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Ilya Kovalchuk Not Long for Los Angeles?

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He spent the third period stapled to the bench and finished with 6 minutes 20 seconds of playing time. Kovalchuk wasn?t subtle when asked about keeping a positive attitude while sitting on the bench.


?I don?t know how to be on the bench because it?s the first time in my career [that] I sit there for the third period,? he said. ?But I?m that kind of guy, you know? I don?t care. We were winning, and that?s all that matters.?


The shrinking role of Kovalchuk, 35, has become a significant matter given the investment the Kings have in him: a three-year, $18.75-million contract they gave him in July. Kovalchuk has been banished to the fourth line and second power-play unit, and barely gets time on the latter.


In an email, general manager Rob Blake declined to comment on Kovalchuk, his primary free-agent addition. Kovalchuk?s reduction in playing time unfolds only 23 games into the season and maybe raises questions about his future with the Kings.


Interim coach Willie Desjardins has talked about trying to get Kovalchuk going offensively, but that?s not possible if Kovalchuk isn?t on the ice. Asked about that predicament, Kovalchuk said, ?I think you answered your question.?


Desjardins said after the Kings? 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday that benching Kovalchuk had to do with matchups before he ended his answer by saying, ?I just think other guys were going tonight.?



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It's just a bad situation. I think he'd thrive as a secondary option on a team that's winning. I wonder if he took the most money to go there or what the deal was.

Probably....LAK has to know that their window is closing, and this was a hail mary, so to speak, so they probably overpaid.


They were probably the only "good" team to tell him he'd have a role in the top 6.

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