Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/07/10 at 01:48 AM ET
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
...The Thrashers have to decide if he’s worth it. As elite of a goal-scorer as Kovalchuk is, he has flaws. For a max contract, you’d prefer flawless.
The Thrashers are open to the idea of a deal that could run as long as 12 years, but the question they have to answer is this: Will a 39-year-old Kovalchuk be worth $10 million? Or $9 million? Because the 26-year-old Kovalchuk has no interest in signing one of those Chris Pronger or Marian Hossa long-term deals where the final years are worthless.
“That’s probably the hardest thing,” Waddell said. “If we had that answered, we’d have a deal done. We look at other players—what’s the age where you see a dropoff? If we had the exact answer, it’d be easier.”
This deal is complicated, partly because it’s hard to find a comparable player. Vincent Lecavalier’s 11-year deal worth $85 million could be comparable, but he was 28 when he signed his contract extension, two years older than Kovalchuk. He also had a Stanley Cup.
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