Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: alexei kovalev
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon confirmed to The Miami Herald on Thursday night that 40-year-old Alex Kovalev signed his retirement papers and is no longer a member of the Florida organization.
Kovalev, who signed a one-year deal after the lockout ended, hadn't played for the Panthers since getting nine-plus minutes in a loss at Pittsburgh on Feb. 22.
continue including a look at his NHL career...
from Alain Poupart at NHL.com,
Veteran forward Alex Kovalev's status remains unknown.
Kovalev still is property of the Florida Panthers, but he no longer figures in the team's plans and general manager Dale Tallon said Tuesday Kovalev was "still weighing his options."
"It was just a mutual agreement that we wanted to go in a different direction, that's all," Tallon said.
Tallon said he was hoping for a resolution sometime this week. Kovalev, who was out of the NHL last season, could agree to be sent down to the American Hockey League, accept a buyout or retire.
via Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
One of the most highly skilled players in hockey, Kovalev is not enjoying the fact that scoring is down in the past few NHL seasons.
“There's more just kind of straightforward hockey (today),” Kovalev said. “Not much skill compared to the old days.”
One of Kovalev's old coaches, Dan Bylsma, acknowledged before the game that while Kovalev isn't hockey's fastest player, his skill and patience with the puck are rare commodities.
Kovalev, though, said he doesn't believe his talents fit into this era of NHL hockey.
“It's really kind of obvious,” he said. “Sometimes you can predict what the players are going to do: He just skates forward, and (the fastest guys) are going to be in the league. In the old days, it was just skill. You didn't know where the puck was going to come from or where it was going to go, but these days, it's easy to predict what's going to happen.”
Well, it’s been pretty quiet on the Winnipeg Jets front these days - yes, there have been some minor goings-on, and in a hockey-starved town like this one any small development gets some big play. Personally, I’m don’t think I have the ability to hang on every tiny detail over the summer - it might actually drive me nuts. Until I start seeing some real Jets jerseys on some real Jets players, I’m going to keep enjoying the warm Winnipeg summer - the calm before the storm. We’ve waited fifteen years - what’s a couple more months?
from Dmitry Chesnokov of PuckDaddy,
Kovalev arrived in Russia today and joined his new team in the suburbs of Moscow. During his interview, Kovalev candidly discussed the hockey media, saying Ottawa journalists “don’t watch hockey at all. When they fly with the team and go through the [metal detector] at an airport, their bags are filled with beer.”
I asked Sergei Gonchar(notes) what game model Ottawa had. The defenseman could only throw his hands up.
“In two seasons I still couldn’t understand the ideas of our coach Cory Clouston. It seemed that he scoffed at some players.”
What do you mean?
“You have to treat players kindly. If you leave someone on the bench you should explain why it happened. This is coach’s job. But when a player is benched and doesn’t understand what is happening, he becomes lost.”
You were then traded to the Penguins, where Malkin and Crosby didn’t play due to injuries. Why didn’t it work out there?
“Everything was fine. I had played for Pittsburgh before. The atmosphere doesn’t change there. But my style didn’t fit with the game coach Dan Byslma was implementing. There is nothing else to explain it with.”
via Bob McKenzie tweet,
PIT has acquired Alexei Kovalev from the Ottawa Senators. Done deal.
UPDATE: Penguins’ official press release after the jump…..
Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun debate the “trade-ability” of Alexei Kovalev, plus share the latest on Tomas Kaberle, Joni Pitkanen and John-Michael Liles:
Burnside: The player I’m most curious about in Ottawa is Alexei Kovalev. The enigmatic winger has been a dog in Ottawa, everyone knows that. But there’s still something about his skill set and the possibility he could regain his fire over a few short weeks (especially with his contract in Ottawa coming to an end) that will make him attractive to some GM.
I talked to a scout last night that thought he would be a nice fit in Pittsburgh (assuming Sidney Crosby returns at some point from a concussion), and I tend to agree. Can’t believe Murray would be asking for anything of value (fourth-round pick? fifth?) to get Kovalev and his salary off the books. Remember, in Kovalev’s last 22 playoffs games, all with Montreal, he had 21 points. Hmm.
