Kovalchuk SIGNS…in RUSSIA! **UPDATE***

Eklund is reporting that Kovalchuk informed the Atlanta Thrashers today that he had signed with a Russian team and that there was NO OUT clause. That means he cant play in in the NHL this year.

If this news gets confirmed then thats a huge hit to the Thrashers and the league as a whole losing your most exciting young player.

To read the UPDATE, click Read Moremikster:

I have to counter Eklund’s reports because he is absolutely wrong. On the contrary, Ilya Kovalchuk had an interview with Sports Express on September 6th where he stated the following:

How long are you going to play in Khimik?

Kovalchuk: I can’t really say. If some time I receive a phone call from my agent saying that some team in the NHL is offering me an adequate contract, then I’d go.

What do you mean “adequate contract”?

I. Kovalchuk: I wouldn’t like to name any numbers.

Unless something is new in Kovalchuk’s contract with Khimik, if there was an No Out clause then Kovlachuk would not be awaiting on his agent to inform him of any offers from the NHL.

Again, it may be something new, but Kovalchuk signed with Khimik last week. I will follow this story to see if there are any updates on this report.

Pavel Dastyuk may re-think about staying in Russia as there are complications with agreements between Dynamo and Avangrad due to the new rules of the Professional Hockey League. Datsyuk may re-sign with Detroit this weekend or early next week.


82 Responses to Kovalchuk SIGNS…in RUSSIA! **UPDATE***

  1. AHLoldie says:

    He’s not too shy/timid, he’s a Russian! They are raised and drilled to play that way. He’s a mirror image of Alexi Morozov. I’ve seen Datsyuk play many times. I’ve been watching hockey since 1950. Europeans are used to playing on wider rinks and they play differently. Like I’ve said on different postings, Morozov is the better player, but you haven’t watched him. He’s also a head case. He won’t be missed by the pens and Datsyuk won’t be missed either. If he is missed, that doesn’t say much for the Wings team.

  2. OldGoalie says:

    I don’t argue one of your points…expansion was a mistake (at least when taken to the extreme that it was by the NHL last time around). But then again, if we say “undo the expansion,” the Ottawa Senators go away, as do the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

    There’s a distinction to be made among many of the markets we’re talking about, however…and perhaps I wasn’t as clear on this as I could’ve been in my original post. There are some markets that I don’t know will be able to support a hockey team long term, no matter how they do on the ice. Nashville…Atlanta…Carolina…those teams spring to mind, because I tend to think that hockey is perhaps more of a curiousity than anything else for most people there (although they may prove me wrong eventually). But then you have cities like Pittsburgh…which are a little different because NHL hockey has survived here for nearly 40 years (during which time franchises in Winnipeg and Quebec have come and gone). I think I speak for most Pens fans when I say that I will go out and see a competitive team (I have a partial season ticket plan for this year, in fact, precisely for that reason). But I absolutely will not pay part of my salary out to go watch the Pens do nothing more than develop talent for the Leafs, Rangers, Flyers, and so on to buy a year or two down the road. Quite frankly, we’re sick of being the big market teams’ minor league system, merely because they have more residents and therefore more advertising dollars at their disposal.

    As for the $39 million number being too restrictive, don’t forget to thank the players (at least partially) for that. They had an offer of a $42 million cap on the table this spring, and they decided that it wasn’t good enough.

    Finally…why would you move teams to Quebec and Winnipeg? They couldn’t sustain teams when they had them…if your whole argument is that cities without the ability to support teams shouldn’t have them, cities that have already failed should absolutely not receive any consideration whatsoever. Or is your argument really “hockey is a Canadian game and Canada should have the teams, no matter what…”?

  3. TheHead says:

    I need more rumors! i wish that they could get posted quicker! so we would have more to read! POST MORE RUMORS HTR! PLEASE EVEN SOME THAT ARE RIDICULOUS! WHO CARES JUST POST THEM!

  4. TheHead says:

    I need more rumors! i wish that they could get posted quicker! so we would have more to read! POST MORE RUMORS HTR! PLEASE EVEN SOME THAT ARE RIDICULOUS! WHO CARES JUST POST THEM!

  5. AHLoldie says:

    It has been strongly rumored that the Wingas will re-sign Gordie Howe. When questioned, Howe said “When I put on that red sweater, I’ll make the fans forget those ruskies”.

  6. Maximus says:

    He is not going anywhere….He will be an Atlanta thraser when the year begins.

