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"NJ DEVILS BUZZ"
The Rock, NJ • United States • 35 Years Old • Male
By Greg Wyshynski
source: Yahoo Sports


CBC's Elliotte Friedman wrote his final "30 Thoughts" column of the summer today (a temporary loss for all hockey fans, to be sure) and focused on Ilya Kovalchuk's(notes) continued lingering on the free-agent market. It included this interesting bit of scuttlebutt about his demands:

A couple teams called about shorter-term deals, but were rebuffed. (I was told the Rangers offered $15 million over two years, but the organization denied that.) There is a belief among teams, agents and players that a "friendly rivalry" with Alexander Ovechkin has him fixated on passing Ovechkin's annual average value of $9.5 million. For his sake, that's got to stop.

I believe Kovalchuk wants three things: to stay in the NHL, to win and to be the sport's salary standard-bearer. If he were solely about the money, he'd have already joined Evgeni Nabokov(notes) in Russia. But, what he's doing right now is providing ammunition for everyone who believes he is selfish and only cares about cash.

The more you think about Kovalchuk and Ovechkin's $124 million, 13-year contract with the Washington Capitals, the more it seems to fit with his behavior this summer.

The oft-quoted $100 million figure seemed like a mandatory benchmark for Kovalchuk, and Ovechkin got nine figures. The oft-quoted $10 million annually he's allegedly asked for, at least at the front end of the contract, would eclipse Ovechkin's salary. The KHL escape pod hasn't been activated, perhaps because Ovechkin's in the NHL until 2021 (when he'll make $10 million as a base salary, by the way).

What about the long-term aspect of his demands? Playing Hockey Freud for a moment, it could be because Ovechkin became a franchise player for the Capitals, turned their fortunes around and has been celebrated for doing so. He didn't go hockey mercenary like some teams want Kovalchuk to go. As Jeff Schultz of the AJC reported last year, Kovalchuk saw that transformation first hand:

Ovechkin, his close friend, signed a monster contract last season: 13 years, $124 million. He made a commitment to the city and the franchise. Both sides in the Thrashers-Kovalchuk negotiations can paint this publicly anyway they like. But the bottom line is, he just hasn't decided whether to make that commitment yet.

He greeted Ovechkin with a chest bump in the morning. Kovalchuk was on the ice at Philips Arena, Ovechkin had just emerged from the visiting locker room by the Caps' bench. They've played together in the Olympics and World Championships. They spend time together in Moscow in the summer. Now both are back in the NHL and Ovechkin has something Kovalchuk wants.

But Friedman's right: If this about beating another contract or aping what a close friend did for another NHL market, then Kovalchuk's own obsessions are just as prominent an influence as any market force on this drama dragging out.

For what it's worth, Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet is reporting that a Kovalchuk deal with the Los Angeles Kings is "close." But this saga has teased us more than the "Hit Me Baby, One More Time" video played on a continuous 24-hour loop, so who knows?
Filed Under:   kovalchuck   kings   devils  
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Blog Archive