LeBrun: With every trade, the market price adjusts. Kelly went for a second-round pick, which seems a little high. He’s not a rental, having one more year on his deal next season at $2 million. Once again, a non-rental moved yesterday. Francois Beauchemin, Versteeg, Joffrey Lupul, Mike Fisher and Kelly all have term left on their deals past this season. So, to answer your question on Kovalev, the market has yet to yield a price for rentals this close to the deadline.
This is a big one for the Habs. They shutout Vancouver. They beat San Jose. They beat Philadelphia. They’ve taken the Bruins. They dominated Phoenix.
Can they defeat the Red Wings?
I’ll admit it, the Wings are THE team to beat. Each and every year. Sure, the Penguins are good, Philadelphia is good, San Jose is often great until April, but the Wings are the pinnacle. They are in a class of their own.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Alexei Kovalev says he’s been made the scapegoat and that’s why he’s on the fourth line.
Frustrated with coach Cory Clouston, the Senators winger told reporters Friday he doesn’t know why he’s being made the scapegoat for the club’s struggles.
“It looks like it right now,” said Kovalev. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not the only one not playing well and he decides to pick me. It’s been happening my whole career. I accept that.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed to the Ottawa Sun before Thursday’s visit by the Rangers to Scotiabank Place that he met with Kovalev after Wednesday’s practice to discuss the winger’s diminishing role.
Unable to generate any offence on a line with Mike Fisher and Milan Michalek, Kovalev started vs. the Rangers playing with Jesse Winchester and Peter Regin, who returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for two games.
“There’s no question he’s unhappy, but that’s as far as it goes,” Murray told the Sun after the morning skate. “He wants to help. He’s a good guy. Despite (what the media say), he’s a character guy and a good veteran.”
Even though trouble appears to be brewing, Murray and Kovalev’s agent, Scott Greenspun, both insisted the 37-year-old — who is in the second of a two-year, $10- million US contract — hasn’t requested a trade.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
We’ve seen what he can still do when he wants. The magic he can still perform with puck and stick. And even though he’s 37 he should still be able to abracadabra his way to an 80-point season. He’s also a big, strong man, and it’s not like he has slowed. At least not when he’s going forward.
Therein lies the irony in the SPB air last season. The boobirds gave it to Jason Spezza, one of the team’s very best players the last five years, for failing with creative attempts. Not for his lack of effort. But did anybody really get on Kovalev for not trying?
Kovalev wasn’t always a dog, just much of the time when he was gliding toward the Senators zone. If he played in Atlanta, Nashville, Columbus or Florida, fans might not have noticed. In Ottawa, they certainly did.
But then, local columnists were guilty of not calling out Kovalev last season, too. This one was probably caught up in the mystique that surrounded the teammate Nick Foligno referred to as “the most interesting man in the world.” Consider this an apology. It won’t happen again.
via Habs Inside/Out tweet,
Torn ACL, surgery ends season for Kovalev
added 11:22am, via Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators right winger Alex Kovalev has a “completely torn” ACL in his left knee and is gone for the season.
The 37-year old will have surgery in two weeks.
“He will recover but it will be a big project for him going forward,” Senators GM Bryan Murray said Saturday morning.
Kovalev injured his knee in the second period of Thursday’s shootout loss to Tampa.
from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,
If Kovalev was being paid to be a dipsy-doodle dandy putting on a show worthy of the Ice Escapades, he’d be worth all the gold in Fort Knox. Except he’s mostly being paid on a belief he can still score and score proficiently, but you can’t score if you don’t shoot at the net and that’s the real riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma of Alex Kovalev that’s causing Inspector Clouseau to scream in his sleep: “Alex. The NET. Shoot the (censored) puck. At the NET. Just SHOOT.”...
Alex Kovalev. Sometimes he shows up, most times he doesn’t. His heart needs to match his talent.
When he went back to Russia for a few days for the funeral of an in-law, the team didn’t miss him. One could be forgiven for suspecting he enjoyed the break. One could be forgiven for suspecting that if one of the questions on his site was, “Any more trips to Russia planned?” his answer would be, “Yes. Just found out an uncle has a head cold. I’m heading over for a month to be with him.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“Elite players have to start playing their best,” Melnyk said, without naming names.
Kovalev, who hasn’t scored since Oct. 29 — a 14-game drought (he missed three games to be with family in Russia following the death of his mother-in-law) — was in Montreal for a press conference yesterday to promote his charity DVD for off-ice training and was asked about Melnyk’s tongue-lashing.
