Archive for August, 2010

Kovalchuk contract controversy continues

As I’m sure you have all heard by now, the NHL’s decision to reject Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year contract with the New Jersey Devils was upheld by the arbitrator.

In short, it was determined that the structure of the deal clearly was an attempt to circumvent the current salary cap as defined by the CBA given that the contract would have paid Kovy $95 million over the first ten years while only saddling the Devils with a $6 million cap hit per season.

As for the decision itself, while I was surprised the arbitrator sided completely with the NHL, I can’t say I disagree with his decision. To me it’s pretty much clear that the two parties were trying to bend the rules via creative accounting and eventually you have to start enforcing the rules.

But wasn’t the same thing happening with the contracts signed between Marian Hossa and the Chicago Blackhawks…and for that matter Chris Pronger’s with the Flyers? There is certainly an argument that can be made to that point. But since this one …

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Which ex-Thrasher do you find yourself missing most?

With any stroke of luck, the hockey gods will smile upon us sometime early this week and we’ll hear news of whatever decision the arbitrator has made in the Kovalchuk contract saga. Personally, I’ve been over his departure for some time now and I think this latest “As The Kovalchuk Turns” drama has long since jumped the shark.

And while I also believe that more and more Thrashervillians have come to say to themselves that Kovalchuk’s departure is The Best This That Ever Happened To Me, I Can’t Fight This Feeling that there are still a few of you that still more than a handful of fans still suffer from a sort of jilted lover syndrome when it comes to number 17. You know…loved him and told him You Are Everything while he was a Thrasher…then, through the bitter breakup period of last winter, many seemingly sang to him Don’t Give Up On Us and If You Leave Me Now you’ll take a way the biggest part of our offense. And once he ultimately took off for New Jersey, some among us felt …

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As Afinogenov takes off overseas we return focus to another Russian

Happy Friday everyone… I hope you all have something good on the agenda this weekend. It should prove to be an interesting one, what with all the rumors swirling around about a couple of Russian players and their contract situations.

Yes, now that we’re hearing Maxim Afinogenov will not return to the Thrashers lineup…instead signing with SKA St. Petersburg for 5 seasons…we can return our focus on another Russian player’s contract status. Indeed hockey sites around the blogosphere have just been abuzz lately with chatter and speculation about this story… and I, for one, am just all a-quiver in anticipation of the official announcement.

But the wait may soon be over as rumors lead us to believe we’ll soon find out for sure whether or not Andrei Zubarev will be joining the Thrashers organ-I-zation. According to this report from Russia, he’s signed a 2-year deal and will be heading to North America.

This blog’s official Russian language translater, “Russian”, translated the story …

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Kane and Bergfors will try avoid Sophomore Slump Syndrome

We’ve all seen it, heard of it and read of it before…the infamous sophomore slump. A rookie comes into the NHL and plays at or above expectations only to see his performance take a step backwards the very next year. It happens in every sport, pros and collegiate.

What’s the cause of Sophomore Slump Syndrome?

Some may say it’s the simple law of averages at work as stats move up and down from season to season. So it’s only natural some will experience one of those downturns in year number two. Some argue it’s due to the league catching on to the tendencies of a young player, causing him to adjust his game. Maybe it’s a matter of motivation.

Others may cite that it’s a matter of differing roles on the team… diminished minutes on the power play, changes in line formations. Others still see it simply as a cerebral issue…a young athlete who has achieved his dream of playing at the highest level of his sport is now coping with the reality that he must continue to progress if he is to …

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Thrasherville experiences White flight in deal with Rangers

Sunday night I was out in Suwanee attending a surprise birthday party for an old high school buddy of mine. We were at the Mellow Mushroom located near City Hall…and if you’re ever there ask for Jill. She runs the place, was also in our graduating class and an all-around great gal.

Anyway…needless to say I got in a little late. Because of that, I had planned on sleeping in just a little this morning before heading into work.

But NOooooOOOOOoooooOOOOOooooo…

At 6:30 A-frickin’-M my phone lights up like the goal light behind Kari Lehtonen during that game-three playoff massacre back in ’07. I grabbed it and through my blurry eyes I thought I read a text message that went something like “Todd White traded to the Rangers”. I rubbed my eyes, reached for my glasses…yes, glasses. Wanna make something of it?…then I looked again.

But the clarity that comes with my prescription spectacles only confirmed what I had originally read. Indeed it was true…Thrasherville was experiencing White …

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