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Evening Line

“... Again, the Russians and the foreign people can have their cake and eat it, too.  They don’t like it here? ‘Hey, I’ll just…go back to the KHL and grab $77 million!’ And hey, why shouldn’t he? Hey, it’s tax free! So right off the top he’s saving 50 percent.

“So that’s why a lot of people are afraid to draft Russians. They do what they want to do and we cater to them. I’m the only guy that says the truth. You know, they have their cake and eat it, too, and Kovalchuk is just laughing all the way to the bank.”

-Don Cherry on the Kovalchuk retirement.  More from Cherry by Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated.

added 11:34am 7/13/13, You can listen to the remarks Cherry made below...

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry, ilya+kovalchuk

Comments

Alan's avatar

Truth is, anyone could do what Kovalchuk did yesterday. Parise, Zetterberg and Toews could all decide “you know what? I’m out. Ak Bars/Lokomotiv/SKA is offering me XX million more than I’m getting here. Screw this league.”

While it might not be nearly as likely for a Canadian, Swede, or American to do that, the option to do so is there for everyone. If you don’t think the KHL is actively courting NHL superstars that aren’t Russian, I have beachfront property in Nebraska to sell you.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 07/12/13 at 06:26 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

I’ll say it again, why is it ok for teams to buy-out players from these same contracts to get out of situations they don’t like, yet it’s not ok for a player to retire from a situation they don’t like?  Kovy is this horrible guy for leaving the Devils, yet I didn’t see anyone call the Habs names when they bought out Scott Gomez.  They are both voiding valid contracts and the party that got voided is recouping money and the party that did the voiding lost money.  If you’re against what Kovy did then you have to be against these amnesty buy-outs as well.  It’s the same thing.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 07/12/13 at 06:31 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Cherry needs his fuching anti-xenophobic meds.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/12/13 at 06:34 PM ET

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Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 07/12/13 at 06:31 PM ET

Well said, I completely agree.

Posted by Garth on 07/12/13 at 06:39 PM ET

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No, no, no alan from Atlanta but especially SYF from a squishy place: Toews and Parise can’t do it at will, and neither can Zetterberg, or Crosby, or any other North American/European player if they want to. There is a cap on foreign-born players per team. EXCEPT during the lockout, when the KHL changed the rules on the fly so they could fill more seats. The KHL is JUST as xenophobic as Don Effin Cherry. If you’re gonna spit garbage, at least make sure everybody gets a fair effin taste of it, you self-righteous apologist ass. Do I agree with Grapes? Not really, but I don’t have a problem with two leagues and I don’t blame Kovalchuk for bouncing, because he only pays 13% tax and NO ESCROW and it’s at home. What’s not to like? I hear it all the time…the MARKET sets the price. Kovalchuk followed the money. I wish him good luck, but I don’t hate Grapes for having an emotional opinion about hockey, regardless of whether he’s right or wrong

Posted by Rage on 07/12/13 at 07:42 PM ET

dougie's avatar

This is a non story. A guy goes to play in Russia, so what.?He gets to, if he wants to.

Anyone who really believes the KHL is a serious contender to the NHL…...well, I got nothing for ya but a head scratch and a “Really??”

 

Posted by dougie on 07/12/13 at 07:44 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Gino Malkin didn’t !  Datsyuk didn’t

Posted by Evilpens on 07/12/13 at 07:46 PM ET

SK77's avatar

the foreign people can have their cake and eat it, too

Fuchin cake-eating Canadians.

Posted by SK77 on 07/12/13 at 08:09 PM ET

Avatar

Toews and Parise can’t do it at will, and neither can Zetterberg, or Crosby, or any other North American/European player if they want to. There is a cap on foreign-born players per team.

So?  You don’t think any KHL team would drop their Chris Simons or Randy Robitailles if Henrik Zetterberg or Jonathan Toews expressed interest in playing in the K?

Posted by Garth on 07/12/13 at 08:15 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I think Toews and Zetterberg can’t do it because the Wings and Blackhawks wouldn’t be interested in allowing them out of their deals so early, not because the KHL wouldn’t find some way to fit big names into their league.

The Devils’ complicity in this allowed it to happen. If we’re going to find a North American player with whom this “could happen”, the closest thing we’d have to do is wish the Canucks hadn’t traded Schneider to see if that’s something Luongo would’ve done (hint: he wouldn’t have).

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/12/13 at 08:24 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

If this happened to any other team, it would’ve been an even bigger deal.  New Jersey didn’t even fight it cause they’re broke.  A team like Detroit, Philly, Toronto, etc. would’ve suspended the player and tolled the contract.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 07/12/13 at 08:30 PM ET

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Eh, Chicago got away with shipping Huet over and hiding his cap hit.

I won’t be shocked if he comes back in a year or two and Philly gives him a deal for stupid money, since, “hey whats the cap?” is how they work.

Posted by maltby18 on 07/12/13 at 08:33 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I don’t know if Cherry’s hyperbole filter is broken, but NO ONE in the US has an effective tax rate of half, nor have they since at least the Nixon administration.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 07/12/13 at 09:29 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

the foreign people can have their cake and eat it, too

I agree with Some Kid !!!  Fuchin cake-eating Canadians.