“If those words are going to me, I’ll accept it. Not in a bad way, but the right way,” said Kovalev, a former Canadien who faces his old teammates tonight. “I know I have to step up to play better, there’s no question about it.”
But hockey is not an “individual sport,” Kovalev pointed out.
“People who know hockey have to understand I wish this could be an individual sport where you can prepare yourself and know you’ll have a good game or a bad game like in tennis,” said Kovalev. “In hockey, one person can make a difference, but I’m a new guy on the team.”
more on the Senators….
Alexei Kovalev will miss the next couple of games for the Ottawa Senators, including tonight’s contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as he is on his way to Russia because of the death of his wife’s mother.
Max Afinogenov of the Thrashers scores against his old team, the Buffalo Sabres tonight.
added 10:54pm, Alexei Kovalev of the Senators with a goal tonight against the Canadiens can be watched below…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Alexei Kovalev hopes he’s welcomed back to his old haunt tonight with open arms.
The Senators winger will make his return to the Bell Centre for the first time since signing an off-season contract with one of the Canadiens’ archrivals and the 36-year-old Kovalev isn’t sure what kind of reaction to expect from the Habs faithful.
“I don’t know. I hope it will be a good one,” said Kovalev before the Senators bussed to Montreal yesterday. “There could be good moments. There could be bad moments. There could be boos. It could be happy. Like I said, I can’t expect anything. I just have to go play.
“I’m not playing for Montreal anymore. I’m playing for Ottawa. I’m just going to try to focus on the game. I know it will be hard, but I’m just going to go in there and try to get the win.”
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
A Senators team with both Alex Kovalev and Dany Heatley in the lineup could be a reality.
Kovalev said he would be willing to talk to Heatley about his request to be traded and try and get the two-time 50-goal scorer to change his mind.
“He’s a hell of a player. It would definitely be nice for him to stay on the team,” said Kovalev, whose two-year, $10 million contract (all terms US) signed Monday pushed the Senators over the salary cap by about $1.5 million. Keeping both Kovalev and Heatley would necessitate Senators GM Bryan Murray moving some contracts.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
Say what you want about Alexei Kovalev’s roller-coaster history, Ottawa Senators fans, but you have to admire his optimism.
“Ottawa is a pretty good team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” the flashy Russian star said in a conference call from Russia Tuesday, when asked about why he chose to sign a two-year, $10 million U.S. deal here on Monday.
“I think I can bring something that was missing to help the team be competitive for the Stanley Cup. They have always had one really good line, year after year, but I think, maybe, I can be part of creating two or three good lines (so the team can be more) successful in the playoffs. I’m not a big believer that one line can do all the damage.”
It’s a rather grand dream to think the Senators can go from missing the playoffs altogether last season to winning it all next season, but at the not-so-tender age of 36, Kovalev realizes the clock is ticking on his career and he doesn’t have many more chances to add a second Cup to the one he won with the New York Rangers in 1994.
via Fan590 Twitter,
The FAN has learned that the Ottawa Senators have signed Alexei Kovalev. Stay tuned to The FAN for more details on this story.
added 4:01pm, TSN says 2yr deal and the Sens have a presser at 4:40pm today.
added 4:16pm, TSN says $10M for 2 years.
from Dmitry Chesnokov at the Washington Examiner,
...Furthermore, my sources in Russia are telling me that they spoke with Kovalev last Thursday and were told that there was nothing certain about Kovalev’s future in the NHL.
No one knows where Kovalev will end up. Russia’s Sovetsky Sport is reporting that Alexei is in Kazan right now where he holds his annual master-class events for young hockey players. The only thing Kovalev did confirm was that he had not signed with any team yet.
There are also rumblings in Russia that Kovalev might end up coming to play in the KHL. It is very much possible after earlier moves made by Viktor Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov.
Moreover, the Capitals have already signed a veteran right wing—Mike Knuble from the Philadelphia Flyers. Signing Kovalev might not be something they want to do, considering that the real problem for the Capitals is in defense.
more on if Kovalev is a fit in Washington…
Two hundred fans may have protested yesterday at the Bell Centre, demanding GM Bob Gainey get Alex Kovalev back with the Habs.
However, Gainey told CJAD’s Andrew Carter this morning, that won’t be happening.
