Posted 11 July 2013 - 03:19 PM
Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:48 PM
Now it seems that he has joined St. Peterburg the day he has retired. Whether deciding to retire was just a move to get back to play in Russia remains to be seen. From what I've read, he seems to say he wanted to take his family back to Russia. I guess the guy is not going to completely retire from hockey, maybe he did want to take his family back to Russia, and meanwhile, still play. Not sure what to think of this. Pretty weird for a guy in the prime of his career to retire like this. And it isn't like he had a severe concussion and didn't want to impact the rest of his life.
St. Petersburg is the team he played for over in Russia during the lockout. This is interesting because back on January 10, rotoworld reported:
"Ilya Kovalchuk is interested in staying with KHL St. Petersburg for the remainder of the season, but concedes that probably won't be possible."
""I want to stay in St. Petersburg but I have contractual obligations in the NHL, which will be hard to break," Kovalchuk said. "Right now, I can't imagine how (my staying in the KHL) can be arranged... But I don't know anything yet." Kovalchuk was only referring to the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign. All the same, this puts the New Jersey Devils in an awkward position to say the very least."
He later said this on January 16 from rotoworld:
"Ilya Kovalchuk spoke to the media on Wednesday when he returned to New Jersey and he said he never considered staying in the KHL."
""I never thought about wanting to stay because I have a contract," he said. "How could I stay (there) when I have a contract here? I don't know where you read all those comments but I have a contract here, and in the KHL they have a rule that as soon as the lockout ends, we come back, so nobody has a choice." There were several quotes and reports out of Russia that indicated that Kovalchuk wanted to remain overseas, but Kovalchuk said those were lost in translation. He thanked Devils GM Lou Lamoriello for allowing him to stay in Russia a little longer to play in the KHL All-Star Game and expressed how happy he was to be back. In the end the important fantasy news here is that Kovalchuk is back in North America and he should prepared to play on Saturday after racking up 42 points in 36 games with SKA St. Petersburg during the lockout."
Point of the story is that maybe he did want to stay, but honor his contract with NJD at the same time originally. Maybe he thought things over and chose to return to Russia for whatever reason. But I remember rumors of him staying over there in Russia when the lockout was figured out and everything.
Either way, this is a big blow to the Devils, and on top of that, they do not have a 1st round pick in 2014 because of the first time they tried to sign Kovalchuk. Not saying they are going to be #1 overall bad, but when you lose someone like Kovalchuk, it's going to hurt bad. So say they finish in the bottom 5. They won't be able to draft one of the top prospects in next year's draft. Might take a little while to recover from this one. And on top of that, the Devils have a 250 thousand dollar cap hit through the year 2025 because of his retirement. Not a substantial number, but this retirement thing also impacts New Jersey's cap. Maybe not significantly, but it's still something.
Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:28 PM
Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:39 PM
It really was. The guy signed a 15 year contract, he should have honored it. If he knew that he kind of wanted to go back to Russia, why not originally sign a 3 year deal worth 7+ million a year, and then after the contract is up, go back and play in the KHL. Now the guy looks like an absolute jerk. Walked away from 77 million dollars.
Lou said, "After many conversations with Ilya over the past year on his desire to retire from the National Hockey League, Ilya's decision became official today." Looks like Lou might have known about this for a little while now.
I'm just thinking out loud now, but this may impact future Russian players and contract. The Russian factor was already something that scared some teams. If I remember correctly, last year the Blue Jackets said that if they had the #1 overall pick, they would have taken Murray over Yakupov anyway. Valeri Nichushkin went 10th overall to the Stars. I personally thought he was a top 5 talent, but the Russian factor impacted this I suspect. Maybe teams will be more hesitant in giving Russian players a long term contract in fear that they may pull someting like Kovy did. This may also impact future Russian draft eligible players. Needless to say, this may have made the Russian factor even worse than it was before. Definitely didn't help things.
Like I said before, it stinks that NJD doesn't have their 1st round pick in 2014. Losing Kovy is going to hurt, 1st round pick may come in handy if the Devils struggle. He could have at least said this before free agency started so NJD could go after some more guys with the front office knowing that they won't have Kovy.
Edited by NYR Fan 116894, 11 July 2013 - 11:40 PM.
Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:31 AM
Rumor has it that Kovy will end up being "the highest paid hockey player in the world." Contract could give Kovalchuk anywhere from 15-20 million a year apparently. Looks like Kovy just left 77 million on the table, but could earn a ton of money in the KHL. Probably more than the 77 million. Looks to be a monster size contract.
Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:52 AM
Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:52 AM
Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:59 AM
Posted 12 July 2013 - 11:05 AM
I was under the impression there is still some form of cap hit involved?
Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:05 PM
Out of the blue for the public. Lou might have known about it, but not everyone did. This was shocking news, whether you think it was or not. Did any hockey fan see this coming? Lou might have known about it for about a year, but he didn't go to the public and scream out how Ilya was thinking of leaving for the past year.
Yes, maybe he did do the Devils a favor. They could probably go after a big time free agent next summer. But he did screw the Devils in a couple of ways. First, what if he never signed this contract? Devils might have been able to offer Parise a contract he couldn't refuse. Plus, this is the year that the Devils forfeited their 1st round pick. NJD might struggle without Kovy, leaving them with possibly a high draft pick. Problem is, they don't have it because of the first attempt to sign Kovy. Good thing he did this entire thing now instead of next summer. If he did this next summer, this would have hurt the Devils 700,000 in cap space for the next 11 years I think.
This screwed the Devils over short term. Long term it may have helped them out. Financially, it was a way to get out of the contract. I doubt any Devils fan wanted him to do this though.
Maybe the Devils could go after Brunner or Jagr (maybe both?). Brunner could probably be signed for 3-4 million. Buffalo may want to trade Vanek, he could be another possibility. But do the Devils have the pieces to get Vanek?
Both the Sedins, Gaborik, Vanek, Marleau, Thornton, Kessel are some of the guys who could be available in next year's FA.
Edited by NYR Fan 116894, 12 July 2013 - 01:07 PM.
Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:06 PM
I was under the impression there is still some form of cap hit involved?
Since Kovy did this now, it will cost the Devils $250,000 on the cap until the year 2025. It won't hurt the Devils very much.
Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:19 PM
The NHL and KHL did have an agreement where both would recognize each other's contracts. But, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that this agreement may have ended on June 30. Either way though, it's kind of a dark spot in the agreement. Yeah both will recognize contracts, but Kovy retired, which got rid of his NHL contract. So technically, he isn't really under contract, so there isn't exactly a contract to honor.
However, apparently, Kovy agreed to a contract with St. Peterburg back in January before he returned to NJD. Contract was never announced, but so much for honoring each other's contracts though.
Kovy's official contract is going to be announced Monday now. I read somewhere that it may be paying him $10 million a year, but I personally think it will be more. Alexander Radulov is making $9 million over in the KHL. He's a good player, but Kovy is a superstar, and one of the better players in the world.
Kovy's mom speaks: http://prohockeytalk...enced-decision/