A little Kovy, a little Kozzy

As broke last night, the NHL rejected Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year contract with New Jersey as a circumvention of the salary cap,

Here is the statement the league issued Wednesday:

NEW YORK — National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today issued the following statement regarding the free agent contract forward Ilya Kovalchuk  signed with the New Jersey Devils: “The contract has been rejected by the League as a circumvention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under the CBA, the contract rejection triggers a number of possible next steps that may be elected by any or each of the NHLPA, the Player and/or the Club. In the interim, the player is not entitled to play under the contract, nor is he entitled to any of the rights and benefits that are provided for thereunder. The League will have no further comment on this matter pending further developments.”

Other than the fact that the former Thrasher would be playing until the age of 44 by the end of the $102 million contract (very unlikely) the issue was the way the salary cap hit per season would have been charged. Reportedly, Kovalchuk  would  earn $11.5 million annually for five seasons and it would be only a $6 million dollar a year cap hit because of the front-loaded deal.

Update: Kovlachuk’s agent Jay Grossman issued a statement Wednesday saying he would have no comment until the matter is resolved.

Just when you thought it was over, the saga continues. Stay tuned.

I spoke with Slava Kozlov this morning to see if he knew what his playing plans were for next season. He said there is nothing new to report. He is still hoping to play in the NHL. However, he fully intends to play in Russia if there is no deal. He told me at the end of the season that he is looking for a team that can compete for a Stanley Cup.

On the Maxim Afinogenov front, I’m told there have been no recent talks between the team and Afinogenov’s agent.

Update II: As I told you yesterday, the Thrashers walked away from the arbitration decision of $2.4 million salary to forward Clarke MacArthur, making him an unrestricted free agent. His hearing was scheduled for today. The Thrashers obtained MacArthur at the March trade deadline from Buffalo for a third- and fourth-round draft pick.

Lastly, check out this terrific picture of new Thrasher Andrew Ladd and the Stanley Cup. They were posted by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun on Twitter. He posted three if you want to check them all out. I found this one to particularly cool.

Ladd’s day with the Cup was Sunday and he brought it home, including up into the mountains of British Columbia.

33 comments Add your comment

POTF

July 21st, 2010
11:22 am

Lee

July 21st, 2010
11:28 am

Good. That deal was insane.

Jameson

July 21st, 2010
11:31 am

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team invite Max or some other unsigned free agent to camp this year to give us other options if the prospects aren’t ready.

For The Record

July 21st, 2010
11:34 am

If I squint and close my eyes nearly all the way shut, Ladd appears to be wearing a Thrashers jersey and standing on the top of Brasstown Bald…

Chris Vivlamore

July 21st, 2010
11:47 am

For The Record: That was funny. Made me laugh.

ChippersLoveChild

July 21st, 2010
11:48 am

Jameson,

There is no way Max comes to camp on an invite again. Someone will pay him, whether it is here or in Russia he will have a contract. I hope it is us though. We need one more top six… we are still arguably only the third best team in the division, need to keep building.

jack

July 21st, 2010
11:52 am

Sorry for stupid question, but what does AVV stand for?

Alan R.

July 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

Jack – “AAV” means “Average Annual Value.” Couldn’t tell you what AVV is, though.

J.B.

July 21st, 2010
12:28 pm

doesn’t max still have an offer on the table from atlanta or was that retracted?

J.B.

July 21st, 2010
12:34 pm

Chris, do you know if the team has been in contact with any other UFAs or exploring additional trades to obtain scoring?

Hollywould

July 21st, 2010
12:45 pm

What happened to Arthukin?

Sage of Blueland

July 21st, 2010
1:01 pm

Aw, did wittle Kovalchoke’s wittle contwact get wejected?? Waaahhhh!!!

jack

July 21st, 2010
1:04 pm

Thanks Alan,

Brendan

July 21st, 2010
1:34 pm

So, $2.4 million for Clarke MacArthur. I say we offer $1.5 million, and see if takes it.

J.B.

July 21st, 2010
1:54 pm

i don’t think that’s how it works. if the arbiter awarded him 2.4, don’t we have to give him that or let him walk? Moot point anyhow, though since nobody seems to be interested in keeping him at any price.

