Kovalchuk, Halak and Coaching News from the Toronto Sun

Atlanta Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk is looking to hit a home run with his next contract and maybe shoot for the NHL maximum of $11.36 million a season.

Why not? Aim high. That’s 20 per cent of the current salary cap of approximately $56.7 million a team, the maximum allowed for an individual player.

You can debate what Kovalchuk, set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, is worth.

But you can’t blame him for asking for as much as he can get, especially with rumblings a severe alteration to the maximum salary rule could be coming in the next CBA.

Some league insiders would like to see the individual cap slashed to a hard figure of, say, $6 million. The players would still get their fixed percentage of hockey-related revenues (about 57 per cent), they would just be distributed differently among the membership.

The big advantage for the teams, of course, is having a hard individual cap would allow them to keep more of their best players.

Stay tuned.

THE BUZZ: Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak has asked to be traded and he’s doing a pretty good job of upping his market value. He is 3-0 on the Habs’ current road trip, stopping 133 of 137 shots. His save percentage is up to .922 and his goals-against average down to 2.56, both better numbers than those owned by Carey Price …With nine players out the other night, the Detroit Red Wings haven’t scored a goal in 141 minutes, a stetch that includes being shut out twice by the Chicago Blackhawks. Their power play is 0-for-19 in the last six games. Some good news: Valtteri Filppula is expected back tonight against Columbus … Speaking of the ’Hawks, that game against Detroit was one of 19 back-to-back situations they have this year, the most in the league. Chicago is now 6-0-2 on the back half this season; 2-5-1 on the front end. Go figure.

SPECULATIONS: Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff will be an assistant coach with Canada’s Olympic team. Canada plays the U.S. in the Olympic preliminary round, so will Ruff have a tip on beating Ryan Miller, his goaltender with the Sabres and the likely starter for the Americans? “I don’t think there is right now,” Ruff said. “If there was, other teams would have it already. He’s just been solid. His reading of the game and reading plays in the game is just real good right now. He doesn’t have any holes.” … Minnesota G Niklas Backstrom is still adjusting to new equipment after losing his gear in that fire in Ottawa last week. He’s sporting a new, bigger chest protector. How big? “Hey, when did we trade for Giguere?‘ asked his teammates.


30 Responses to Kovalchuk, Halak and Coaching News from the Toronto Sun

  1. Kramer says:

    Super job by Latvia for keeping Canada under 20 goals. They proved they deserve to be invited to big tournaments.

  2. number15 says:

    The only way Kovalchuk gets 11.5 million is from the Thrashers who would be desperate to keep him or the KHL which would be a huge hit to the NHL.

    – Thrashers dont wanna pay him that much but i think they would offer something near there cause they r desperate to keep him there. They could lose the franchise in Atlanta if they dont. he is the face of the organisation……. is it over paying? yes, but Atlanta might break the bank on this one

    – KHL, never had a star as big as Kovalchuk before and he is Russian too. This might create a snowball effect if he is successfull there. u might see many more follow his way later, bad news for NHL. the KHL might not be just an alternative league much longer with Illya Kovalchuk there.


    *** I say Detroit, Chicago or Philly "should" go after Halak big time. maybe even over pay in a weak goalie market. This could change their seasons. Philly would be a playoff team with Halak. Chaicago would be more secure. and Detroit might a top level team again

  3. broc says:

    Did anyone else see Halaks comments after the game, when asked about his situation in MTL?

    He came off as really classy and cool as a cu*****ber… he reminded me of Georges St Pierre when he said he was happy with his "performance", lol.

    Anyway he definitely seems like he is totally a team guy and understands it's not easy for himself and Price, stating they are both young and both want to play. I really thought a lot of Halak after that interview.

    Anyway, he is one of the hottest goalies in the league right now IMO. His stock is very high…

  4. leafmeister says:

    Wow. Im pretty sure it would have been safe to stop scoring after 12, but I guess 16-0 just looks better. I wont judge the Juniors until they face another top team like Sweden, but there is no reason why this team wont win gold.

    Gabriel Bourque was insane.

    Kadri looked great, 2 goals and a 10 minute penalty. Nice. He plays with a lot of intensity which should make him a favorite of Burke and Wilson in the future.

