Kovalchuk drama taking place outside of Thrasherville…thankfully

Monday July 19. U-Day +18 of this summer’s UFA signing season. Many big name free agents have inked contracts with new teams, some have made their way to Russia and a few more are still waiting for the right team to offer up the right terms.

The biggest name on that “still yet to be signed list” is of course one Mr. Ilya Kovalchuk.

Once the face of the Thrashers franchise, Ilya Kovalchuk now faces the prospect of listening to offers that would pay less than what he could have made in Atlanta (AP photo)

Once the face of the Thrashers franchise, Ilya Kovalchuk now faces the prospect of listening to offers that would pay less than what he could have made in Atlanta (AP photo)

Over the course of the past two and a half weeks, many rumors and rumor of rumors have had Kovy going such places as Long Island, back to New Jersey or even returning home to mother Russia. But Los Angeles still seems to be the chic pick by most as to where he’ll eventually land. As such, ever since July 1 we’ve been treated to tweet after tweet from [insert name of ‘tweeter’ here] telling us that they are 92.8% sure Kovalchuk is almost definitely going to sign with LA…maybe even as soon as tomorrow morning.

But tomorrow morning comes and all we are greeted with is more tweeters tweeting they are sure that this is the day.

So how must it feel to be a Kings fan the days… sitting on the edge of their seat, ear to the radio, face to the computer screen, nose to the twitter account…as they await the almost certain coming news that Kovy is heading to SoCal? Well, here’s something that may helpto depict how this drama is playing out in the L.A. twitterverse, (thanks to my good friend “Russian”).

And now that we’re deep into week number three of this saga, some pundits are beginning to opine as to how the Russian winger has misread the market as well as suggested how he could have/should have handled the situation from the get-go. (Note here how Steven Ovadia has used another former Thrasher, Marian Hossa, to illustrate his point).

I would also like to remind you that stringing out contract talks isn’t exactly a new thing for Ilya Kovalchuk and his agent. You’ll no doubt remember that we here in Thrasherville were treated to our own version of “As the Kovalchuk Turns” back in the summer of 2005. That year he waited so long to sign a deal that we were minus his services for the first three games of the season.

If he were so inclined, would you care to see Ilya Kovalchuk signed by the Thrashers?

  • Yes! I'd sign him at any price! (6%, 13 Votes)
  • Sure, but not at $9-$10 mil per season (47%, 96 Votes)
  • No! Not at any price! (47%, 95 Votes)

Total Voters: 204

Loading ... Loading ...

So if there is to be a repeat of that holdout drama, then Kovy-Watch ’10 as only just begun.

About the only thing that seems to be certain regarding Ilya’s summer adventure this time is that he’s not going to get the same coin as the Thrashers offered up to him last winter. $10 million for 3 to 7 years or somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 mil for 12 years is now seems surely out of the question for Kovy.

So just where will Kovalchuk eventual wind up…and when will he wind up there? shrugs…I dunno. But all I can say is that I’m glad happy thrilledecstatic that Thrasherville is not the site of this particular saga.

In fact, I’m sorta looking forward this coming season in which the Thrashers aren’t having to deal with such distractions. You know, distractions such as whether or not superstars like Marian Hossa or Ilya Kovalchuk will re-sign…or if Kari Lehtonen’s back/groin/[insert issue here] will keep him out of the lineup for an extended period of time.

Quite frankly…Thrasherville can do without the drama.

258 comments Add your comment

Sports Climax

July 19th, 2010
7:33 am

Dudley would look like a genius if he were able to coax Kovy and Grossman to sign here for way less than the first offer (whatever amount the Kings are offering). Then the Thrashers would have Kovy, the 3 Devils obtained in the trade for Kovy, the 4 Blackhawks just obtained . . . get the picture . . . . Playoffs! PLAYOFFS!! Yes Blueland, that would spell playoffs.

The Rock

July 19th, 2010
7:33 am

I say Amen.Can you smell what the birds are cooking?

chipper

July 19th, 2010
7:40 am

Honestly, I would love to see us try and get back Kovy. I think with him we could contend for the Eastern Conference title. Without him, I still see us as a mid-seed in the East at least. I love what our team looks like right now.

