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Report: Kings re-enter the Kovalchuk fray

by Shawn P. Roarke /
It appears the Los Angeles Kings are ready to give the New Jersey Devils some more competition for the services of free-agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk.

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday afternoon on her Twitter feed that Kings GM Dean Lombardi said his team and the Russian are "re-engaged" in contract talks.

According to Elliott's report, Kovalchuk is expected to make a counter-offer to the Kings, who pulled out of the bidding Monday when Kovalchuk turned down another offer from the team. Reports at that time suggested he was looking for $10 million a year for 10 years.

To make matters even more interesting, there have been several published reports that Kovalchuk is being wooed by SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL.

The Devils are also clearly trying to retain the prolific winger, who was obtained in a trade deadline acquisition from the Atlanta Thrashers. In fact, according to the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti, the Devils are holding off on other free-agent business until they sort out the Kovalchuk situation.

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