Day 2 of free agency, Kubina goes back to Tampa

We start Day 2 of NHL free agency with the news that defenseman Pavel Kubina has signed a two-year deal to return to Tampa Bay, where he won a Stanley Cup in 2004. The deal with worth$7.7 million – $4.2 million next season and $3.5 million in 2011-12.

Here’s what Kubina said to reporters: “I talked to Steve yesterday and I was very impressed with the direction he’s going in with the team. I always wanted to come home.  Other than Czech, Tampa Bay is my second home. I still have my house there and even though I had other offers on the table, I couldn’t pass this up.  I’m looking forward to playing with Vinny and Marty again as well as with the younger guys like Stamkos and Hedman.”

I did talk to Johan Hedberg from Sweden this morning. He said it was a crazy day yesterday. He was working with the Thrashers, but once they pulled their offer he had to act fast. There were other teams interested before he signed with  New Jersey.

“I really enjoyed my time in Atlanta,” Hedberg said. “It was a really good second home for my family. [The Thrashers] are moving in the right direction. Hopefully it will work out. I hope the team continues to develop and hockey continues to grow.”

Not to dwell on those that are leaving, but I also talked to Colby Armstrong last night after he signed with Toronto. He, again, had nothing but nice things to say about Atlanta. He did say the Thrashers made initial contact and then didn’t hear from them until the draft, but nothing really serious.

Before I move on, on a personal note, I’m learning that hockey is a business. Players have said this to me plenty of times before. However, it starts to hit home for a reporter getting back to it after 20 years when really good people  like Marty Reasoner, Kubina, Hedberg and Armstrong move on.

Here are some leftover quotes from new goaltender Chris Mason, that I was unable to fit into the story yesterday.

On whether he will be the No. 1 goaltender: “Nothing has been said about playing time. That’s earned.”

On his work habits: “The most important thing, for me, is to try my best every day. … My work ethic won’t be questioned.”

On craziness of July 1: “It was an unsettling day. You get an offer and you have 10 minutes to decide. At the end of the day I’m happy to be in Atlanta.”

On thinking he had a two-year extension with St. Louis worked out only to find out the had obtained Halak: “It caught me off guard.”

On his style: “I think I’ve put up pretty good numbers. I’m not a flashy guy. I want to help this team to improve.”

On coming to Atlanta: “I’ve look at the team and I’m familiar with a lot of the guys. It looks like this team is getting better. It’s excited. I hope we are going to surprise a lot of people. This team is good enough to win right now.”

Some leftover thoughts from Dudley:

On Mason: “He’s a wonderful player. He’s been a No. 1 for a few years now and he’s got some pretty impressive numbers.”

Dudley said he’s not quite done and will “kick the tires” in free agency and trades. He did say he would be interested in another defenseman. That was also before Kubina signed with TB.

Dudley said the trade for Andrew Ladd had been in the works for awhile. Gets that’s what he was trying to tell me when he said free agency wasn’t the only way to add players.

Dudley said team explored “cheaper” options at goaltender.

Let’s see what develops today.

52 comments Add your comment

Sherry Taylor

July 2nd, 2010
10:33 am

Kubina going to Tampa is not a good thing. I’m sorry to see him go, and I’m sure we’ll be sorry to have to play against him come the season. Wish something could’ve been worked out.

Hockey Steve

July 2nd, 2010
10:35 am

Losing Kubina hurts…

Matt

July 2nd, 2010
10:37 am

This post would be FILLED with expletives if I were allowed to curse on this blog. WTH, ASG, you make some nice moves and then blow all of that potential goodwill by being cheap and playing games with Kubina?? WTH, already.

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
10:37 am

I just hope Bogosian can return to his rookie season form. That’d be huge for Atlanta.

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2010
10:38 am

Been a while since I’ve watched Chris Mason play, but I recall he’s a guy who plays “big in net”.

ThrashDawg

July 2nd, 2010
10:45 am

The only thing that hurts is Kubina going to Tampa Bay, outside of that we do not need 8 defensemen. We have to develope our younger players and Kulda playing in Chicago next year would not help develope this kid any further. Valabik was a 1st round draft pick, if I am not mistaken, and we need to see if he is going to fish or cut bait. Kubina just did not fit into the equation, now you can ask why did we bring in Sopel from Chicago as opposed to resigning Kubina. In reality Dudley must have thought Sopel was a better option than Kubina.

jack

July 2nd, 2010
10:48 am

Chris any idea on what Dudley’s back up plan is now that Kubina is gone.

