July 5, 2010 8:50 am

Day 5

Well, it should be very interesting to see what happens today. If Ilya Kovalchuk really is out for $100 million, and nothing less, there’s one team (hi, Islanders) known to be potentially able/willing to give it to him, so it should be a relatively easy deal to complete. If Dean Lombardi is really out of the chase, he should have no problem coming out publicly and saying he has cut off all communication with the Kovalchuk camp. Anything less, by either side, is pure posturing. And that’s not a knock, because posturing is what these high-stakes deals are all about. It’s how people protect their respective interests. But the reason I told you the specific questions I put to Lombardi yesterday, and the reason I tell you he has so far chosen not to answer them, is that nobody should believe any team is “out” until the second K in the name “Kovalchuk” is signed on a contract with another team. Everyone, in this case, is doing their job, and unfortunately for us, that job doesn’t include making things easy/clear for fans and media. So what will it be? Will Kovalchuk go get his $100 million? Will someone blink? We’re in Day 5 of this saga, but my guess would be that there aren’t many hours remaining. We’ll see.

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