Kovalev still hoping to sign with the Habs

Seen in the Corel Center before practicing with his Russian team for their game against Slovakia, Alex Kovalev stated that he still wishes to sign with Montréal Canadiens, talking about his love story with the fans and the organization…This is a french interview that I found interesting enough to transcribe for you guys in english. I apologize in advance for any French-to-English translation mistakes

(Journal de Québec / Journal de Montréal)

”I still don’t know what future holds for me because we are a group of UFA’s still seeking a new contract right now” he said. ”The Habs has had several discussions with my agent Scott Greenspun and I still hope we can agree on a new deal”.

The Montréal fans

The talented right winger once again said how much he liked playing in Montréal. ”Never will I ever forget the reception I had from the fans when they first introduced me on the Bell Center ice at my first home game here in march, it was something I had never seen before” said Kovie. ”The atmopsphere was fantastic during the playoffs, it felt like it was in my great Pittsburgh years” he added. ”I know the Habs would like to sign me and I’d be willing to sign for less money than elsewhere in order to play here. It would have to be a serious offer though.”

Kovalev received, at the start of the summer, a contract offer from the Habs estimated at a little bit more than 4M$ per year. He was earning an annual salary of 6,6M$ last year.

Pittsburgh withdraws

During the interview, he added that the Pittsburgh Penguins were no longer interested in his services: ”They decided to look elsewhere to obtain help and it’s their choice” commented Kovalev. ”I personnally would have no problem whatsover seeing myself continue my career with the Habs. I just want to make sure I am paid accordingly to what I’m worth. I’m not worried, though I know that sooner or later I’ll find myself a team.”

After announcing the signing of newly acquired center Radek Bonk, Bob Gainey stated that there was still a certain money amount left for the resigning of Alex Kovalev. With the news of the Penguins not being interested in him anymore, I truly believe that he will end up in Montréal, which would give the Habs a great offensive upside now that he found chemistry with players like Saku Koivu and Richard Zednik.


Marco Normandin (Lint07)

32 Responses to Kovalev still hoping to sign with the Habs

  1. Rancid says:

    He may be saying it to make sure the fans don’t grow impatient or mad with him.

    Or he could be sincere.

    Worst case scenario for the habs is he uses montreal as a bargaining chip as Nedved did w/ the oilers.

  2. habswinthecup-again says:

    He will sign with Montreal, no one else is going to offer him 4 million/year. The next time he is playing in the NHL it will be with the Habs, I just hope we get to see it before Jan.

  3. Lint07 says:

    When at the end of a season you are traded to a team you’ve never played for in your life, you don’t expect a standing ovation unless your name is Gretzky, Lemieux or Howe. He did receive a ”standing O” at his first shift in Montréal, it’s impossible for him not to appreciate that.

    Montréal fans have been waiting for their next big sniper ever since John LeClair & Stéphane Richer were gone and the atmosphere here is crazy during the playoffs, every players love it and that’s why I say he’s sincere.

  4. rojoke says:

    Interesting. Very interesting.

    From this week’s Hockey News:

    Unrestriced free agent right winger Alexei Kovalev continues to express reluctance over returning to Montreal.

    That comes from Herb Zukowsky, who isn’t exactly Larry Roberts or Al Strachan. Everything I’ve read from him has usually been pretty reliable. At least up to this point. Herb writes for the Gazette, correct?

  5. simplyhabby says:

    As much as I like Kovalev, I really wish for Montreal to add some grit to the wing of the Ribs Ryder line.

    Kovalev will give Montreal a top line that can rival any other top line in the league but when the going gets tough in the playoffs or in the regular season, we do not have a guy who will bowl his way to the net, score and stand up for his teammates up front. Something the Habs have been lacking for years and until we get that guy, we will not be contenders.

  6. rc21pa says:

    Don’t count the Pens out yet. When it was rumored that the Pens lost interest they still had Morozov. Now with Morozov out of the picture (maybe for good) interest might pick up again.

  7. Lint07 says:

    Kovalev stated himself, yesterday, that they were not in the picture anymore. I think he’d be aware by now if they decided they wanted him back between the time Morozov signed and now.