Russian

July 19th, 2010
7:56 am

I read some news from Russian newspaper couple weeks ago, that Kovy told to his agent DO NOT contact with Atlanta at all. This is a reason I know for 100% he is not coming here. I am OK with that.
Kovy and his agent made a big mistake right. Market is not ready to take $10 million player. It is a bad market now. He will stay in LA (I very happy about it). We will see him 1-2 times per season. He choose LA for one more thing, because his wife wants to start sing again. Who is going to listen her in LA? Russian population in LA is big, but not everyone walks to Concert. I just want to see deal done with Kovy and forget about him. He stopped the Free agency market. UFA players are still available.
Did anybody hear about our RFA? I know we have 3 hearings at court. What about other ones?

World Be Free

July 19th, 2010
7:58 am

Last year’s courtship dance between Kovalchuk and the Thrashers was one of the longest, most drawn out affairs in hockey history, maybe sports history. It started before the end of the 2008-2009 season and carried on until February of 2010. I said last summer that the situation would become a distraction to the team, which it did. After a good start, the Thrash faded away out of the playoff race, only to return near to the race near the end of the season after we finally dispatched Kovy out of town. If we signed Kovalchuk to a 3 year deal, I guarantee the 3rd season would be marred in another “does he or doesn’t he sign” debacle. Great talent, but not worth the disruptions.

This long, drawn out contract negotiation with Los Angeles just shows how self-centered Kovy is as a player and a person. Kovy gave a lot to Atlanta and tried most of the time he was in an Atlanta uniform, but not all the time. A player making his kind of money should be a team leader with no holes in his game. Kovy is a winger who can’t kill penalties with regularity, nor can he win faceoffs. At his money, he should make all the players around him better and he doesn’t. His mediocrity in New Jersey spoke volumes of his value on a “team”.

Give me team players and a coach that knows how to coach them, like what we have today. Just look at how far the Montreal Canadians went last year without a superstar on their roster AND with a veteran NHL coach who knows how to get the max out of his players. Speaking of “Max”, get the guy signed to a 2 year deal.

kracker

July 19th, 2010
8:05 am

To illustrate your point about the tweeting tweeters, RH, heeeeeeeeere’s Eklund:

Eklund My key source in this situation believes it’s 80-20 Kovalchuk agrees to sign with the Kings by noon tomorrow west coast time
–about 9 hours ago via Osfoora HD

He might actually be right this time…or maybe not.

Hal

July 19th, 2010
8:05 am

Well, the problem is we are a far worse team without him. If he will come back, sign him. Drama and all.

kracker

July 19th, 2010
8:15 am

Good segue, WBF, max to Max. Sign him yes. Maybe after the curtain falls on Kovalchuk Opera (complete w/ male diva), after the fat lady sings in LA, perhaps Dudley will make another move.

hip czech

July 19th, 2010
8:19 am

I think the negotiations with LA is all about Kovalchuk saving face. That’s why he is so adamant about the $10 million per number.

If he can get $10 million per just for the first few years of a contract then he can say “See, it’s not all about the money…I signed for the same money Atlanta was offering”. He can then have a clean conscience when asked about Atlanta.

It’s not so much about wanting to be the top paid player or some rivalry with Ovechkin to be the top paid player, it’s about not looking foolish for turning down the $10 mil per offer that Atlanta gave him. So if he can sign a contract that has a couple seasons at 10 mil, he saves face (sort of).

That’s the hold up…the Kings need to work out a deal that is heavily front loaded, but also leaves them room to sign Doughty and others in the next few years.

Russian

July 19th, 2010
8:33 am

**to Hal**
Atlanta will not be bad team with out Kovy. Yes, we do not SUPER STAR anymore, but Dudley and Company build a WORKIN HORSE team. Everyone will play 110%. I hope that they will do.

kracker

July 19th, 2010
8:40 am

Yes, hip czech, Kovalchuk wants/needs to save face. And so does Jay Grossman.

Badger Bob

July 19th, 2010
8:49 am

Russian, thanks for the Kings Kovy watch video – great stuff, and makes me so glad to be away from his drama. Something that caught my attention – they lumped Frolov in with numerous washed up players (Demitra, Schneider, Chelios, Kariya). Not that those two guys are necessarily great hockey minds, but they are clearly Kings fans, so that screams “Stay clear of Frolov”.