KLS1

July 2nd, 2010
10:54 am

Losing Kubina is not good, losing Kubina to Tampa is bad!

Agree with Thrashdawg on Valabik…this guy has seemingly been “in the system” for 10 years. They need to play him and let him sink or swim…there is no reason he is still an “unkown” every year when the season rolls around.

Kulda needs to be given a shot to win a job as well…right away.

Lee

July 2nd, 2010
11:03 am

Tampa? Really? Come on, to lose our best defenseman his horrible enough, but to go to Tampa, our rival in which we play like every two weeks? Go to somewhere on the west coast!

….ahhhh we’ll miss ya.

JR

July 2nd, 2010
11:09 am

i am saddened by kubina leaving.

KLS1

July 2nd, 2010
11:13 am

By the way…not that I am going to defend Don Waddell but the Exelby for Kubina trade was a damn good one.

Only team worse than ATL with personnel moves is Toronto & NY Rangers…score one for ATL with that exchange.

Cornbread

July 2nd, 2010
11:23 am

This is a big blow. It’s one thing to lose him but quite another for him to go to Tampa. I can’t think of too many Thrashers players in the past that those in the know unanimously wanted to resign or that he would likely resign. Tampa wasn’t even on the radar. That said, the Thrashers are deeper and stronger than ever at D. If Kubina signed with ATL, that would have left at least four very capable NHL D-men battling it out for the 7th spot.

Cornbread

July 2nd, 2010
11:29 am

Welcome to a full time gig in the NHL Arturs Kulda.

KLS1

July 2nd, 2010
11:37 am

Wouldn’t mind having Schubert there to fill in as needed.

Buzzeng

July 2nd, 2010
11:49 am

TSN.ca says the deal was $7.7M for two years. That seems pretty fair to me.

jack

July 2nd, 2010
11:53 am

I wonder how far we were off from the TB offer

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
11:54 am

At first blush, I’m disappointed to learn that we weren’t “able” to sign Kubina. Making matters worse of course is the fact he signed with another team within the division. But I can blame him for returning home where he’s spent the majority of his career. But it isn’t a matter of not being “able”, it is more a matter of not being WILLING — willing to spend that kind of money on a player who could potentially block the growth and maturity of younger players like Bogosian, Kulda and even Valabik.

If you’re going to commit to your younger players, at some point you have to make opportunity cost decisions that will help you not only in the short run, but also longer-term. Bogosian is only 19. The ASG, well Dudley and Co., are banking on Bogo as their franchise D-man for years to come. In order to achieve his potential, he must be given at least Top 4 minutes.

With Kubina in the fold, the demand for minutes is greater than what’s available. Oduya, Hainsey and Enstrom can all log a lot of minutes and they can fully expect to play 20-22 mins apiece. But it’s Bogo that will be expected to bear the brunt of the load due to his ability to score and potential as a pre-eminent PP QB. If Kubina is on the team, that cuts adversely into Bogo’s minutes as a PP presence. While Bogo may not always play against the other team’s top lines, we must accept that Duds sees him as the guy who will log the majority of PP mins as well as his fair share on the PK.

I will miss Kuby. I think he’s a class act and good for any locker room thanks to his quiet, steady leadership, sometimes vocal, but mostly by example. But with every loss comes opportunity and it’s time to invest in our young guys and the potential they possess. Kulda showed he’s ready and he will need 12-16 mins per game to develop effectively. And a healthy Valabik can log heavy minutes on the PK unit as well as help anchor the bottom pairing should Kulda struggle at times.

Kuby, we hate to see you go, but the future is now. And we still need a few mill for another veteran forward who can pot 20 goals.

ThrashDawg

July 2nd, 2010
12:06 pm

Smoothie..outstanding post! I just don’t get the hand wringing over losing Kubina and needing another D-man. We have folks who continue to want to place road blocks on developing our young talent. We have rarely been able to draft and develop talent in the past, now we are doing a better job we just have to allow these young guys the chance to play and learn at the NHL level.