  8. Ivan_Mtl says:

    I would suggest to all of the Montreal Canadiens’ fans to just accept the fact that Alex Kovalev does not want to sign with the Montreal Canadiens. Like Brett Hull, he is simply using this as a bargaining chip in hopes of elevating his price for another team.

    As I stated before, expect to see him wearing a Canucks, Avalanche or Kings jersey next year. Should he decide to remain in the east, the Flyers are another possibility.

    The Canadiens have already signed their man and he is Radek Bonk. They should, however, strongly consider offering Jose Theodore and another player (Ribiero possibly) to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Roberto Luongo. – although Mike Keenan, known for acquiring such physical players as Chris Pronger and Todd Bertuzzi, may not be interested in a slow-skating, slight of stature “diver/prima donna” like Ribiero. Perhaps Ryder?

  9. habswinthecup-again says:

    You are one funny man. Why would you trade the third best goalie in the league plus the Habs top scorer for the second best goalie in the league?

  10. srmobile says:

    Some of you guys can’t read, out of Kovalev’s mouth he said he wants to play in Montreal.

    Barganing chip HA!

    Maybee he should sign with Toronto right!?

  11. chevykurt says:

    You had a guy like that in Chad Kilger (maybe not a top power forward you are suggesting like Nolan or Roenick), but Kilger looked pretty good for the Leafs at the end of the regular season and in the playoffs when Ferguson Jr. picked him up off the Habs’ waivers.

    Your loss. lol

  12. chevykurt says:

    Surely you jest!

    Kovalev in T.? NOOOOOOOO THANK YOU!

  13. simplyhabby says:

    The chronically underachieving Chad Kilger is our loss? Kilger dos not have the skill to score. Kilger is very streaky when it comes to his physical play. The guy is big and has the tools to be a hitting force but he is not even close to be a 2nd line player let alone being a mainstay on the 4th line of the leafs or habs. You will learn soon enough bout Chad Kilger.

  14. chevykurt says:

    JFJ suggested that he is a long term project and that’s fine by me. His salary is minimal and he will be counted on more as a checking forward than anything. He showed some flash on a line with Reichel and Domi in the playoffs, an exciting line to watch while it lasted.

  15. RangerSteve says:

    WHen it’s a slow newsday at HTR, just post something about Kovalev saying a long ass time ago he wants to stay in Montreal.

  16. rojoke says:

    Wait a second. There’s was a rumour on here stating that the Leafs were shopping Owen Nolan, who’s scheduled to make $6.5 million. Coincidentally, that is what Kovalev made last season. So, if the Leafs were to find a team to take Nolan, then that would mean they would only have to come up with, oh, $6.5 million to offer Kovalev, instead of the $8 or 9 million they would offer under normal cir*****stances.

  17. simplyhabby says:

    He did have a very physical playoffs and it was nice to see. I hope he changes his career around cause like I said he has all the tools. In Montreal, it looked like he was complacent with his career with no ethic to improve.

  18. Ivan_Mtl says:

    You are one funny man. Why would you trade the third best goalie in the league plus the Habs top scorer for the second best goalie in the league?

    Well, first of all, Jose Theodore is FAR from being the third best goalie in the NHL. He had one “Jim Carrey” like season in Montreal, but has always shown to be a choker in the playoffs (witness the Canadiens last two humiliating eliminations). Also, his personal problems are distracting and an embarrassement to the storied Canadiens franchise. I would wager that if he were not a francophone player, he would have already been traded because of them.

    and speaking of embarrassements…

    Mike Ribiero’s altercations in practice with both Saku Koivu and Jose Theodore are well known. That and his embarrassing diving incident during the playoffs (remember him squirming in pain on the ice and then laughing on the bench a few minutes later?) have made him a cancer on the team (it is common knowledge that he is not well liked by his teammates).

    If the Montreal Canadiens were able to unload a choker in Theodore and the cancerous Ribiero (although Keenan would have NO interest except as possible trade bait) for Luongo, they would be geting the best young goalie in the NHL. I mean, seriously… the guy faced over 2000 shots on a team with a shoddy defense and kept the Panthers in the game most of the time. Imagine what he would do with coach Claude Julien’s defense-oriented system that has even made Theodore look good on certain nights?