Not Blind

July 19th, 2010
8:49 am

Kovalpuke would hold back the New Thrashers. Honestly, if you look at his +/-, his post season numbers and other stats [ hits ??? ] he’s really only worth about $5m per year.

World Be Free

July 19th, 2010
8:53 am

We are short a marginal superstar; you can’t use the name Iyla Kovalchuk and “team” in the same sentence. If he was concerned about this implications of his contract to the Kings, he would be designing a deal that would allow the Kings to retain their core players. This is how you win championships.

So many people have stated that Kovy and Grossman misjudged the current landscape; problem is they were never conscious of the landscape. This is about getting Kovy the best “deal” in a league that is contemplating a salary cap reduction at a time when the economy shows no signs of improving. This brings us to the old saying, there’s no “I” in team. That’s a big no thank you Kovy.

Nobody can deny Kovalchuk’s talent, but who needs a single player that puts himself so far ahead of the interests of his team? NHL fans everywhere have had enough of this situation and let’s face it, Kovy is no Brett Favre.

glovesave29

July 19th, 2010
9:16 am

My fear is this “wait and see until training camp” mentality with the Thrash. I want to be AHEAD of the other teams, not read and react. Too many quality players are still out there. I’d like two of them, but will settle for just one….c’mon Dud’s – Stempniak, Afinogenov, Frolov, Ponikarovsky….even Morrison. Please do something!

Sherry Taylor

July 19th, 2010
9:20 am

I for one will not be sorry to see Kovalchuk go wherever he goes, just as long as it isn’t back to Atlanta. I agree that we, the fans, have been through enough tantrum drama with him. His problem, and his agent, is they’ve mistakenly believed his press. He isn’t nearly as great as his press says. He is a one dimensional player who tends toward tantrums. If we have to have a player who throws tantrums let him be one who can play offense and defense. I also agree that it would be nice to re-sign Max, I think he’s another who’s fallen victim to his press. The only players I’ve been sorry to see go in the last couple of years are Moose and Kubina.

kracker

July 19th, 2010
9:29 am

I do think a Kovalchuk deal will spur some player signings and trades. Dudley, like any GM, has some moves he might make if he gets a deal he favors. Once – if – Kovalchuk is in place in LA, let us see what Dudley does.

I agree with Glovesave that waiting to see if Cormier, et al. are ready to dance and then finding out that they need more lessons or seeing that they can’t keep from steping on toes is a risky plan. At that point anyone you get as a FA will probably be of little help. Finding another Max on a tryout basis in camp isn’t likely to be repeated.

I hope Duds has made a satisfactory offer to one or more of the desirable forwards and they are simply awating the Kovalchuk signingbefore making their decision.

World Be Free

July 19th, 2010
9:51 am

I voted not to have Kovalchuk back at any price. Just so there’s no misunderstanding of how I feel about this person, this player after all that has gone on. It’s like NFL teams that want to have Mike Vick on their roster becuase he’s so talented. You can’t forget everyhting else when you are making a commitment to a player and trying to build a winner. Time to move forward folks.

RS

July 19th, 2010
9:57 am

Grossman and Kovalchuk have always been a nightmare to deal with. It IS kind of nice that it doesn’t involve the Thrashers any more, and this coming from a big Kovalchuk fan.

The Joker

July 19th, 2010
9:58 am

What do you call a confused Russian hockey player?

A Jay Grossman client!

Flames

July 19th, 2010
9:59 am

Patients my friends, patients. Russian-Thanks for the information on Kovy. He will sign with the Kings soon enough. That will start the signing process for all UFA. The teams is trying to sign the RFA now. I also agree with Russian about Duds putting together a Work Horse team. Duds will get another player or two by UFA/Trade.

The Joker

July 19th, 2010
10:00 am

What do you call a Jay Grossman client?

Misguided.

The Joker

July 19th, 2010
10:03 am

How can you tell when Jay Grossman is lying?

He’s making twitter posts.

J.B.

July 19th, 2010
10:08 am

I hope Flames continues his record of posting good inside information about the team. As good as we look, i definitely think we need another player or two to boost scoring potential.

Monkey

July 19th, 2010
10:35 am

I’ll take 2-3 working class guys VS having one overpaid, selfish Russian.

Sorry Kovy, the love has faded.