Hockey Steve

July 2nd, 2010
12:19 pm

I feel you Smoothie – we will miss Kub, but the cap space is a nice down payment on a bonafide scoring FWD (the only piece that is missing now)

Hockey Steve

July 2nd, 2010
12:19 pm

Frolov, anyone?

jack

July 2nd, 2010
12:26 pm

well Steve he is categorized as the poor man’s Koval and inconsistent, so I am alittle worried about his defense as well(since kovy does not play defense). Thoguhts?

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
12:28 pm

“He was working with the Thrashers, but once they pulled their offer he had to act fast.”

“Dudley said team explored “cheaper” options at goaltender.”

Wait, I thought Mason was their #1 choice all along. lol. Cheap Cheap. We will continue to pay for not having a stud in goal, let’s pray that Pavelec can turn into that guy.

“I just hope Bogosian can return to his rookie season form. That’d be huge for Atlanta.”

Yep, we need him to step up and we’re going to need Bergfors, Little and Kane to step up at forward. It’s up to them.

Bringing in Sopel and jettisoning Kubina was all about managing the self imposed cap, guys. Face the facts, Dudley surely would have brought back Kubina, brought in a stud goalie, and brought us better forwards if he had the money to spend. But he’s working the cap, and I think he’s done a better job than what Waddell has done on his own, and we have a better coach. Not great, but not bad, our best hope is that Ramsay can coach these guys up and that Pavelec turns into the man.

Hockey Steve

July 2nd, 2010
12:41 pm

If not Frolov, then who?? Modano is an old dog….would be a great coach but we’d be lucky to get 15 goals out of him. What about Cheechoo?? Sure it’s a gamble, but we could get him cheap. Perhaps he’ll have a Renaissance season like Max had with us….

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
12:48 pm

Flames – Any insight today?

PMC

July 2nd, 2010
12:54 pm

It’s not the end of the world. New regime, little money, time for Dudley to get his own guys anyway even though they have lost some very good hockey players.

I have confidence in Rick Dudley to put a competitive team on the ice even with the massive limitiations of the ownership. It can’t be worse than Don Waddell that’s a virtual certainty.

Rogie

July 2nd, 2010
1:01 pm

One good tidbit of news for the Thrashers — Antero Niittymaki signed with San Jose and now is in the other conference. That guy kills us. Good riddance!

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
1:06 pm

Smoothie is right in that … the organization must, at some point, make cost-opportunity decisions. And with that in mind, guess who’s “eligible” for a PROACTIVE RFA contract? Okay, look. There are probably several, but the answer I’m looking for, class, is “Zach Bogosian.” If this organization really, truly feels that Bogosian is their “anchor” on the blueline for the coming year, NOWWWWWWWW’s your chance to get him “cheap.” Okay. Let me rephrase. “Cheaper.” If you dangle 8 years in front of Bogosian, at a nice salary, that OVERPAYS him NOW, to UNDERPAY him later, he’d probably take it. And if he doesn’t, why isn’t he taking it??? At that point, ask him, “Zach, do you want to be traded?, or are you taking a ‘wait-n-see’ approach with the Thrashers?”

Folks, Zach Bogosian went 3rd overall in his draft year (2008). Our player retention “is what it is.” Here’s our chance to lock up a player BEFORE he can hit the market next July. NOWWWWWWW is the time to make him an offer that SCREAMS, “We believe in you. You’re our future.” Instead, what we’ll see is … “Well, we didn’t just want to ‘throw out’ some big contact back in July; we wanted to EVALUATE him. See if he’s really WORTH IT.”

WTF is that all about? If you think he sucks, then trade him. But if he’s your “cost-opportunity” decision, make him that. How do you think the player feels, when he doesn’t get an offer in July or August … in favor or making him play out the year … to see if he’s really worth BIG DOLLARS. Sheesh. Either NHL Central Scouting all wrong about this guy, and we need to dump him … or … we need to lock ‘im up, before an offer sheet comes next July (2011), at substantively more money. And if you’re the player … who DOESN’T GET the proactive offer … you make the team pay through the nose. You look back on your 3rd year and say, “Look at my numbers, boys. You could’ve locked me up back in July. But ya wanted to EVALUATE me. Did you LIKE what ya saw? Well, good. ‘Cuz here’s my new price structure. And, by the way, I’m not signing past my obligatory RFA years, fellas.”

