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Entries with the tag: ilya kovalchuck

Kovalchuk Talks Next Opponent

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

“They’re both great teams and they’re there for a reason,” he said. “We’ll let them play it out and we’ll see who we’re going to play. For us, it doesn’t matter. I know if we play the Rangers it will be a big rivalry. Everybody will be excited in New York, that’s for sure. But Washington has got some great skill guys there and it’s always nice to play against the best. So, it will be an interesting match-up any way.”

But would facing Ovechkin, 26, add something else to the series for Kovalchuk?

“You don’t need anything else,” he said. “It will be the conference finals. I’m pretty sure everybody will be pumped up and ready to go. So, it doesn’t really matter who we’re going to play against, but for sure it would be something nice. We’re both Russians. We’re pretty much the same age and if they’re going to win it will be his first time on the conference finals too. So, I’m pretty sure it will be special for both of us.”

more

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Kovalchuk Out Tonight

via Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk will miss Game 2 of the team’s second-round playoff series with the Philadelphia Flyers because of a lower body injury, general manager Lou Lamoriello confirmed.

Kovalchuk suffered what is believed to be a leg muscle injury, or possibly a groin-related problem, and is not with the team. He was examined by a doctor Monday.

“We have left Ilya Kovalchuk back in New Jersey,” Lamoriello said today. “He will not be in the lineup tonight because of a lower body injury. That’s all we will say and he’ll be day to day. There will be no further comments on Ilya’s situation.”

Forward Tim Sestito has joined the team but coach Pete DeBoer did not specify if he would play in Game 2 Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

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Kovalchuck Undergoing Physical Therapy

via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk was not available to meet with the media following the team’s video meeting this afternoon.

A team spokesperson said Kovalchuk had gone to “therapy” and will be meeting up with the Devils later today in Philadelphia. He will apparently not be joining the team on its bus ride to Philadelphia this afternoon for Tuesday night’s Game 2 against the Flyers.

Although Kovalchuk appears to be struggling with some kind of injury—believed to be his lower back—he has repeatedly said when asked that he is healthy.

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If Kovalchuk Is Playing Hurt, No One Is Talking

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

There is growing speculation that Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk is playing the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Panthers with a significant injury.

Kovalchuk, who led the Devils with six shots in Game 5, denied that was the case.

“I’m good,” he said before preventing the discussion from going any further.

Coach Pete DeBoer would not speak directly about Kovalchuk.

“You know what? Everybody this time of year is dealing with stuff,” DeBoer said.

continue for more on the Devils, including Brodeur talking about the rats in Florida…

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Kovalchuk Feels Good About A Playoff Run For The Devils

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

“It’s obviously better than last year. It all starts with winning,” Kovalchuk said. “You can’t be happy with yourself even if you score as many goals as you want and then miss the playoffs. You try your best every night but when the team is winning and everybody is doing well, it helps a lot.”

The Devils, of course, missed the playoffs in Kovalchuk’s first full season with the team. This postseason is the most important yet to the 28-year-old Russian.

“Definitely. I feel like we have a great team,” Kovalchuk said. “This is a great locker room. The guys want to play for each other. It’s a great coaching staff. I think we really have a good chance. We just have to be on top of our game.”

more

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400 Goals For Kovy!

Ilya Kovalchuk scores in typical fashion, a blast from the point which beats Senators goalie Ben Bishop for the only goal of the game.

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Kovalchuck The Complete Player

from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,

Lou Lamoriello, the Devils’ general manager, said: “There’s no question he’s a decided asset to our team. He’s fit in. He’s a team player and he’s one of our core players. That’s the best thing you can say about a player. I would have been extremely disappointed if you make a trade like that and a player with the character we felt he had did not buy into it.”

Brodeur smiled when he said: “He’s pretty intense on the ice. If you can read lips and understand Russian, what he says isn’t too nice at times, but he’s a competitor and handles himself really well. That translates really well to a lot of the guys.

“He’s a player who’s on a pedestal, and you can’t hide that. The guy’s a $100 million man, and he’s got the pressure that comes with it. But the top players to the players down in the minors like talking to him.”

more

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Evening Line

“They should support me, maybe I’m one of the reasons they moved here.”

-Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils, responding to the Winnipeg fans who booed him tonight.  More on the Devils from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger.