  19. tmeyers says:

    The Habs should go after John Leclair. They would get both a scorer and big guy in front. His last few seasons have been rough for John…but what else can you expect under Bobby Clarke. Players do seem to burn out under his command. I could definantly see a revitalization for John in Montreal (this city of his greatest succes (3 succecive 50+ goal seasons a close second)). I still dream about those overtime goals!

  20. Lint07 says:

    ”a long ass time ago”??

    I don’t know bout you but last saturday seems pretty close to me.

  21. RangerSteve says:

    This might have been published in a paper on Saturday, but how many articles exactly like this are going to be posted regarding Kovalev falling in love with Montreal and it’s fans? Gee, what a great guy, he’s said the same thing about Pittsburgh and the Ranger fan as well.

  22. big_booty says:

    You can have LeClair for Gordie Dwyer or Darren Langdon. Hell, I’ll even take back Karl Dykhuis if you want Marmaduke bad enough.

    Since when do players “burn out” under Clarke?

    LeClair’s career was saved by the man. Kim Johnsson blossmed when he came to Philadelphia, as did Robert Esche. I could go on and on.

  23. big_booty says:

    Kovalev is an interesting case.

    Montreal fans gave him a messianic welcome when he was traded to the Habs, now they wait with baited breath for any good news about his possible return.

    The only other team that has publicly expressed interest has been the lowly Penguins.

    Why do you think that is?

    Kovalev, in my opinion, falls into the “over-rated sniper” category of NHL players, along with the likes of Radek Dvorak and Valeri Bure. Outside of his time in Pittsburgh, his goal totals have never exceeded 24 in any given season. I once heard someone refer to him as “Rocket Richard with muscle” – I have yet to see any evidence of that. He is over-rated and the fuss being made over him in Montreal is something I fail to understand.

    It seems to me that the only reason Montreal wants him back is because he has “star power.” The Habs’ money would be better spent on the likes of Glen Murray or Zigmund Palffy.

    If they wanted this guy so damn bad, why sign Bonk first? The demand for him was much less than that of Kovalev.

  24. Flyaz says:

    I agree with everything except the comment about LeClair being a habs sniper. When he played in Montreal he was a third line left wing and never scored more then 19 goals in a season.

  25. Flyaz says:

    Great comment except that what player burns out under Bobby Clarke? He’s not coaching the team first off, and second Mark Recchi was there leading scorer last season and he’s getting up there. Secondly your insulting the Flyers franchise by saying that his greatest success was in Montreal. They had an amazing run in 93, one of which LeClair played a great part in but the sun shines on a dog’s azzhole every now and again as well. That was a Cinderella team that won the cup…Great team success. John LeClair is getting payed 9 mill a season for scoring 3 50+ season followed by 2 40+ seasons, not one playoffs and two 19 goal seasons. Keep in mind it wasn’t him that won that cup in 93 it was a team, and I could pick two other people that deserve more credit then him in those playoffs, one being an amazing goaltender and one being John’s teammate in Philly, Eric Desjardins.

  26. tmeyers says:

    Is Booby Clarke coaching the team? Is Steinbrenner coaching the Yankees? Is Davis coaching the Raiders?

    I bet Hitch***** wont last the year.

    Shall I list out the names:

    Joel Otto (Burnout)

    Lindros (??)

    Leclair (Burnout)

    Renberg (Burnout)

    Babych (Burnout)

    Hextall (Burnout)

    and even Desjardins (Burnout)

    and on…and on…

    Oh Am I insluting the Flyers??

    Good…a little revenge for those Philadelphians being wanking arse holes to me last year while on Vaca.

    “City of Brotherly Love” my ass…what a dump.

  27. tmeyers says:

    While we do sometimes see pretty goals from Kovy, I think he has been relying a little to much on being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes his timings off and thats when it appears he disappears.

    If they sign Kovy and patch the soft D..the habs will do fine.

    Rivet, Briseboise, Boullion…yer times up.

  28. Lint07 says:

    Very true. He did however become one as soon as he’s been traded so he left the impression here that he could’ve been this ”sniper”.

  29. Lint07 says:

    This wasn’t an article about Kovalev being ”this” and ”that”, in fact this was an update on the fact that his agent had discussions with the team lately and the Pittsburgh Penguins were not in the hunt anymore.

    I’ve seen people write articles for less than that and I have to ask you why the hell did you bother reading it if you didn’t care about it? Wasn’t the title explicit enough already?

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