July 16, 2010 4:22 pm

Day 16

Just to clarify, there’s not yet any deal finalized between the Kings and Ilya Kovalchuk, but it’s starting to feel as though it could happen at any time. A couple people are starting to get more cryptic with their denials, so we shall see. It’s worth noting that Tim Leiweke is doing business in Europe this week, which has the potential to complicate management approval because of the time difference. Presumably, the sides are talking long term, and remember that every free agent who signs a medium-to-long-range deal is going to have his eyes on 2012, when the potential for labor strife exists. If there’s a lockout — and Donald Fehr looms large for the players’ association — players will do their best to guarantee themselves money that year, because they wouldn’t be drawing a regular paycheck. This was a big part of the “Money Players” book I mentioned a few days ago, in reference to 2004-05. Anyway, we’ll see if anything develops tonight.

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