Curious George

July 21st, 2010
2:16 pm

WIthout that contract money from New Jersey, how will Kovalchuk be able to pay for those Ilya-legitimate children he fathered?

J.B.

July 21st, 2010
2:31 pm

thrash bash

July 21st, 2010
2:32 pm

we really need some scoring and we need it now get maxie and trade for johnathen cheechoo

icy nards

July 21st, 2010
2:57 pm

Lovely: Bolts just bagged Gagne…

Zombie Steve

July 21st, 2010
3:39 pm

Cheechoo would be a HUGE gamble…

Hockey Biltong

July 21st, 2010
3:50 pm

Save the bucks for Poni or Stemp…….maybe Frolov.

Brendan

July 21st, 2010
5:28 pm

J.B., I think the Thrashers have the right, like any of the 30 teams, to re-engage a UFA. Clark MacArthur is free to field offers from anyone at this point. If the best offer he gets is from Atlanta, and that offer is LESS than the arbitration award, it’s up to MacArthur to decide if he accepts Atlanta’s offer or goes to play in Europe, or the next highest bidder.

squirt

July 21st, 2010
6:57 pm

Arty > macArthur.

Acer

July 21st, 2010
6:58 pm

What a worthless trade for MacArthur. I’d rather use the 3rd rounder on Olden and the 4th rounder on Silas or Archibald. Well, it goes along with keeping valuable UFA’s assets like Armstrong past the TDL instead of shipping them for something useful…..same old Thrashers.

snellville jacket

July 21st, 2010
7:48 pm

Was the trade at the time for MacArthur worthless? Remember we have a new GM who has been able pull off trades and MacArthur was going to be low on the totem pole. The old GM porobaly had no idea what could be obtained and was hedging his bets.

For The Record

July 21st, 2010
8:05 pm

Glad you liked it Chris, but funny? I was being serious. A guy can still dream can’t he?

Rumor is Lou and the Devils are prepared to offer MacArthur a front-loaded 25-yr deal to be a “Devil for life”. He’ll be 50 when he plays his final season of the contract. ;-)

Toni

July 21st, 2010
8:06 pm

Who´s supposed to score the goals upcoming season?
Could Spezza fit in?

Hotrod

July 21st, 2010
8:29 pm

I agree on those Ladd pics. REALLY COOL.

(Hope he is in a Thrashers sweater for next years pictures)

icy nards

July 21st, 2010
8:35 pm

Time to let the Poni out of the gate. Make it happen, Duds!

Swami

July 21st, 2010
8:56 pm

Kovy still free agent?! That means Kovy still can come back to Thrashers! Swami so very happy! Swami wife Gladys so very happy! Come back, Kovy! Come back!

Brendan

July 21st, 2010
11:00 pm

I’d bet John Tavares is eyeballin’ the Kovalchuk contract with quiet, but vested interest. Whether he actually wants to tough it out on Long Island for his whole career, or if he’ll make it known that he wants, expects, and will sign an RFA offersheet for 17-20 years. Imagine the GM that lands Tavares on an RFA offersheet?, if Kovalchuk’s deal were actually upheld. They’ll just extend out the years, and have the player under contract for life, a former 1st overall selection, YEARS before he hits his PRIME, for the cost of four 1st round draft picks. And before you say, “Four 1st rounders are a hefty price,” … well, not when the team that signs him is a contender, who’ll be picking somewhere between #28, #29, and #30 during those years. Not exactly ‘can’t miss’ lottery draft players. That’s why contracts like Kovy’s, and let’s throw in Hossa’s, too, should be denied. They are clearly made so that a contending team can ’stack the deck’ with star players, while having them under contract at a manageable cap hit. It worked for Chicago, with Hossa. (Not that Hossa was the end all, be all, reason Chicago won the Cup.)

Lord Stanley

July 21st, 2010
11:28 pm

KOVY STAY AWAY FROM HOT ATLANTA. You are not wanted

East Point Bob

July 22nd, 2010
4:31 am

Nice photo, Maybe he can repeat next summer in an Atlanta uniform if we get some goal scorers !