Who could blame the player? For once, let’s see a high-end draft pick of ours get a nice, long proactive deal that locks him up. Don’t tell me about Enstrom. Enstrom was a 7th round pick. SEVENTH!!! A real GM manages the roster. This franchise is heavily invested in Bogosian. That’s what lottery picks are for. They’re the foundation or roof of your house. If they feel they made a mistake, then they know what they have to do. I don’t think they made a mistake drafting him. I think they should lock him up, instead of being cheap, paying RFA pricing, and run a very serious risk of losing him to unregistricted free agency once he becomes eligible for that, years from now. It sends a message, people. It does. The message is … “You can expect to have a nice long career in Atlanta, if we draft you inside the lottery draft.” It speaks to player retention. If you wait … and let the player hit the open market … then the decision about where to play … becomes exclusively theirs. And you might not like the result.

Anybody ever fly ’stand-by?’ Ya know why they call it, ’stand-by?’ ‘Cuz you stand there … waving “bye” as the plane takes off.

Hockey Biltong

July 2nd, 2010
1:07 pm

Where will Spezza land????

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
1:10 pm

Biltong, if we’re doing the ’self-imposed’ cap again, Spezza’s not part of the plan.

Toby

July 2nd, 2010
1:16 pm

Bring on Lombardi

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
1:27 pm

Damn World Cup fallout must be crashing twitter’s servers. I want hockey news!! But alas, not much is happening. Chris Higgins to FLA for 1 year, $1.6 M.

Brendan’s right about being pro-active for once. By trading Kovy for Bergfors and annointing Kane & Bogosian your new “faces of the franchise”, they will have to step up and begin conversations, at the very least, about locking guys up long-term. Worse case scenario you lock up that player until he’s at least 26 at a rate that seems a bit inflated now, but probably seems sensible in 3 or 4 years. We will see if these Octo-tards have really learned anything from their previous mistakes. Doubtful as they will probably adopt a “win now” stance in hopes of making the playoffs for a couple of years to position the team for sale at a higher price tag than the franchise is currently worth. We’ll see.

But losing Kuby is far from a disaster and even as a pure cost-cutting measure, can you blame ASG and Dudley for standing firm when Kubina faded badly down the stretch. He’s big and aging. He’s slowing down and long seasons take a greater toll on big guys who play big minutes with few exceptions (Pronger, Hall Gill? lol). But look at Pavel’s stats for his last 23 games (2/1 thru 3/30): 1 goal, 9 assists and a -9 over that stretch. Keep in mind he was a +15 or so mid-way through the season. GM’s see and know this and probably are reluctant to commit that kind of money on a fading player. Tampa needed a puck mover and PP guy with Foster leaving and they probably think re-uniting with old bud, Paul Ranger will help Ranger as much as anything.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
1:28 pm

Brendan, wasn’t saying you were “right for once”, but that you’re right about this being a test to see if ASG could be proactive for once. Sorry for the poorly written sentence! ;-)

ThrashDawg

July 2nd, 2010
1:33 pm

I guess the real question as to a “self-imposed” cap is; what impact is a potential sale having on the whole process? Do the ASG spend more to bring in a bigger name to improve the perceived worth to the new buyers or do they keep it cheap? I also wonder what impact the potential sale of the Thrashers is having on the Joe Johnson negotiations? Does the ASG folks think they will have more money to spend on the Hawks once they spin off the Thrashers? It would be nice to be a fly on the wall during these discussions.

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
1:38 pm

Smoothie, no worries. I took your meaning the right way. That, “for once,” the ASG should do the right thing. And here’s to hoping they do! (Cracking open a Heineken!)

alex

July 2nd, 2010
1:41 pm

choose what is better for thrashers play against nittymaki or kubina. smoothie right on the point we have to develop our young defensmen which is good. i have confidence in kulda, also postma can’t be overlooked, how about pop., forgot valabik still here, if he helthy he is good enough. my grade for ofseason activity considering asg shortage money strong “B+”.

JMAYNE

July 2nd, 2010
1:47 pm

Need a quality defensman and maybe a 10-20 goal scorer. GM looks active lets hope he can get it done.

For the Record

July 2nd, 2010
1:51 pm

Bogo has a lot to prove this season after a sophomore slump. You’re assuming he’s going to be a stud for the next 8 years. He may be, he may not be. Looking back, you say we should’ve dumped Army, Moose & Kubes before the trade deadline. Now you want to lock up Bogo for EIGHT years?