  5. cam7777 says:

    So we have team Sweden:

    D.Sedin / H.Sedin / Holmstrom
    Zetterberg / Backstrom / Hornqvist
    Eriksson / Pahlsson / Alfredsson
    F.Modin / Forsberg / Weinhandl

    Lidstrom / Kronwall
    Enstrom / Oduya
    Ohlund / Murray
    Tallinder / Johansson

    Lundqvist / Gustavsson

    And team Russia:

    Ovechkin / Malkin / Semin
    Kovalchuk / Datsyuk / Radulov
    Kozlov / Fedorov / Afinogenov
    Zaripov / Zinoviev / Morozov

    Gonchar / Markov
    Tyutin / Volchenkov
    Grebeshkov / Kalinin
    Nikulin / Korneyev

    Bryzgalov / Nabokov

    Looks like some pretty stiff competition from these two.  Anyone you guys think the committees left out?  Obviously Kovalev is a bit of a shock…

  6. leafmeister says:

    Team Russia looks amazing. Those 1st two lines are as good as any Canada could ice.

    Good to see Gustovsson made Team Sweden.

  7. KingCanada says:

    With Sweden Im surprised they didnt select Edler or Huselius.  They were having very good seasons.  Edler is 2nd overall in the NHL in points by a Swedish defenceman and Huselius is tied for 7th.

    With Russia there really just Kovalev as a surprise.  Some people might say Frolov might of deserved a spot but I dont think he is a very good 2 way player.  Plus the Russian GM said half his team would be KHL anyways.

  8. cam7777 says:

    Yea, what a joke that comment was.  Outside of Radulov, there isn't a significant KHL player in the bunch.  You could make an argument for Fedorov, but who are we kidding, he is an NHL player – he's only over there because of his age and salary demands.  I'm sure that Frolov and Kulemin could fill in for a couple of those bottom feeding KHL'ers, but the Russians are trying to support their own league. 

    I'm kinda shocked Modin is there for Sweden.  I'm curious to see who will replace him if he's injured, which he usually is.  You would have to think Huselius would get his chance, but I wouldnt be surprized if Naslund is next on the list. 

  9. pezzz123 says:

    Zijnoviev and Morozov are both excellent players, and would be top 6 forwards on a lot of teams in the NHL. They deserve to be there.

  10. pezzz123 says:

    Team Sweden is scary good.

  11. cam7777 says:

    I'm sure they're fine, but I'm also sure they could have used all NHL talent and not noticed a difference in overall team quality (if not a mild improvement).  It's not as though he is putting KHL talent on anything but the 4th line, and the 5th-8th defensemen – not exactly a stunning example of KHL talent regardless….

  12. TimTheBone says:

    Do you people really not remember Morozov…???….. yeah sure he's starting to get on in years but he's been consistently called the best player outside of the NHL…. and how is it that noe one recalls the line of Kovalev Morozov and Lemieux in pittsburgh a few years back… talk about DOMINANCE!!!…. it was like the Heatley alfreddson spezza line a couple years ago…

  13. TimTheBone says:

    Sweden will be good…. but will have lots of trouble against the big two….. Canada Russia… Sweden's depth doesnt go as far as either team…. sure they will compete and most likely dominate who ever else they come up against… but the depth just doesnt cut it like Canada and russia

  14. TimTheBone says:

    To Montreal:

    Ville Leino
    Brett Lebda
    4th round pick 2011

    To Detroit:

    Jaroslav Halak
    Sergei Kostitsyn
    Paul Mara
    conditional 1st round pick 2010

  15. TimTheBone says:

    To Montreal:

    Ville Leino
    Brett Lebda
    4th round pick 2011

    To Detroit:

    Jaroslav Halak
    Sergei Kostitsyn
    Paul Mara
    conditional 1st round pick 2010

  16. cam7777 says:

    I'm sure it had nothing to do with Lemieux, the second greatest player to ever play the game.  Again though, I wasn't insulting Morozov or any of the KHL entries, I'm just saying, the Russians tried to make it sound like the team would be 50/50 with KHL talent, and that simply isn't the case.  The KHL guys, aside from Radulov, are going to be relegated to 4th line roles and 5th-8th defensive roles…

  17. cam7777 says:

    That is a horrible deal for Montreal.  Leino and Sergei are on about the same scoring pace (actually, Sergei is doing better at 0.235 ppg vs. Leino's 0.171 ppg).  Now, Leino is probably still the better player, despite his struggles, but not so much better that you have to throw in halak, mara and a 1st.  Lebda is worthless – he will be available on july 1st, and gainey has proven he can turn bums like chipchura into a 4th.

  18. KingCanada says:

    Are u kidding??

    Even without the draft picks its still so lopsided in Detroit's favour!

  19. KingCanada says:

    Actually Morozov is probably better then Radulov.  They have near even stats if not Morozov has better stats in fact.  I cant blame him for going back to Russia however.  If someone doesnt care about which league he plays in and only cares about $$ then KHL it is lol.

    Im sure Morozov makes 2 to 3 times more money over there and doesnt nearly have to work as hard haha.