  7. secks says:

    he is shy and timid .. ive met him on several occasions .. and it transpires onto the ice .. did you see him in the all star game a couple years back? didn’t think so, he was hiding behind the bench .. and yes, he will be missed, he’s an exciting player to watch .. very very clever .. 1 on 1 he is tough to stop .. ask adam foote ..

  8. another_leaf_fan says:

    Winnipeg lost there team because there mayor refused to build a new arena..now they have built the new arena even though they dont have a N.H.L. team..they were also forced to sell with there team in place that way the owners could make a huge profit due to the fact the team was loaded with talent(they were scared of the salaries getting out of hand in the future)..every time i went to winnipeg to watch a game it was packed..there old mayor dropped the ball and screwed up..now she is out the new arena is in place and the fans have never left..they are still selling jets jersey’s..a hell of allot more than coyote jersey’s

  9. Habfanforever says:

    lol you got to be kidding

  10. FlyersFanForever says:

    What size bowl did you use for your haircut?

  11. another_leaf_fan says:

    Hate to say it but right on..lol..let them go home and stay there if thats what they want..there are to many teams now and with less talent willing to come over and play this will cause the teams with little fan support to close shop..less teams loaded with better players ..too bad we have to wait till the league is totally made a joke of..

  12. AHLoldie says:

    Now you can add the Finns to the list. It has been revealed that Jokinen has given notice that he will play in Europe if he isn’t maxed. The European players have no regard for a salary cap. They don’t care if the system fails. They only say “SHOW ME THE MONEY” They don’t care about a team structure. They are greedy! Let them all go!

  13. AHLoldie says:

    The league will not be “made a joke of” . I remember when the NHL had only one non Canadian player (Tommy Williams) playing for the Bruins. Everything was fine. I say “open the windows and let the stink out”

  14. Stevenw003 says:

    It’s retards like you that give a bad name to leaf fans. I like the leafs, but I can clearly see that this will not happen for quite a few different reasons…

    1. Thrashers do not wish to increase their payroll.
    With Kovalchuk demanding around 6 million, they could sign him as well as another decent player. Sundin would do nothing but increase their payroll because I believe his salary is 6.8mil(?).

    2. This is not even a fair trade.
    Sure Sundin and Kovalchuk may have the same skill level, but Kovalchuk has more years and more potential then Sundin. Thrashers would not do this.

    3. Leafs will never trade Sundin.

    If Sundin were traded it would cause an uproar amongst Leaf fans, even if they got a star such as Kovalchuk. Sundin has the ability to deal with all the press he receives, as well as the pressure that is put on him year in and year out. Sundin also has a no-trade clause in his contract.

    There are probably more reasons that people can add to. If you are a fan of a team, you can’t be biased and put the value of your team’s players for more then what they are.

  15. Stevenw003 says:

    It’s retards like you that give a bad name to leaf fans. I like the leafs, but I can clearly see that this will not happen for quite a few different reasons…

    1. Thrashers do not wish to increase their payroll.
    With Kovalchuk demanding around 6 million, they could sign him as well as another decent player. Sundin would do nothing but increase their payroll because I believe his salary is 6.8mil(?).

    2. This is not even a fair trade.
    Sure Sundin and Kovalchuk may have the same skill level, but Kovalchuk has more years and more potential then Sundin. Thrashers would not do this.

    3. Leafs will never trade Sundin.

    If Sundin were traded it would cause an uproar amongst Leaf fans, even if they got a star such as Kovalchuk. Sundin has the ability to deal with all the press he receives, as well as the pressure that is put on him year in and year out. Sundin also has a no-trade clause in his contract.

    There are probably more reasons that people can add to. If you are a fan of a team, you can’t be biased and put the value of your team’s players for more then what they are.

  16. 92-93 says:

    fine.

    agree to disagree. but you have to be more careful using the language that you use – especially when it comes to generalizing russians and north americans. geesh, is this a past-time on this HTR site or what. everyone has these thick, concrete thoughts on what a ‘typical russian’ would do, or a ‘typical leaf fan,’ or a ‘typically bad european captain’, etc.

    your argument flies until you hit the ‘russians-are-all-greedy’ part. if you cut that out of your argument, rework it a bit, then i can totally understand the NHL-GM’s perspective on things.

    north american players are not leaving for russia because this is a fairly new trend. if russian and european leagues become more lucrative and begin to play at the same skill level as the NHL you WILL see NHLers going over there for more money.

