIJuly 7, 2010

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 17:  Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Prudential Center on March 17, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Well, the story is unprecedented.  The drama doesn't seem to want to end.  Is this another article about LeBron James?  No.  This is a hockey article about Ilya Kovalchuk and the drama surrounding his unrestricted free agency.

When will Ilya make his final decision?  It's the $1,000,000 question right now, as many hockey fans stand by on Twitter and other places on the internet trying to get any glimpse or nugget of information that might be out there about what is going on in the heads of Ilya Kovalchuk and his agents in Russia and the United States.

Jay Grossman is now up to 6,734 followers on Twitter—a significant amount more, and growing by the minute, since this Ilya soap opera began.  Grossman is accused of using his Twitter account to try and grab any team on the sideline that may be willing to come to the party with a late offer for his client.

It is well documented that Kovalchuk allegedly turned down a 13-year $84.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Kings , and that the Kings are now officially out of the running.  So, without any last minute arrivals to the party, it seems that it's down to the New Jersey Devils and the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia.

So, what is the holdup?  That's a great question as well.  It seems that it has turned into a high stakes game of chicken, even with reports out today that Ilya is now close to signing a deal with SKA of the KHL

Maybe Ilya is waiting to announce his intentions to give Devils GM Lou Lamoriello time to make necessary moves to make room under the salary cap , or just maybe Ilya is having a hard time making a final decision.  In the end, no one really knows except for the agents, Ilya Kovalchuk, and possibly a team executive or two.

Add it all up and it makes for nice drama, but it's definitely painful for Devils fans to withstand, as well as fans who want to see Kovalchuk either stay in the NHL or move back to his homeland of Russia.

Want to discuss Kovalchuk, the Devils, or anything else on Twitter?  Look me up @ LEVINAKL on Twitter.

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