Putting On The Foil

July 19th, 2010
10:36 am

The only way Kovy can save face is by firing Grossman, accepting less money, and saying Grossman was behind the greed. WBF- As far as the correlation between Kovy and Vick. I have to disagree with Vick being so talented. Running around like a chicken with your head cut off toting a loaf of bread is not what I consider talented. But I get your drift.

Jeff97

July 19th, 2010
10:39 am

Looks like Kovy is holding up almost everyone. Do you think he tries to pull a Lebron James and announce his decision? In his case it should be called “The Indecision”…

I heard Patrick Sharp is available…could the Thrashers make it 5 former ‘Hawks for next year?

What would you give up for Sharp? a first rounder next year? A seconder round pk and throw in Todd White? (please throw him into any trade)

Jack

July 19th, 2010
10:41 am

I would be very happy if Kchoke is at least 3,000 miles away.If I remember corrctly after we traded Mr. Antidefense, we started playing much better. Maybe because we had players that would play some sort of defense versus trying to skate crazy 8s in the offensive zone. Yes, our power play suffered, but I thing we are much better off without Kchoke. Besides how many playoff games has played in and actually won( I think just 1 out of 9). In my view devils would of gone farther in playoffs without him.

So Dudley sign those RA and maybe another UFA.

R. Stroz

July 19th, 2010
10:41 am

Someone should ask the merchandising manager at Dick’s Sporting Goods where Kovy is going to sign.

They seem to have an inside tract.

The Smooth Spark

July 19th, 2010
10:47 am

Flames – I hear ya man. Things will start to happen eventually. I think GMs are using the waiting game to gain more leverage at this point. You know, see who becomes the most desperate and willing to come down in price. But I still don’t really understand how the Kovy drama is dictating what else happens in the marketplace. His situation is unique and by all accounts, affects only 2 teams in the market. One of which is already facing huge cap issues (NJ) should they ink the Russian primadonna. I personally think Afinogenov’s situation last summer is affecting the market more than Kovalchuk. GMs see that as an example of how you can get great value by waiting till later in the summer when prices go down. Throw in the fact that the market is a bit oversaturated for mediocre talent, and voila! You’ve got a buyer’s market…not a good time to be a free-agent forward or overaged goalie!

The Smooth Spark

July 19th, 2010
10:49 am

Jack – LOL at Crazy 8’s!! Perhaps Kovy’s new number in LA should be 88.

Badger Bob

July 19th, 2010
10:56 am

Jeff97, if the price for Buff was 1st or 2nd rounder and good prospect (Morin), then Sharp’s price is higher, which makes it too hihg in my book. There are other teams with pending cap issues (Phil, Bos, NJ perhaps) and UFAs that will still shake up the landscape, and Duds is wise to wait for those opportunities.

NHL UFA Pool

July 19th, 2010
11:06 am

We are on vacation this week. Please try back later.

Thrasher_Ed

July 19th, 2010
11:09 am

Ok, so who can give me a good post Prospect Campo report. How did Cormier and the draft picks look. Can Klingberg help us this year?

The Smooth Spark

July 19th, 2010
11:13 am

From Jay Grossman: Ilya Kovalchuk will make his decision today (for sure, this time!).

Cue the band and the press corps!!

Strict Father

July 19th, 2010
11:20 am

How many times do I have to tell you children??? No GM is going to offer any “scorer” anything until Mr. Kovalchuk signs. One more peep out of any one of you guys will feel the back of my hand!! Understood?

The Joker

July 19th, 2010
11:25 am

Will Kovy or Grossman be the Court Jester for the Kings?

Will Kovy bankrupt the kingdom?

Will Kovy be wearing his kilt when he signs?

Tom Lysiak

July 19th, 2010
11:25 am

I am continually amazed at the people who want Kovy to come back here. Have you not paid attention to the clearance sale the Blackhawks have been forced into, mainly because of two huge contracts (Campbell and Hossa)? Have you not seen the teams running AWAY from Kovy and his ridiculous contract demands? Have you not seen that teams are staring the cap head-on and trying to find that right combination of players/contracts? It does not work well if you are hamstrung by one or more massive contracts that tie up a huge percentage of your budget. Every team could use 40-50 more goals. Most just can’t afford them from one player any more, unless you could balance it out with a few $40,000 per year skaters (can’t happen). The GM’s are now figuring out the “cap era” and that’s why supposedly only two teams are interested in Kovy.