    Finally, and this is especially true after the new CBA, just because an NHL has drafted them does not mean that these players are obligated to play for the same team nor in the same league for the rest of their careers. please try and get over your North-American bias on this one.

  17. 92-93 says:

    um, nope. look at my response. how exactly did i get ‘pwned’? (markymark or whatever your name is, learn your keyboard – it is your friend, not your enemy). what exactly makes the response to my response a thing of ‘common sense’? the original post was still racist, still wrong, and still biased to the North American side – unlike mine. but that is just my opinion… BUT, at least i have one….

    if you are going to express your opinion (which you haven’t) why don’t you say what that is – i.e.: ‘I agree with so-and-so because, in my opinon … ‘

    i guess you don’t have one.

  18. 92-93 says:

    good for the russian players. good for russian hockey – finally they might have a chance to start up their own NHL over there.

    as for crosby and co. never going to the russian leagues. we will see won’t we? but you cannot say that they will not because they are good ol’ north american boys who are failthful to their continent and not to their chequebooks. your argument is so flawed its not even funny.

    they may actually end of playing for a russian team IF russian leagues begin to play NHL-calibre hockey and are as lucrative as the NHL. and sonny boy, there aint nothing unique to the north american bloodstream that will prevent them from sigining over there. why are we north american sports fans so selfish? why can’t these leagues overseas develop into qulaity leagues? the death of the NHL? i don’t think so. why are we so afraid of change and letting ‘those foreigners’ play in a league in front of their home audiences? we don’t own hockey. its international and it should be that way at the professional level too. get past your biases dude.

  19. 92-93 says:

    one word for you: BIGGOT.

    thats all i have to say. you should be banned for making racist generalizations about people based on their nationality. i am all for free speech but be responsible about it to.

  20. Freeze says:

    I think Quebec and Winnepeg need to evaluate what their markets will or will not support in light of the new salary cap. It looks feasible. You won’t see empty seats in those arenas like you see in most of the NHL cities in much of the southern USA. I wouldn’t mind seeing the big market team help out the small market team if the small market actually gave a damn about hockey.

  21. AHLoldie says:

    And you had the nerve to call me a BIGGOT! That just proves that your name (92-93 is really your IQ. The word is Bigot.

  22. charm says:

    rofl!! Look out for the grammar nazi!

  23. Bretzky says:

    Don’t worry! They have a 4.5 million dollar player in BOBBY HOLIK!!!

  24. OldGoalie says:

    You are aware that Pittsburgh has already sold more seats for 2005-06 than they did for all of 2003-04, right? It’s not that we don’t care about the sport here…it’s that we don’t care to be unable to compete with teams that have more money for reasons that don’t necessarily have anything to do with hockey.

    And that’s the real issue. Full or empty seats mean almost literally nothing. Like I said before…the “haves” are the teams with disproportinately high television and advertising revenue, and that doesn’t depend on attendance. Just ask Edmonton and Calgary…attendance is not a problem there, but they still can’t afford a $70 million plus payroll like Detroit has.

    The disparity is atually even worse for Canadian teams (where fans at least supposedly do give a damn about hockey) most of the time, because they take in most of their receipts in Canadian dollars, but most players insist that they pay out their salaries in U.S. dollars. While the effect of this is comparatively small right now, the U.S. dollar is historically much stronger on the world market than the Canadian dollar, and when you’re spending tens of millions of dollars, that creates a tangible difference in purchasing power. At the end of the day, a U.S. based team will generally be much more willing to pay out x number of U.S. dollars than a Canadian team will be. Since the NHL has never had a “par dollar” system that would minimize this effect, I am absolutely stunned that Canadian teams and fans aren’t dancing in the streets about the salary cap, because that at least reduces the number of times that this effect can be used to their advantage by the U.S. teams.

    I mean…think about it…the top 10 scorers in NHL history are: Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Gordie Howe, Ron Francis, Marcel Dionne, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux, Phil Esposito, Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey. Of those 10, all are Canadian-born, yet only Mark Messier played more seasons in Canada than he did in the U.S. Coffey played only 7 of his 21 seasons in Canada, and Gretzky played 9 seasons in Canada and 12 in the U.S. Ron Francis has played a grand total of 12 of his 1731 regular season games for a Canadian team. None of the other 6 (Howe, Lemieux, Dionne, Espo, Bourque and Yzerman) has ever played a single regular season or playoff game for a Canadian team. A Canadian team hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1993, and since 1990 Canadian teams have only even made it to the finals 4 times. Does all of that mean that Canada lacks the passion or dedication to the sport to attract the true top flight talents or to have successful teams? Of course not. But it does strongly suggest that the system has been unfair to Canadian teams, particularly lately.