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Kovalchuk Talks About His Contract Negotiations

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk told the AJC on Wednesday that he is not frustrated by ongoing contract negotiations. Kovalchuk, who will become an unrestricted free agent after the season, also said he remains confident a deal will get done.

“No, not really,” Kovalchuk said when asked if he was frustrated with the length of time that has elapsed. “I just try to focus on my game and my goal to make the playoffs. I don’t care about the contract situation.

“Everybody goes through it. It’s not frustrating at all. … It’s not easy to sign a deal. Whatever it takes, we’ll take our time.”

continued

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Is Kovalchuk Worth A ‘Max’ Contract?

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.

more

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The Latest On Kovalchuk

from AtlantaThrashers.com, GM Don Waddell on the Kovalchuk negotiations…

“Jay Grossman (Kovalchuk’s agent) was in town this weekend and we met on Saturday and Sunday. Again, I continue to say that we have made some progress. We still have a long ways to go. It’s been an interesting negotiations because there’s been so many other factors that have entered into the contract as far as where our team is and where we’re heading. I still remain optimistic that we will get something done. I don’t have any kind of timeframe. We seem to have hit a little snag right now and we’re going to take a little time to re-think our positions and we’ll get back after the holidays.”

read on

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Kovalchuk Out Wtih Broken Foot

via Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk has a broken bone in his right foot and is expected to miss four weeks, the team announced Monday.


Kovalchuk underwent a CT scan on Monday morning to confirm the diagnosis.

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Kovalchuk Could Reach The $100M Category

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

According to sources, Atlanta is going to offer him the chance to become the NHL’s second $100 million man. (Alexander Ovechkin was the first.) Under the CBA, the maximum per-year salary he could receive is $11.36 million per season, so it would have to me a minimum nine-year deal. (Thrashers GM Don Waddell would not comment. Same goes for agent Jay Grossman.)

First thing you should know: Other GMs would do the same thing if they were in Waddell’s chair. The comment you hear both inside and outside the organization is the same: “We/They cannot afford to lose him.”

For Atlanta, it goes beyond Kovalchuk’s on-ice performance, which has come a long way since former coach Curt Fraser benched him in Toronto to send the loudest possible message.

more

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Kovalchuk Concentrating On Hockey, Not Contract

via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

While the Thrashers captain and his team were here Sunday practicing at the Dan Snyder Memorial Arena in honor of their fallen teammate, Kovalchuk’s contract talks were brought up after the skate.

When asked about how the Thrashers were cautiously optimistic he would soon sign a contract extension, the superstar winger answered: “Hopefully. I like it here. And I think they did a lot of good things during the offseason to sign some guys and I feel it’s the best team we’ve ever had. They took some good steps. So we’ll see. My agent is talking to them. I just want to focus on hockey.”...

I asked Kovalchuk about the rumors coming out of Russia, where a few KHL teams are believed to be interested. He essentially dodged the question.

“We’ll see ... I like it here, and hopefully we’ll figure out something,” he said.

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Report- Kovalchuck Contract Decision May Be Coming Soon

from CBC Sports,

A decision by Atlanta forward Ilya Kovalchuk on his future is coming soon.

The impending Thrashers free agent will decide in the next few weeks whether he will re-sign with the club or choose to test free-agency, according to analysts Pierre LeBrun and Elliotte Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada’s Hotstove segment on Saturday.

“That could happen in the next couple of weeks. [There are] a lot of positive feelings coming out of Atlanta,” LeBrun said. “But there’s a team in the [Kontinental Hockey League] … that I think would love to get its hands on him.”

That team is Russia SKA Saint Petersburg, operated by KHL president Alexander Medvedev. If Kovalchuk moves back to Russia, it would be the biggest coup so far for the fledging super-league.

continued

added 10:33pm, Also discussed on the Hotstove was the salary cap for next season may be flat or go down around 1M.  Also discussed Marc Savard is a UFA on July 1, 2010 and rumors are out he is headed to Toronto.

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This Is The Year For Atlanta

Ilya Kovalchuk says it is now or never for the Thrashers.

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The Kovalchuk Trade Talk Begins

from Joe Haggerty of WEEI,

Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman and Atlanta general manager Don Waddell are actively discussing a potential contract extension for the player who is the NHL’s leading scorer since the beginning of the 2001 season, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Russian takes a wait-and-see approach before signing on the dotted line.

