Inside Kovalchuk’s value, where he will sign as free-agent star

Dmitry Chesnokov Yahoo! Sports Puck Daddy June 5, 2010

There is no name entering this summer’s free agency bigger than Ilya Kovalchuk.

Come to think of it, there has not been a player entering the free agency bigger than Ilya Kovalchuk in the “new” salary cap NHL. Some arguments may be made about players like Marian Hossa or Brian Campbell. But they are just not on the same level.

A few things will come into play when Kovalchuk makes his career choice this summer: He is looking for commitment, which means there will be no 1-year deals for a chance at the Cup. He wants the team he chooses to be a contender throughout his stay there. Compensation is also very important. And the city is important — Kovalchuk has three children.

What about the money? How could he have turned down $100 million with the Atlanta Thrashers? And how much is he looking to get?

First of all, all that talk about the KHL is just lunacy. There is no chance he is going back to Russia, regardless of how many oil dollars they try to throw at him.

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