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 07/12/13 at 09:41 PM ET

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NO ONE in the US has an effective tax rate of half, nor have they since at least the Nixon administration.

That’s funny.

Posted by Garth on 07/12/13 at 09:44 PM ET

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Fuchin cake-eating Canadians.

Fuchs you, cake is awesome!

Posted by Garth on 07/12/13 at 09:48 PM ET

calquake's avatar

  Fuchin cake-eating Canadians.

Fuchs you, cake is awesome!

Fuchs you for everyone!

Posted by calquake on 07/12/13 at 10:56 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Wow.  Just wow.

My view has always been that both sides were agreeable to Kovy’s decision to retire from the NHL and play at home and leave Lou with some sort of financial ease to manage his cap.  Strictly business.

And not one time did I ever consider Kovy’s nationality as a character issue.  Grapes did and he should be called out on it.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/12/13 at 11:00 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I’ll say it again, why is it ok for teams to buy-out players from these same contracts to get out of situations they don’t like, yet it’s not ok for a player to retire from a situation they don’t like?

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 07/12/13 at 06:31 PM ET

This.  It’s called a free market.  In the end Kovalchuk is tainting his own legacy and I’d venture to guess costing himself a spot in the HHOF.  If he’s cool with that, go ahead and play in Russia and be the big fish in the small pond for a lot of money.  Whatever.

And honestly?  The only one to mock and laugh at in this is the Devils.  My God, how that contract they HAD to ABSOLUTELY HAVE with Kovie has come back and bit them, and he left them empty-handed.  They lost Parise to keep Kovalchuk, and now they have neither.

My favorite part of all this?  That Kovalchuk waited until AFTER the notable buyouts and free agents are gone to do this all.  I mean, really… that suggest to me that this is not exactly a “mutual” decision.  Not unless the Devils are enough of a Mickey Mouse organization to just reallllyy be glad to cut that salary out and screw the fact that they’ll never be competitive on-ice again or something.

Can we PLEASE stop calling Lou Lamoriello anything but the crazy person he is?  He’s not a genius.  He’s a crazy person who swung wildly at some bad pitches and connected by accident.  The rest of the time he’s whiffed, spun around, and fell on his behind and he yelled at clouds and space coyotes.

Posted by Primis on 07/13/13 at 12:12 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Posted by Rage on 07/12/13 at 07:42 PM ET

You completely missed the point of my post.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/12/13 at 08:24 PM ET

Indeed, it’s highly doubtful the players would simply be let go willingly. Of course, I’m sure you understand I was merely using high profile examples.

Regardless, the xenophobia in Cherry’s statements is appalling. You have two Russians go back to Russia, and all the sudden, “this is why you don’t draft Russians, because they do things like this”? Nonsense. Given the opportunity, anyone could potentially do it.

I guarantee the remarks would be vastly different if it was a “good Canadian kid” who retired and bolted to an overseas league.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 07/13/13 at 05:24 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

In the end Kovalchuk is tainting his own legacy and I’d venture to guess costing himself a spot in the HHOF.

I think you’re right on this point, but it’s annoying how much it’s an NHL Hall of Fame rather than a Hockey Hall of Fame.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/13/13 at 09:04 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

If an American said this all of Canada would be up in arms, howling about American xenophobia.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/13/13 at 10:50 AM ET

Avatar

I find what Grapes had to say very insulting and inflammatory, but that is what he gets paid to do.  Anyone can see what an idiot he is anytime he opens his mouth, and if his words had any validity then rather than signing a 3 year extension we would all be debating the merits of why Datsyuk gave up his last year to go play in Russia.  To me it just shows he is a real xenophobe and can not get over the fact that Canada isn’t what it use to be when it comes to producing the best hockey talent.  Get over it Sour Grapes.

Posted by AzWingsFan on 07/13/13 at 11:04 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Added some audio from Cherry on Kovalchuk to the post.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/13/13 at 11:35 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Of course we know Kovie did this only because he is a Russian. ... gag…. never mind Datysuk, a guy who could have:

-told the Wings no to a contract extension for probably more money in the KHL
-played in his native country
-lived in the same feckin country were his daughter lives
-gone to place where they don’t have people like Don don’t look down on you for being Russian

....but stayed instead to honor his teammates and his fans.  Right… only North Americans do things like that Don.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/13/13 at 02:24 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

My favorite part of all this?  That Kovalchuk waited until AFTER the notable buyouts and free agents are gone to do this all.  I mean, really… that suggest to me that this is not exactly a “mutual” decision.  Not unless the Devils are enough of a Mickey Mouse organization to just reallllyy be glad to cut that salary out and screw the fact that they’ll never be competitive on-ice again or something.

I think you underestimate the allure of low outstanding comittments to a potential owner.  And never competitive on ice again?  I would argue that this might be the fastest way for a team to go from where they’re at to a contender again.  Bottom out completely, draft well, viola.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/13/13 at 07:16 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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