If the 26-year-old rugged scoring machine isn’t locked up by the Thrashers, then pay close attention to the Bruins’ interest level throughout the season after they stockpiled draft picks in the Phil Kessel deal. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli now has seven picks in the first two rounds of the next two drafts, and he owns five of the first 60 picks in next summer’s well-stocked draft rife with blue-chip talent.

read on

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Waiting On Kovalchuk

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

After this season, Kovalchuk’s contract is up. If he gets to July 1, he’ll be the most sought-after free agent of the summer — a 40-goal scorer entering his prime.

That’s the last thing general manager Don Waddell and the Thrashers want to happen. And, right now, they’re cautiously optimistic it won’t. Waddell told Sporting News that Kovalchuk, his agent Jay Grossman and Thrashers management plan to sit down in training camp, face to face.

Waddell would love for that meeting to wrap up negotiations.

“That’s the best way to get this thing done,” Waddell said. “We’ve had good dialogue. It’s at the point now where something needs to happen.”

Until then, Kovalchuk will be watching, looking for signs that the summer additions of forward Nik Antropov and defenseman Pavel Kubina, along with the development of young talent like Zach Bogosian, Tobias Enstrom, Bryan Little and Evander Kane, will be enough to push the Thrashers back into playoff contention.

continued

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Update On Kovalchuk Contract Talk

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell described the ongoing contract negotiations with star Ilya Kovalchuk as “constructive” and said Monday that he is optimistic that a new deal would be completed. Waddell said the two sides have exchanged contract proposals.

“We’ve had several face-to-face meetings,” Waddell said. “We’ve had some very, very long discussions.”

continued

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Talking Kovalchuk Contract

from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Negotiations are expected to heat up this week between general manager Don Waddell and Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman. The two sides aren’t saying much publicly that they haven’t said before. Waddell sent me an email Monday, saying: “It’s our goal to sign Ilya to a long-term deal.” Grossman declined comment. (He’s known as a tough agent, but issuing negotiating rhetoric to the media isn’t his thing.)

Kovalchuk has a year left on his contract at $7.5 million. Theoretically, his new deal could pay him up to $11.2 million per season (20 percent of the NHL salary cap of $56 million). The bigger issue is term: The NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement has no cap on length of contract.

more

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Trying To Keep Kovalchuk

from Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

It’s an odd task. Don Waddell is making moves with the goal of improving his hockey club, which ordinarily would be a general manager’s highest priority. But this GM has something more in mind:

He’s trying to impress Ilya Kovalchuk.

The best player in Thrashers history is scheduled to become a free agent next summer. He has given indications he’d like to stay here, but his desire is conditional: The Thrashers must first get better. “I know for sure we need some more players,” Kovalchuk told reporters after the final game of last season, and that’s where Waddell comes in.

Known as the Teflon Don in some circles for his ability to avoid blame — and to stick like Krazy Glue to his GM’s chair — Waddell has had an impressive fortnight. The Thrashers appeared to do well in the NHL draft, picking a power forward in Round 1 who might soon be with the big club. (Waddell to Evander Kane on draft night: “You’re going to look good next to Ilya Kovalchuk.”)

And then, scarcely having returned from Montreal, Waddell authored two more big moves: A trade with Toronto that yielded defenseman Pavel Kubina, and the free-agent signing of right wing Nik Antropov, who has two things going for him: He’s a good player who’s an F.O.I. (friend of Ilya’s).

continued

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If You See The Name Kovalchuk In Trade Rumors, Just Forget About It

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Ilya Kovalchuk will be a Thrasher next season.

General manager Don Waddell told the Journal-Constitution last week that, unequivocally, Kovalchuk will remain with the team as it attempts to re-sign one of the NHL’s elite players. There will be no trade deadline move — such as with Marian Hossa — if negotiations reach an impasse….

Kovalchuk, 26, has made it clear that to re-sign him, the Thrashers must improve a team that has missed the playoffs the past two seasons after failing to win a game in its only postseason appearance.

“If I feel like we’re in the right direction, for sure I think we’ll figure out a way to sign a new deal,” Kovalchuk told the AJC last month.

For Kovalchuk to stay, a player such as Kari Lehtonen might go.

read on

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Morning Line

“We need to sign some free agents- spend some money. If you look on the roster of all the teams who are going to compete for the playoffs- but not just the playoffs because I don’t want to compete for just the playoffs- I want to compete for a Cup. I think the city deserves it. Hopefully we can sign some free agents.”

-Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers.  More from Ben Wright at Blueland Blog.

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Kovalchuk Downplays Ovechkin/Malkin Reunion

via Mike Knobler of Thrashers Blog at the AJC,

Kovalchuk has been credited with getting Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin to end their feud over the weekend. Kovalchuk, in typical fashion, downplayed his role.

“I don’t know what they’re talking about,” Kovalchuk said of his reported role as peacemaker. “They’re both Russians. They were always friends. Russians hit each other on the ice, they make a big deal about it. Canadians fight all the time, and they don’t say anything.”

Ovechkin did some guest DJing at a club. Kovalchuk didn’t spin any tunes.

“He was pretty good. I just was listening,” Kovalchuk said. Did Ilya dance? “A little bit,” he said.

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Thrashers Bet On Kovalchuk

from Ben Wright of Blueland Blog,

We have a captain! Following the player introductions here at Casino Night Don Waddell presented Ilya Kovalchuk with a new jersey- one with a C on it. After consulting with the alternate captains and coaching staff it was decided that Ilya will serve as the Thrashers team captain.

continued

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No Trade Talk Regarding Kovalchuk

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

Kovalchuk, who can become a free agent in 2010, is the subject of numerous trade rumors. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported that Waddell has held serious discussions with several teams about trading Kovalchuk.

“I can tell you 100 percent on my grave, whose ever grave you want, I’ve never spoken to one team about trading Ilya Kovalchuk,” Waddell told SportingNews.com.

Seems clear enough, but sometimes hockey executives like to play semantics. So when he says he hasn’t talked to a team, maybe he really means he’s been e-mailing the entire league about Kovalchuk’s availability.

Or text messaging. Or sending assistant GM Larry Simmons out to do the dirty work.

Waddell laughed at those suggestions, but continued to eliminate options just to be clear.

more

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Time To Move Kovalchuk

from Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

We all expect Ilya Kovalchuk to leave when his contract expires after the 2010 season, but there’s no need for Don Waddell to wait. The general manager should clear the air that befogs his last-place team. He should trade Kovalchuk now.

Kovalchuk has flashed past the point of diminishing returns. He has averaged 42 goals over his first six seasons; he’s on pace to score 24. He has averaged 3.7 shots per game over those six seasons; he’s averaging 2.8 shots now. He’s playing like a man who wants to be elsewhere.

continued

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What To Do With Kovalchuk

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

“I put thinking in the future (on the back burner) because I love hockey so much,” Kovalchuk told On The Fly. “Sometimes I get frustrated, but it’s not like I go home and cry in my pillow. We’ll get through this and be a better team.”

The question: Will Kovalchuk be around to see it?

read on with some Oiler and Norris Trophy talk too…

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Will Kovalchuk Get The Message

via Mike Knobler of Thrashers Blog,

Yes, that’s Ilya Kovalchuk wearing a red sweater today at Thrashers practice, along with Marty Reasoner and Chris Thorburn. The red sweater has been the fourth line sweater all year. Reasoner has been a third-line center, and Thorburn has bounced between the third and fourth lines.

If John Anderson wanted to make a statement, he picked a strong way to make it.

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Fighting Words

via Mike Knobler of the AJC,

(Ian)White called Kovalchuk “selfish” for going after him and taking a double-minor that could have hurt Atlanta. Kovalchuk said he was just finishing what White started.

White’s version: “I finished my check off. Clean hit. And then he took a run at me on the far blue [line]. So I followed him up the ice, I was saying something to him, and he stopped, and I wasn’t expecting that, obviously. I was protecting myself. That’s the ugly part of the game. He’ll get what’s coming to him.”

Kovalchuk: “Whatever he wants to say. The score on the board, we win. We get two points [in the standings]. We’ve got three games [left] against them, so if he’s got something he wants to say, I’m always ready to answer.”

Watch the fight below…

 

Continue Reading »

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Kovalchuk Needs To Play Like A Super Star

from The Falconer of Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons,

lya Kovalchuk has the talent to be a superstar. He has the speed, he still has that ungodly release. He will certainly expect to be paid like a superstar when he negotiates his next contract. But if he wants to be treated like a superstar, he should play like one.