I’d be very surprised if Duds even entertains that thought. He pays based on PROVEN performance, not speculation. Nothing wrong with that. Don’t you want Bogo to play like he’s worthy of an extended contract instead just awarding him one because he was #3 overall?

I’ll tell you what kind of message it sends throughout the locker room when you have a GM that understands how to evaluate talent AND put the right pieces together to make a whole team without throwing money at players willy-nilly. It says, “Nobody’s job is safe. Everyone plays and plays hard every night.” Nice to know Mason “gets it” before he’s even in uniform…Fair pay for a fair day’s work.

The reason we’re going to LOVE Dudley’s team here is because everyone’s expendable. Yeah, even your lottery picks. They’re ALL replaceable pieces of a complex puzzle that has no single right answer. Duds is one guy who won’t be stuck with an overpaid player that doesn’t earn his paycheck. Bogo was hurt last year. He has to be evaluated when healthy. What’s wrong with that?

ThrashDawg

July 2nd, 2010
1:52 pm

Why do we need a “quality defensman” JMAYNE?

TrueBlue

July 2nd, 2010
2:00 pm

I think we are set on skilled D-man. My only concern on D is a lack of toughness. If Valabak can stay healthy, we will be alright, maybe. I still think we NEED to keep Schubert. He brings pain in our own end. The remaining D-men are pure skill and hockey smart players, not tough guys. We need some toughness in our own zone.

polskidawg

July 2nd, 2010
2:11 pm

I’m with Toby – bring in Lombardi as insurance in the high chance that Burm isn’t ready. Lombardi can center #2 or #3 lines relatively effectively.

As for Kubina, I would have thought they could match TB’s offer, and trade Sopel back to Van or LA. Oh well.

Valabik – it’s not a good thing if he is on the team out of camp. He is a liability any time on ice. I don’t questions his “want to,” but he is an AHL/KHL player – not the NHL.

Flames

July 2nd, 2010
2:20 pm

Smoothie great post! I can help on some of the facts. First and foremost Zach Bogosian is ready to get more time. He has gain about 15 pounds of muscle and looks great. Kubina turned down more money from the Thrashers to go home to Tampa. It wasn’t that much more money, but it was more. He wanted three years and we wouldn’t budge on the two. He took the two years that was being offered in Tampa. This now makes a lot more money available to sign a scorer. Max just might get a little better offer from the Thrashers. ASG has told Dudley/Waddell the team must win now.

Flames

July 2nd, 2010
2:34 pm

For the record- Nice post! You hit the nail on the head. Duds will not over pay a player and he will not be stuck with a large contract (White)….He will hold players accountable. He is a no nonsense type of GM.

For the Record

July 2nd, 2010
2:49 pm

Thanks Flames. I wonder how many times Duds has tried to put White in a package deal since he took over….A dozen? Two dozen? OTOH, Duds is the kind of guy who realizes if he’s stuck with a player, maybe he can put players around him that help him raise his production (and everyone else’s). It will be interesting to see how that works out. Duds doesn’t like a soft spot – anywhere. Neither do any of us.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
2:55 pm

Thanks Flames!!

I figured we’d be afraid to commit to that 3rd year considering Kuby’s 33 going on 34. Most of the guys who got 4 year deals yesterday were 31 and 32. I bet Kuby feels like he can play solid minutes for another 3 years, but considering how he wore out down the stretch (just too many minutes against top competition), I’d be afraid to go more than 2 myself.

I am hopeful we can still add a quality 2nd line forward like Ponikarovsky, Torres or even Stempniak if he grows increasingly frustrated with the offer(s) from the Coyotes.

ThrashDawg

July 2nd, 2010
5:03 pm

From what I hear Sopel is a pretty mean dude…especially laying it out on the ice to block shots and I am pretty sure if there is one thing Valabik can do is push people around with his size.

For the Record

July 2nd, 2010
6:04 pm

Looks like they’re cutting contracts loose so we can re-sign Kovalchuk.

For the Record

July 2nd, 2010
6:10 pm

That was a joke, of course!