The Smooth Spark

July 19th, 2010
11:27 am

Thrasher_Ed – While Klingberg definitely shows potential and will very likely be a NHL’er very soon, I doubt it will happen this season. He’s still a bit raw and another year of seasoning in SWE will help. Cormier is a hockey player’s hockey player. Does everything well, but nothing outstanding. I saw both the Sat and Tues scrimmages and he was equally impressive in both. On Tues he made a couple of slick feeds from near or behind the net but his linemates were either not ready for it or fanned on the point blank chance. Patrice knows how to play the game and I could see him making the team out of camp. As for Burmie, the potential for him to be a star is obvious. But until he bulks up — hate to sound like Capt Obvious here — he won’t be as effective as he’ll need to be. I think one more year of playing in the “O” along with intense strength training plus a more regimented eating plan and he’ll be our 2nd line C on Opening Night come October 10, 2011.

First to get called up from CHI (if not Cormier): Postma. His offensive talents are remarkable and his puck-moving skills are outstanding. He still needs quite a bit of work on his defensive game, but should get a look as an emergency short-term call-up.

Sleepers: Danick Paquette (could be the next Eric Boulton as his sandpaper quotient is high and his skill is catching up to his motor), John Albert (good speed, strong on the puck and great vision / passing), Jordan Samuels (needs at least 2 years more college but his instincts are very good; also very under-rated with the puck as he shields it well and hard to knock off of it), Bubnick (possesses very good speed and his aggresiveness is as good as any), Chiarot (kid is developing well ahead of schedule and shows a real nose for getting to the net on the rush as well as the ability to finish).

sisu

July 19th, 2010
11:43 am

Kovy is gone and that is okay by me. I liked him when he was here…
As to the team and other FA it seems everyone is focusing on the next agreement between the NHL and NHLPA. Due to this there are more 1 and 2 year deals than ever. Also, remember, there are teams that over the cap and will need to discard quality players yet…

The Smooth Spark

July 19th, 2010
11:49 am

The Devils official website (at least that’s what it looks like on twitter) is reporting that Kovy is going back to the Devils. Hmmm…

Dmitri Chesnokov re-tweeted it but no one has confirmed. I remain skeptical until something becomes official.

If he returns to NJ, I’ll be stunned! Unless it’s a short-term deal.

Hockey Biltong

July 19th, 2010
11:51 am

I saw camp on Tuesday and saw a lot in Bubnick and Chiarot.Postma looked good as did the kid who is opting to go back to OSU, Melichori[sp].
Not Melancholy play at all.
Strcit Father said it best. Wait till the signing[of IK],then pick some ripe fruit from Boston,Chi,etc….

Alan R.

July 19th, 2010
11:55 am

Well, Kovalchuk is staying in Newark. Depending on the terms, this may open up a new salary cap problem team.

The offseason just got interesting again.

World Be Free

July 19th, 2010
11:55 am

Putting on the Foil-Vick’s flashy play gives the perception of talent. QBs need to stay in the pocket and through the ball.

The Joker

July 19th, 2010
11:55 am

Who’s the real devil, Kovy or Grossman?

rob

July 19th, 2010
11:56 am

Thanks for that insight on the projects. I hadn’t seen much about it but that puts it into perspective a little better.

R. Stroz

July 19th, 2010
12:00 pm

Sweet Lou better get ready for some offer sheets next season.

World Be Free

July 19th, 2010
12:03 pm

Sharp will cost too much-I think the Black Hawks have lost their sense of humor when it comes to selling off talent. They will want alot for Sharp and they should get it. If I were the Hawks I would focus more on getting rid of Campbell, give a team a draft pick with him to rid themselves of Soupie’s contract and ask for nothing in return. Pay someone to take him. Getting rid of Campbell’s salary means more to Chicago right now than getting anything back. Sounds crazy, but think about it. They are sunk if they lose Sharp too.

Sign Max and/or maybe secure some veteran depth on defense. Morrisson is still out there but he may cost too much. Maybe opt for a more for a depth guy like Jay McKee.

Tale of Woe

July 19th, 2010
12:10 pm

Going back to the Devils….Ha – NJ is a great place to live…

World Be Free

July 19th, 2010
12:10 pm

Smoothie-Eklund is saying the same thing about Kovy to NJ.