    If Sweden needs a forward replacement do u guys think Samuelsson just **expletive** his chances there?? haha

  20. cam7777 says:

    I think so.  I think there's a chance Franzen will be healthy by then.  Naslund is probably on the radar also. 

  21. KingCanada says:

    Yea he should of just shut his mouth for real…I can understand being mad since the likes of Weinhandl and Hornqvist were picked over him but still.

    With Franzen potentially being back, Naslund still keeping fit playing in Sweden and even Huselius available…he really screwed any chance at all of being put on that team.

  22. TimTheBone says:

    i understand your point on the 50/50 BS.. but thats not what i was getting at….. Morozov in the NHL is a top line player…. Legit…. his skill cannot be overlooked… that being said he most likely will see time on the fourth/third lines only for the simple fact that russia has disgusting talent up front

  23. TimTheBone says:

    hahahah … i was just testing the waters…. this website is really funny…. people flip flop so often on opinions is insane…. now im not saying it was you cause i honestly forget… but before Sergei was called up and halak was playing insanely…. someone had thrown out the idea of

    Leino    —–      Halak and 1st

    now like i said i forget who it was but they said….. " no *****ing way you get leino for halak and a 1st, hes worth way more than that"…… so i wanted to see if they thought this was more to their liking…. obviously not… i personally thought halak and a 1st was a good deal for leino… NOW with halaks stock up who knows what gainey could pull for him….

    but i just wanted to straighten that out…… and the mara thing is purely to relieve cap space and dump a d-man since we have 8 NHL d-men….. lebda would be buried in the minors…. my original idea was ledba or meech…. its posted somewhere i think…

  24. KingCanada says:

    I read most threads and I never seen that one… (not saying it wasnt written…just saying lol)

    But I remember suggesting:

    to Detroit: Halak
    to Montreal: Leino and a 1st or 2nd rounder (cant remember)

    Anyways thats about fair with the way Halak is playing right now…There is even arguments that both Halak and Price have equal value and that its not even set in stone that Halak should be the goalie thats traded.

  25. TimTheBone says:

    trust me it was written haha .. i was in school talking to a friend about it… i never read your suggestion though! haha…. sounds good tho i liek it….

    also as long as gainey is in the head office Price will not get the boot…. as well i think he shouldnt… even with halak playing great…. so has price… and Price in my mind is going to be a better goaltender… He's just not as focused at the moment as halak… he's also younger and hasnt matured like halak has… Price WILL win a stanley cup at some point in his career… i just hope its with montreal he does it….

    and Halak is being outplayed tonight against ottawa as we speak…. Leclaire is playing possesed……

    If Philly is seriously shopping Carter i would make a push for him too…. see what it might take to pry him to MTL

  26. TimTheBone says:

    im editing my Canada line-up,….. I want to see

    Iginla Crosby Nash
    Marleau Thornton Heatley
    Perry Getzlaf Penner/Carter/Stamkos
    Doan Richards Fisher

    Neids Pronger
    Weber Bouwmeester
    Keith Seabrook

    Brodeur Luongo

  27. KingCanada says:

    Lol well for a MTL ur original trade should of been lopsided the other way 😛

    Carter would cost alot tho…

    Probably along the lines of..

    Andrei Kostitsyn, PK Subban / Louis Leblanc, 1st / 2nd rounder

  28. KingCanada says:

    Actually wow take that last one back…lol trading with Phily would have to include Halak haha.

    To MTL: Jeff Carter
    To PHI: Jaro Halak, Andrei Kostitsyn, 2nd / 3rd rounder

  29. TimTheBone says:

    yeah and PK is a guy that will not be traded until he's at least given a few NHL games… i'd much rather give him a chance on our blue-line than trade him before hes even got a game…..

    i think i might do a trade like that…. although i dont know if andrei would have to be included… but if thats what we need to give up why not!…. when you look at who came after Andrei in that years draft .,… it makes me cry as a HABS fan….. CARTER — Dustin Brown —-Brent Seabrook —Robert Nilson —- Zach Parise — Ryan Getzlaf —- Brent Burns — Mike Richards —- Corey Perry………….. Those are all notable first round draft picks taken AFTER Andrei Kostitsyn……

    again… i cry

  30. kilter says:

    the KHL is no threat to the NHL,even if kovelchuk goes there who cares,i could,nt care less if every russian went there,there so much talent coming up in Canada and other nations that its crazy,lets see now the NHL did pretty good without russians for 80 yrs or so,i think will survive just fine,russians are just *****in greedy and don,t care about the cup or thier legacy they leave behind,any true hockey player will stay in the nhl if given the choice,its first class all the way,i bet anything,that no amount of money could pry Crosby to the KHL but Ovie would go in a second,there both gonna be rich beyond there wildest dreams but who will be remembered and say what you will that matters!

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