10 On Kovi free agency
11 KOVI IN LA
12 KOVI SAGA GOES ON
12 IS KOVI USING THE DEVILS TO UP HIS PURSE????
12 WOW The Devils Make A Great Move!!!!
12 John MacLean is hands on as Devils open prospects camp
12 Is Ilya Kovalchuk moving closer to signing with Los Angeles?
13 Has Kovalchuck lost his footing with New Jersey Devils Fans?
13 Elias understands Kovalchuk's dilemma
14 Elias excited for what future holds
15 Lots of talk but nothing to announce yet on Kovalchuk
15 Kovalchuk Looking Less and Less Likely for New Jersey Devils
15 Kovalchuk desperately wants to be the highest paid Russian!!
15 Devils don't offer veteran center Eric Chouinard a contract
15 Anton Volchenkov: Devils were my second choice
15 MacLean meets the A-Train
16 Are Ilya Kovalchuk's salary demands tied to Alex Ovechkin?
16 Newly-signed Tyler Eckford wants to play his way into a job
16 Devils' World Won't End if Kovy Bypasses Newark
18 Kings believed they had a 50-50 chance of signing Kovinuts
19 Brian Rolston knows that changes are coming for Devils
19 Devils' signing of Ilya Kovalchuk puts a smile on John Mac!!
19 Dainius Zubrus: signing Ilya Kovalchuk was to shake up the Devils
19 What might happen next?????
20 Who Will Go???
20 Which Contracts Will Lou Dump Now?
20 Left winger Ilya Kovalchuk, there is significance to #17
21 Once Kovalchuk's deal is settled, attention to Zach!!!
21 NHL doesn't believe Ilya Kovalchuk will stay untill Age 44
21 contracts similar to Ilya Kovalchuk's deal with Devils
21 NHL Players' Assocation issues statement On Kovi
21 Lamoriello statement on Kovalchuk signing
21 ’t win Ilya Kovalchuk contract showdown
22 It's in hands of Ilya Kovalchuk and union
22 NHL might have picked wrong fight
22 LA Kings Dean Lombardi backs up Kovalchuck Contract
24 NHLPA to file grievance
25 The Kovi Saga
25 NHL prosecution merely a temper tantrum
26 Devils wait for players' union to file grievance
26 contract could trigger a war between Devils and NHL
27 Decision on Kovalchuk is expected nexty week
28 Kovalchuk contract could be restructured by arbitrator
28 Yann Danis Going to KHL
28 Mark Fraser Signed....
29 Newly-signed Mark Fraser vows to be 'mean, physical Player
30 Arbitrator has been agreed upon
30 Kovalchuck Hearing?????
31 Arbitrator - Richard Bloch a NEw Jersey Native
31 Association agree on arbitrator to rule on Ilya Kovalchuk
03 Kovalchuk will attend contract hearing
03 Devils will wear retro jerseys March 18 vs. Washington
04 D day for Kovi and the Devils
05 Roller Hockey at the Jersey Shore
06 Jim Dowd Shore High School Hockey Game set for Sunday
06 Is this is a set-up between Lou and Gary???
09 The arbitration decision coming today
11 Translated article from soviet sports kovalchuck
11 Devils name Rick Kowalsky head coach at Albany
12 HEATS ON!!!!
12 Where do the Devils stand in the market???
16 Today might be the day
16 90 million over 10-13 for kovi?
16 Russian News Paper Reports Devs and Kovi....
17 Contract submitted???
18 Another Quiet day in the Kovi Front
19 Devils still waiting to see what happens with Kovy
19 “Status Quo” On Ilya Kovalchuk And Devils
20 Devils After Marc-Andre Bergeron???
20 Kovi wants nothing to do with the KHL
20 Elias on the Move???
21 ELIAS TO THE ATLANTA TRASHERS????
21 Questions Surround Devils in Wake of Kovalchuck saga
22 Brian Burke Testified Against Ilya Kovalchuk Contract???
22 Devils Bringing Hockey Back To Atlantic City
23 Patrik Elias could be moved to sign fellow winger Zach Paris
23 Today could be the Day!!!
23 News 1130 out of Vancouver Reports on Kovi
23 Possible contract for Kovalchuck
23 Devils add more youth to the roster
23 EJHradek_ESPN Reports NJ Devils meet with the NHL
24 News 12 New Jersey Reports on Kovi Contract...
24 Bryce Salvador to Stars...
25 NHL 2 Devils 0.....
25 Lamoriello not frustrated by Kovalchuk process
25 Commish denies report of deal rejection
26 – NYPOST.com
26 Looks Like KHL is out of the question
27 Could this be finalyy over???
30 Devils could part with Zajac if Kovalchuk stays
30 ’ contract, but Kovalchuk retires
31 ’s official decision on Kovalchuk’s TODAY!!!!!
31 Niemi a Devil?????