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The Latest On Kovalchuk

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Well, Ilya Kovalchuk said finally said something definitive today and, though it wasn’t that he isn’t coming back to New Jersey, it wasn’t exactly comforting either.

After playing again today for SKA St. Petersburg’s 4-2 win over Salavat Yulaev in Ufa, Russia, Kovalchuk expressed a desire to remain in the KHL for the remainder of the season while acknowledging his contractual obligation to the Devils.

“I want to stay in St. Petersburg but I have contractual obligations in the NHL, which will be hard to break,” Kovalchuk told Sport-Express in Russia, according to the sports daily’s U.S. correspondent, Slava Malamud.

Malamud later clarified that Kovalchuk was speaking about remaining with SKA St. Petersburg for the remainder of this season and then returning to the Devils in the fall.

continued

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

Comments

Avatar

this is infuriating. can’t think of a clearer “eff you” to his teammates, organization and fans.

Posted by intikiwetrust on 01/10/13 at 02:25 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Agreed intikiwetrust, if he comes back, his heart will always come into question.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/10/13 at 02:27 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Paul his heart has ALWAYS been questioned

Posted by Evilpens on 01/10/13 at 02:44 PM ET

Avatar

i know Detroit gave Datsyuk permission to play in KHL All Star game, did NJ ever officially give Kovalchuk the green light?

Posted by letsmakeit12 on 01/10/13 at 02:54 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

His organization just finished with a 113-day eff you to him.  The teammates and fans thing is another discussion.

And Evilpens is actually right here. His heart has ALWAYS been questioned and there’s no reason to believe it wouldn’t continue to be. There are a number of people in North America with a voice louder than I personally think they should have who simply don’t like Russian players.

The guy should honor his contract and play for the Devils. no question in my mind. I don’t have to deal with the kind of shit he has to deal with though.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 02:59 PM ET

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i feel like nj has itself to blame.  Lets see, it essentially came down to parise or kovy and they hitched their wagons to kovy.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 01/10/13 at 03:34 PM ET

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i feel like nj has itself to blame.  Lets see, it essentially came down to parise or kovy and they hitched their wagons to kovy

what? At the end of the day it was NJ or Minnesota for Parise. Had nothing to do with who NJ hitched their wagon to—he simply wanted to go home.

Posted by intikiwetrust on 01/10/13 at 03:58 PM ET

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“I want to stay in St. Petersburg but I have contractual obligations in the NHL, which will be hard to break,”

Somehow this is considered “definitive”?

Posted by Garth on 01/10/13 at 04:16 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

what? At the end of the day it was NJ or Minnesota for Parise. Had nothing to do with who NJ hitched their wagon to—he simply wanted to go home.

Posted by intikiwetrust on 01/10/13 at 02:58 PM ET

Right, but had they not given Kovalchuk the elephantine contract in the first place, they would have had more money to sign Parise and likely would have done so before he became a UFA.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 01/10/13 at 04:27 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Let’s be honest here though.  Purely skill-wise, Kovy has Parise all day and night.  Parise’s the better 2-way player for sure, but isn’t Kovy’s goal scoring tops in the league since the last lockout?  Goals win games, Kovy scores goals.  Parise was a home-grown talent.  It isn’t cheap to bring in outside talent in their prime.  Home-grown talent you think might take a little less salary so the team that drafted you can be competative, but that’s assuming they want to stay to begin with.  You’d think Parise would’ve appreciated the fact his org wanted to win bad enough they went and got Kovy, who now has a cap hit 1 mil higher than James Wisnewski.  Org did a lot to keep parise, even if a good bit were the “intangibles”.. you’d think Parise would understand that.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/10/13 at 04:40 PM ET

pautna's avatar

Ha ha! So GLAD the Kings didn’t sign this drama queen!

Posted by pautna on 01/10/13 at 05:12 PM ET

Avatar

Right, but had they not given Kovalchuk the elephantine contract in the first place, they would have had more money to sign Parise and likely would have done so before he became a UFA.

i can tell you with complete certainty that it had nothing to do with money. stars aligned for the kid to play in his hometown, wearing his dad’s old number for the spiritual successor to his dad’s new team.

Hell, vanderbeek and lou themselves said it wasn’t about the money. it’d be a lot easier for me to hate Parise if it were.

Posted by intikiwetrust on 01/10/13 at 05:44 PM ET

Colossal Cap Hit's avatar

Kovalchuk is an emotional guy. There are several things having an effect here. 1. He’s ticked off at the NHL for locking out the players. 2. He’s the captain of his team in Russia and doesn’t want to desert the team now after having been there all year. 3. Financial incentive to see out the year. 4. Family. 5. NJ lost a key player to free agency.

I think he’ll be back after the KHL all-star game regardless.

Posted by Colossal Cap Hit on 01/10/13 at 06:43 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

All these interviews are in Russia where they are kind of trying to tell the interviewers what they want to hear.  They’ll all be back.  Even Vish.  The IIHF will lose the NHL players for sure if they allow the KHL to break the rules and still have their guys in the olympics.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/11/13 at 03:01 AM 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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