Kovalchuk drama ends

Ilya Kovalchuk is sticking with the Devils after negotiations with the Kings failed during free...

Ilya Kovalchuk is sticking with the Devils after negotiations with the Kings failed during free agency. (QMI Agency/Jason Franson)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:27 AM ET

Ilya Kovalchuk is heading back to New Jersey and will re-sign with the Devils to a reported 17-year, $102 million contract.

According to the team's website, the Devils will hold a Tuesday afternoon press conference at the Prudential Center to make it official. Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman, released a statement Monday to confirm the deal.

"Ilya is excited to be continuing his career with New Jersey and knows first- hand the team's dedication and commitment to winning," Grossman stated.

The Devils and the Los Angeles Kings were Kovalchuk's two main pursuers since the free agent signing period began July 1.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported terms of the contract, breaking down the pact year-by-year. He's due to earn $6 million in each of the next two seasons, $11.5 million from 2012-2017, $10.5 million the following year. The salary falls off after that until he makes $550,000 annually the final five years of the deal. He would be 44 years old when the contract concludes in 2027.

Kovalchuk played 27 games last season for the Devils after being acquired from Atlanta in a February 4 trade. He turned down reported offers of $70 million over seven years and $100 million over 12 years from the Thrashers, who finally gave up on re-signing the sniper and sent him to New Jersey in a package that netted Atlanta defenseman Johnny Oduya, right wing Niclas Bergfors, forward Patrice Cormier and a first-round draft pick.

Selected with the first overall pick of the 2001 draft, Kovalchuk twice reached 52 goals with Atlanta and last season combined to score 41 goals in 76 games. He compiled 10 goals and 17 assists in 27 games for New Jersey, then added two goals and four assists in five playoff games as the Devils were beaten by Philadelphia in the first round.

The 27-year-old Russian native has 338 goals and 304 assists for 642 points in 621 regular-season games. He is Atlanta's all-time leader in virtually every offensive category.

It's been a busy offseason for the Devils, as the club named John MacLean its new head coach and signed defensemen Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov. New Jersey also re-acquired center Jason Arnott, who scored a double-overtime goal in the clinching Game 6 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals against Dallas, in a trade with Nashville.


Videos

Photos