Kings GM Dean Lombardi told TSN that Kovalchuk will be coming to Los Angeles on Monday for an in-person meeting and that the sides "are a long way from agreeing on a contract." Lombardi also told LA Kings Insider's Rich Hammond that reports of a deal announcement for Monday are "utterly false".
So what fueled this latest round of "Kovalchuk-to-[destination here]" news?
Sportsnet's Daren Millard's posted a tweet saying that the Kings will be signing him Monday so that the World Cup final wouldn't overshadow the announcement. It was kind of odd to visit Sportsnet's website after Millard's tweet went up and not find any story relaying the news, a sign that maybe the gun was jumped here a bit.
Millard might end up being right in a "Stephen A. Smith-LeBron to Heat-two weeks ago" kind of way, considering at this point in the Kovalchuk discussions, the consensus seems the only two destinations remaining in the hunt are L.A. and New Jersey; so Millard, like the rest of us, has a 50/50 shot at being right.
On the bright side, it appears this Kovalchuk saga will be finally coming to an end this week. Meeting face to face is a good sign that things are close. And once that domino falls, there's a good likelihood that the rest of the free-agent crop will begin putting pen to paper.