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Kings and Ilya Kovalchuk are 're-engaged'

July 7, 2010 |  9:55 am

Kovalchuck_400 In a bizarre turn, the Kings are back in the Ilya Kovalchuk chase, General Manager Dean Lombardi said Wednesday morning, confirming that the sides are "re-engaged" in negotiations.

The Kings had ended their pursuit of the high-scoring left wing on Sunday after he turned down more than one offer without making a counterproposal. He was stuck at 10 years and $100 million and wouldn't budge.

He has since budged. Whether that's because he couldn't get those bucks from the New Jersey Devils and the KHL was looking like his only option, or because he has had a change of heart for some reason, isn't clear.

His side is supposed to deliver a counterproposal to the Kings on Wednesday. It still might not work for the Kings because they are concerned about the average annual value and a ripple effect -- mostly with what kind of jumping-off point a big deal for Kovalchuk will create for Drew Doughty, who has one season left on his entry-level deal.

Stay tuned. This gets stranger by the minute.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Ilya Kovalchuk with the Thrashers in January. Credit: James Guillory / US Presswire.