Gainey says Kovalev will definitely NOT be coming back.
An offer had been made to Kovalev on Canada Day but an amount hadn’t been agreed on.
Gainey says another player became available and was willing to come to Montreal, therefore the money for Kovalev went instead to that contract.
via Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out,
RDS reports that russian newspaper Soviet Sport says Alex Kovalev has already met with the Molson brothers, the new owners of the Canadiens, and new head coach Jacques Martin.
According to the newspaper, they have assured him he would be back with the Canadiens next season.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
One last point on Kovalev, though. Here’s what one GM told me Monday: “You can’t trade Alex Kovalev, pure and simple. The East is wide open. With all due respect to Boston and Washington, all eight teams that make it in the East have almost an equal shot at making it to the Cup finals. That’s why you can’t trade Kovalev. You won’t be able to replace him for these playoffs.”
read on as Pierre and Scott Burnside discuss trading Kovalev…
According to a report in Montreal’s La Presse, Habs’ forward Alex Kovalev is not expected to rejoin the team after he was sent home on Tuesday by general manager Bob Gainey.
Gainey is reportedly in the process of attempting to move the veteran forward prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 4th.
“Bob called everybody about Alex Kovalev,” one unnamed agent told La Presse. “This player is on the market for the next two weeks; it’s not a secret around the hockey community.”
added 8:35pm, TSN has updated the same link after speaking with Kovalev directlty.. The story has now changed since it was first posted.
from the CP via TSN,
Struggling veteran Alex Kovalev has been given some time off by the Montreal Canadiens.
General Manager Bob Gainey said Tuesday he met with Kovalev to tell him he won’t be on the team’s trip this week for games Wednesday night in Washington and Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
His status for a home game Saturday against Ottawa remains uncertain.
Gainey said Kovalev is not suspended and will still be paid. He said the right-winger appears to be tired and has not been playing well of late.
added 4:27pm, via Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Gainey said he hasn’t spoken to any other teams about trading Kovalev, but when asked if he would be willing to move the vastly talented 36-year-old, he said “this is the trading season.”
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Alex Kovalev admits he has to start playing better hockey, especially with injuries mounting on the Montreal Canadiens.
The big winger, who led the team with 84 points last season, was benched for most of the third period of a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday for his listless play.
He then met with coach Guy Carbonneau to clear the air.
“He’s the coach, I’m a player, he does his job, I do mine,” Kovalev said Tuesday. “He’s not going to come on the ice and do my job, and when I do it better, everybody’s happy. So the important thing for me is to play better.”
from CBC Sports,
Carbonneau said the Russian has to step up his game if Montreal has any hope of catching Boston….
“Alex is a professional. He’s not a rookie,” Carbonneau said. “Right now, he’s struggling, but we need him [if we’re going to] go far.”
It’s been suggested in the Montreal media that Kovalev’s play tapers off when captain Saku Koivu is in the lineup. Koivu returned to action for the Habs on Jan. 21 after missing 17 games with an ankle injury, and Kovalev has struggled since then.
“I hope that’s not the truth or we’re in trouble, because I’m not taking the C off Saku — that’s the bottom line,” Carbonneau said. “If anyone needs a letter to perform on the ice, I have trouble with that.”
Montreal Canadiens sniper Alex Kovalev puts down the hockey stick and picks up his pilot mask to take us on aerial tour.
With expectations through the roof for Kovalev following his brilliant 84-point campaign of a year ago, there was no shortage of sprained ankles from everyone jumping off AK-27’s bandwagon. After scoring the overtime winner to down the Sabres, Kovalev appears to be heating up with 10 points in his last 10 games.
“I’m more confident shooting the puck right now. I’ve been working hard in practice at hitting the right spots and I’ve also been watching my own DVD,” said Kovalev with a smile, about his wildly popular instructional video launched last season.
“I’ve been saying all along that it was going to happen and the puck would start to go in. I knew we just had to keep pushing and working hard,” said Kovalev. “I think what we’re all doing a much better job of right now is getting the puck on net and jumping on the rebounds. We’ve been talking about the fact that our goals won’t all be pretty.”
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
If you can figure out what is ailing Kovalev, please let me know. Better still, pass it on to Guy Carbonneau. Here the Canadiens are nearing the 30-game mark and Kovalev has a respectable 22 points, but only five goals. In four games, Matt D’Agostini scored one fewer goal than Kovalev has this entire season.
