Hockey Betting Tips, Advice and Odds Russian sniper Ilya Kovalchuk, a player with over 600 career NHL points, was supposed to be the biggest prize during free agency, so the NHL betting world was convinced that the sport’s highest priced free agent would instantly be snatched up. However, after long negotiations with a few teams, the top scorer hasn’t landed anywhere as of yet. It’s been a long and drawn out saga with Kovalchuk. He’s been reportedly in negotiations with the Devils and Kings, both of whom have been in and out of the picture so far. Kovalchuk has also been offered a contract to play for a KHL team in Russia as well. Now the Kings are looking to have a clear shot at landing the high-priced talent. Negotiations have been rocky at best, with the team openly bowing out and then re-entering talks a couple of times. The problem appears to be all about money. Kovalchuk is trying to get a max deal for as long as possible, while the Kings are trying to work him in comfortably under the salary cap. As for the Devils, all has been quiet on their front. New Jersey seems out of the running for now, but nothing’s a guarantee in this bizarre circumstance. Sports Betting features odds on both the Devils and Kings winning the Stanley Cup. Hockey betting enthusiasts can take New Jersey to win the NHL title at 16 to 1 and the Kings at 15 to 1. Clearly, whichever team that lands him will have its odds lowered. In terms of other teams in the running for Kovalchuk’s services, only the Islanders and Flyers have been mentioned more than once or twice. It’s widely believed Kovy won’t sign with the Islanders because of its lack of contention ability right away. Meanwhile, Philly would have to create some salary space in order to accommodate the star forward. So right now, it's looking good for LA.