    The playing field that is being evened out by the cap and the other provisions in the new CBA is supplemental income, not passion.

  25. 92-93 says:

    it actually wasn’t that hard to throw that very serious term in your direction (especially after reading all your posts for this thread). thanks for the spell check – i guess i was too angry to really worry about it. but i think you got the gist of my argument. and good comeback – i’m a bigot? well well, you’re a bad speller!’

    my IQ is fine and its funny you mentioned it because people who express the kind of generalizations about particular nationalities such as yourself tend to score very low on IQ tests.

    personal insults aside, all i am saying is be very very careful on how you put individuals down and make generalizations. there is another post concerning czerkawski and the Leafs in which someone generalizes Polish people and even makes a direct reference to a terrible historical event. like i said in that post – when you make such generalizations you reveal more about your IQ then you do others.

  26. 92-93 says:

    obviously you are pretty set in your ways.

    nostalgic.

    reactionary.

    bigot.

    you’ve been watching too many don cherry rants (by the way i do like watching him because at least he know hockey – just lets his prejudices get in the way too many times).

    what you are looking for is a ‘purely’ north american game. there is no such thing. the days you speak of are long gone and even then the game was never ‘pure.’

    “I remember when …”

    “give me old time hockey …”

    grow up and get with the times. quit wasting my time and that’s the last time i have discussions with narrow-minded people like you.

  27. Freeze says:

    I think maybe Sidney Crosby had something to do with the increased ticket sales in Pittsburgh.

    The original 6 did just fine before expansion.

  28. detY192003 says:

    thats wrong

  29. another_leaf_fan says:

    ya but they will drag it out…trying to keep as many teams as they can befor they realize what they have to do…and between that time and now it will be a joke..thats what i was getting at..

  30. Freeze says:

    “You are aware that Pittsburgh has already sold more seats for 2005-06 than they did for all of 2003-04, right? It’s not that we don’t care about the sport here…it’s that we don’t care to be unable to compete with teams that have more money for reasons that don’t necessarily have anything to do with hockey.”

    Come on. Pittsburgh sold more seats this year, not so much because of the CBA, but because of Sidney Crosby. You got lucky.

    When Pittsburgh had a powerhouse in the early 90’s, those fans didn’t give a crap how much Lemieux and Steven and Mullen and Francis made. They were interested in good hockey, not team finances. How is it Pittsburgh could survive then, but not recently? Does lack of talent and a lousy product have anything to do with it? How is it that small market Calgary can compete, but Pittsburgh can’t?

    I think you may be over-estimating the impact of the CBA on season ticket sales in Pittsburgh.

    There have ALWAYS been fewer Canadian teams than USA teams in the NHL. The Original Six had 2 Canadian teams out of 6 . Today, we have 6 Canadian teams out of 30 NHL teams. The odds are that most Canadian players will end up with a USA team. I’m sure the strong American dollar and stronger economy has a lot to do with it.

    The downfall in your thinking is you don’t make an association between empty seats and low advertising $$$. Would you pay to advertise on TV if you knew NO ONE IS WATCHING? I wouldn’t. To say that fans won’t watch because of economic factors is bunk. They watch in Ottawa and Calgary and Edmonton where supposedly these fans have to battle not only the “small market syndrome” but also the weak Canadian dollar.

    Go watch the Steelers!!

  31. AHLoldie says:

    Freeze…we’re going round and round. I agree that the original 6 did fine. I followed the AHL at that time. BUT…the original 6 couldn’t pay the existing salaries. There wouldn’t be the revenue in Detroit and Chicago etc. to generate the MONEY needed. You’re an isolationist. Face it. Hockey has fixed their problem. If baseball would only follow their example, they could save their game too. Remember…when the NFL went to the cap, there were protests too from the big market teams. Dallas was then known as America’s team. They aren’t anymore. There is no America’s team. Everybody has a shot.

  32. OldGoalie says:

    I don’t have to watch the Steelers. Welcome to reality…the new CBA is here, and teams like Pittsburgh can actually be competitive again. We can argue about the reasons and the virtues of it until we turn purple, and you can whine about it all you want…bot nobody on this or any other message board is changing it.

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