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Ilya Kovalchuk Signs With the Devils, Pretty Much for Life

The free-agent left wing has finally made up his mind and signed with the Devils — and the contract he agreed to appears to be a doozy: a reported seventeen years for just over $100 million. (For those unfamiliar with the realities of the post-lockout NHL, ultra-long-term contracts that keep a team's cap hit relatively low aren't uncommon for star players, though this one's particularly extreme.) Kovalchuk, you may recall, rejected Atlanta's offer of a twelve-year, $101 million extension before being traded to the the Devils last season. A six-time 40-goal scorer and two-time 50-goal scorer, Kovalchuk had reportedly been pursued most heavily by the Kings and SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. If he doesn't retire before the end of the contract, he'll be 44 in its final year, 2026-27 — assuming global warming hasn't rendered "ice hockey" a thing of the past by then.

Source: Kovalchuk gets 17-year deal [ESPN New York]

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Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images