The strangest part is that Kovalev is in a contract year. Guys like him are supposed to wake up just in time for free agency, get the multi-year deal tucked away, then go back to sleep-walking.
Instead, Kovalev has to go into a funk at the worst possible time for himself and the Canadiens. He did hit a post Saturday night, but somehow his game simply lacks the fire and drive he displayed almost from wire to wire last season.
New York (December 2, 2008) – Responding to the daunting challenge issued by the devoted fans of the Montreal Canadiens, the citizens of Pittsburgh and Penguins fans around the world are proving just how passionate they are about their heroes.
Pens forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the top two scorers in the NHL, have closed the gap considerably on the front-running Montreal threesome of Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay in fan balloting to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25.
As of 7 a.m. ET today, Crosby had received 320,373 votes in XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports. With polls still open for another month, that moved Crosby within 65,000 votes of claiming one of the three starting spots up front for the Eastern Conference.
Alexei Kovalev on his early season slump…
I’m not worried about it. I’m glad it happens early in the season because I know I’m going to recover, and once they start going in, they’ll go in in bunches.
“So you keep working on it. It’s happened in the past and it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.”
more from Bill Beacon of the CP via Yahoo…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
1. Whatever happened to that really good player Alexei Kovalev?
Unfortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, the great Alexei Kovalev—the one that generated Hart Trophy talk and ended up leading the NHL in power-play points last season—has gone AWOL. Poof. After the Habs’ 3-2 win Saturday against Buffalo, Kovalev has gone 13 games without a goal. He has just five goals so far and is fourth in team scoring.
read on for more Q & A…
“I want to act as a leader and make sure that the team achieve its goals. The pressure does not at all frighten me and I know that expectations are very high.”
“We have accomplished a lot last year and worked so hard to get there. We now know what we are capable and we believe we can beat all teams.”
-Alexei Kovalev, translated from an RDS story today.
Montreal’s new soccer stadium was the site of an all-star soccer game Sunday that featured goals by one of the top players in the National Hockey League.
Alexei Kovalev, right winger for the Montreal Canadiens, demonstrated his moonwalk after scoring two goals.
Kovalev said he plays soccer three months of the year when he’s not playing hockey.
And Puck Daddy has some more, including video of Kovalev’s Michael-Jackson-ification.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
He tore himself apart and rebuilt from scratch. He began working out almost fanatically. He lost weight and added muscle. He tracked down and found old game tapes of how he had played in his prime with the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins and he studied the tapes, took notes and then set out to put what he had learned into practice.
If one of his sporting idols, Woods, could take apart his swing and rebuild it, then Kovalev would do the same in hockey.
Not only would he adjust the way he played and fix the shape he was in, he would recast his attitude. Sullen and angry the season before — partially blaming himself for the disastrous addition of another Russian, Sergei Samsonov, to the Montreal lineup — he came into this season determined to serve as a mentor to the younger Russians in the organization
from the Boston Globe,
Chara looked the same. He used his reach to fish loose pucks out of trouble spots and leaned on opponents with his big frame. He was even booed by the large Montreal contingent in attendance.
For the most part, his return went as planned. Until Alex Kovalev hopped over the boards.
The Montreal dynamo ruined Chara’s return - and the Bruins’ night - with two goals and an assist, all against the tandem of Chara and Wideman.
Watch the spin move Kovalev put on Chara…
from Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,
Alex Kovalev said yesterday there’s no reason his younger linemates should feel intimidated.
“I’ve told them to play their games and not to worry about me,” said Kovalev, who will be playing with Andrei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski when the Canadiens face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.
Last season, Tomas Plekanec said he was uncomfortable playing between Kovalev and Sergei Samsonov. But Kovalev said yesterday that he is heeding general manager Bob Gainey’s advice and helping the youngsters.
From T.C. Denault at Habs World,
This year’s preseason offered no shortage of stories. [...] Strangely, lost in the shuffle was Alexei Kovalev.
What makes this even stranger is that this upcoming season represents a make or break year for Alexei Kovalev. The time for excuses is past. Now beginning his third full year in Montreal, one could argue that Canadiens fans have yet to see the best of Kovalev.
It’s hard to argue that we haven’t seen the worst of Alexei Kovalev already.