It is time for him to show up. The season started 19 games ago. I don’t want to hear any baloney about Kovalchuk not having quality linemates. Last season, Kovalchuk was centered much of the year by Todd White (who has never even been considered All-Star Game material), and a 40-year-old right winger who was dropped to waivers by his previous club (Mark Recchi).

more

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Is Kovalchuk ‘C’ Worthy

from Mike Knobler of Thrashers Blog at the AJC,

This is about more than a “C” on the jersey. It’s about Kovalchuk truly fulfilling his amazing potential. There’s a certain comfort level in being one of the guys, in not wanting to stand out, or, perhaps more accurately, not wanting to risk being perceived as putting yourself above other people around you. But if you want true greatness, you have to get over that. You have to be willing to risk setting yourself apart and above if you want to lead.

Barack Obama had to be willing to run for president, with the real possibility he would fail and the certainty people would accuse him of being presumptuous — “uppity” was Rep. Lynn Westmoreland’s unfortunate word — for seeking that office. Kovalchuk doesn’t have to run for president. But he does have to step forward, rather than waiting to be anointed.

more

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Kovalchuck Talks

from Greg Wyshynski aka Puck Daddy,

Just so we’re clear: Dmitry Chesnokov has translated this interview from Igor Arkhipov of Sovetsky Sport, but did not conduct it.

Questions and comments from Sovetsky Sport are in bold; Kovalchuk’s translated answers follow. We edited out a few clunkers and Russian-specific questions.

What if players in the NHL start speak critically about each other, what will happen in the NHL?

“Semin didn’t just start talking about Crosby. He was asked a question by one of your reporters…  You know, players here are frequently asked about who is better Gretzky or Lemieux. It is virtually in every interview. One can make a big deal out of this too. Let’s say you pick Lemieux. And what’s next? Will you be blamed for not liking Gretzky?

read on

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Forget The Kovalchuk Trade Talk

from Pierre LeBrun’s Blog at ESPN,

There were reports coming out of Russia this weekend that star winger Ilya Kovalchuk was on the trade block. Not so, Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell told us. “I can you tell you that is definitely not the case.”...

First of all, Kovalchuk has another year left on his deal after this season at $7.5 million. He’s not eligible for unrestricted free agency until July 1, 2010. Why the heck would Waddell be shopping him now? In my mind, Waddell would be writing his own pink slip if he did that.

more hockey topics like, head hits, the Canadiens and some Sundin talk too…

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Kovalchuk Enjoying Life In Atlanta

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

He insists a trade request has never creeped into his head?

“No, not really. I like everything here,” Kovalchuk said. “It’s a great city, my family loves it here. I feel very comfortable in the locker room and with management, trainers, everybody. I don’t have any problems. If we’re going to play well, I want to stay here. I want to win the Cup and bring it here because I was drafted by this team.”

It’s a different situation, he explains, than that of former teammate Hossa, who made headlines when he passed on huge money to join the Detroit Red Wings for one season so he can try to win the Stanley Cup.

more

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All Kovalchuck

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

I had the chance to sit down with the Thrashers’ superstar as training camp opened in Atlanta.

SI.com: There are many who say this is your team—yours to lead. How does that make you feel?

Kovalchuk: I’m ready. I want that pressure. We need to win. Everyone just has to do their jobs and not try to do too much.

SI.com: What was your first impression of coach Anderson?

Kovalchuk: Very positive. He wants to skate and have scoring from everywhere. It was a good meeting.

more

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Keep Kovalchuk

from the ICEMAN Bloggeth at the AJC,

See, unlike Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk isn’t just an Atlanta Thrasher… he IS the Atlanta Thrashers right now. He is the man to build an O-fense around. One cannot give up and send him away simply because they’re afraid he might walk in two years. Besides, the players you’d get in return…are THEY going to make this team their own? Are THEY going to arrive in Atlanta all smiley-like and giggling ‘til they puke because they just left Montreal or Calgary or Minnesota or Colorado or New York or Boston to play for the Waddell/Spirit Group-led Thrashers?

more

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Kovalchuk Looking For Wins

from Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Yes, Kovalchuk’s 52 goals this season tied his own franchise record, but that’s not the number that will put him in the stratosphere with the league’s all-time best.

Only playoff wins do that, and after six seasons, Kovalchuk is still sitting at zero.

“It doesn’t matter how many goals you score — 50-goal season, 30-goal season, two-goal season. When you’re a loser, it’s the worst,” Kovalchuk said.

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  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

Bullseye

Ilya Kovalchuck hits 50 last night in a 3-2 loss ot Philadelphia.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

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