Seriously…Word is he and Grossman are still at $10M/yr for 10 or 12 years. Nobody’s buying. Can’t wait to see who “wins” the Kovalchuk Sweepstakes. It’s either going to be really, really GOOD for some club…Or really, really BAD. I’m just glad it isn’t us this time. Can’t WAIT to watch Cormier in action. Hope he doesn’t kill someone…

jack

July 2nd, 2010
6:24 pm

would not be surprised if Kovy signed for 5 mil a year now

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
10:56 pm

For the record, that’s such a different situation. Kubina, Army, and Moose were all pending UFA’s (player that could be lost for nothing, unlike Bogosian who will be restricted, with draft pick compensation for attempted poaching) in a year that was very iffy (8 teams in contention for 3 open playoff spots–Jeff Schultz posted, “Feeling lucky?”) in terms of playoffs. One poster recently posted, “You need a only luke warm IQ to see we weren’t going to make it.” The fun part, as fans, is the sprint to the finish. “Instant gratification” is what most fans want. I know what you’re gonna say. What about the Panthers and Bouwmeester last year (2009), where Florida and Montreal had identical records for the final spot. The Panthers had to gamble, and so forth. And this year, certainly we can look to the NY Rangers and say, “Can’t tell me Game # 82 was uneventful and meaningless, Brendan.” Right you are. And who’d have thought the Flyers would win, overcome a 3-0 series deficit, and eventually bow out in overtime of Game Six of the Finals? Nobody’s hand should be raised. Who had a 7th seed playing an 8th seed for the CF in the East? Again, hands should be at your sides.

With respect to Bogosian, if the team decides to go the “evaluation” route, they’d better get that contract-writing pen out by Christmas. The price will only go higher, if Bogosian has a healthy and productive season. Truthfully, I can’t see Bogosian, without an injury curtailing him, not having a decent year. And when he does, it’ll cost us. Some people might say, “Well, what’s fair is fair. Pay him what he earned.” And presumably, what he will have earned is MORE than what he’s earned, as of July 3, 2010. Yes, there’s risk involved in locking up a player. There’s risk in drafting him, too. There’s risk, in well … everything. The time to save money is now. I don’t think the players will take away the message, “Well gee, Bogosian didn’t earn his money. Why should I (earn it)?” I suspect that Bogosian and Kane are the new faces of this franchise. R.Stroz always points out to me, “When do we ever retain top tiered talent beyond their RFA years?” If we wait, we’ll pay more. If the organization is going to take a “prove it and we’ll pay it,” approach, then they must payout for the services rendered. At fair market value. And not gripe about it.

For the Record

July 3rd, 2010
12:56 am

One poster recently posted, “You need a only luke warm IQ to see we weren’t going to make it.” Is that a revelation? How about, “You only need one eye open to have 20/20 hindsight”? I don’t understand what was “iffy” about the Thrashers being in playoff contention until the final week of the season. Isn’t that what you want your team to do? Isn’t that why they sign players, sell tickets and we go see them play? I want to see the team have meaningful games in March & April…And so should those who are fond of complaining that the team has only made it to the playoffs once in their existence.

As for Bogo, I have no problem paying him what he’s earned and I suppose Dudley & Bogo see it that way too. But I would hope a healthy Bogo prefers to show his stuff on the ice and then get a fair contract. Who wants to sign for less than they think they’re worth – you know, “save money” as you put it by signing him now. Not Army, Kubes or Moose. If Bogo bombs out (and believe me, I hope that’s not the case) after locking in an extended contract today, who’s gonna want him?

In any event, we’ll just have to trust Duds to do the right thing at the right time…And I trust him infinitely more than DW to handle that situation. It hurts to lose guys without anything for them when they walk…Perhaps if Kubes and Army had performed better during the run, we would’ve made it in and they would’ve received the contracts they wanted in order to stay. But that’s why they play the games. And that’s why Kubes and Army were allowed to walk, freeing up some $7.4M/yr between them. They’re both in a better place and so are we. Moose is maybe in a better place, but he’s a winner anywhere he goes because of attitude and work ethic.

So you still think Kovy left here ONLY because he wanted “to get the Cup”? Still think it wasn’t about the money? Well, looks like it actually WAS about the money after all. The Isles are close to signing him for $10M/yr for 10 years…Yes….The NY ISLANDERS!

Can’t say that would’ve been my 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 20th choice to spend the next 10 years looking for a Cup…But money talks and it says what Kovy and Grossman want to hear. I’m so glad he was purged from the Thrashers. That kind of GREED is not healthy in an NHL locker room. But he’s got kids to feed and so forth, so I guess it’s all justified in some cosmic way, right?