The deal is somewhat salary-cap friendly for the Devils, who will absorb an annual hit of $6 million — the average amount per season. However, Kovalchuk will remain on the books through the 2026-27 season.

Kovalchuk will earn $6 million each of the next two seasons, $11.5 million for the following five seasons, $10.5 million in the 2017-18 season, $8.5 million for the 2018-19 season, $6.5 million in 2019-20, $3.5 million in 2020-21, $750,000 the following season, and $550,000 for the final five years of the unprecedented deal.

The Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, Devils and SKA St. Petersburg of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League talked with Kovalchuk after free agency started on July 1.

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