NHL lockout 2012: Devils' Ilya Kovalchuk won't be missed

Thursday, 25 October 2012 14:10
kovalchuckIlya021412_optBY GINA G. SCALA

There are spoiled athletes and then there is Ilya Kovalchuk, the $100 million kid who has yet to break the 100-point scoring barrier in a single season for the New Jersey Devils.

Still, the 29-year-old Kovalchuk is threatening to stay in Russia if the resolution to the latest National Hockey League lockout permits teams to reduce players’ salaries.

"I can play in the KHL for the whole year and I'll do it with great pleasure. I am glad that no matter where we play we get a full house and very good support from the spectators. And it's also nice to play on a good team,” he told Sportsbox.ru. “Basically, I don't rule out staying in Russia in the case of a reduction of our salaries in the NHL."

In 2010, the Devils signed Kovalchuk to a $100 million contract spanning 15 years.

"I just don't understand why they needed to sign such contracts," he said, according to the Toronto Star. "Or were they just hoping to cut the percentage later? I believe that the contracts must be respected and this is a fundamental question. There's no way the (union and players) will agree on the wage reduction.”

A season after the NHL netted a record profit, the lockout is threatening to erase the Winter Classic and another entire season. The 2004-05 lockout knocked out that season and culminated with Lord’s Stanley Cup not being awarded for the first time since 1919.

The league has already cancelled 135 games through Nov. 1. Today, Oct. 25, is the deadline for players to accept the league’s offer and still get in a full 82-game season. And that isn’t likely to following deputy league commissioner Bill Daly’s rebuff earlier this week of meeting again with the NHLPA, according to the Associated Press.

"The Union has rejected the proposal we made last Tuesday and is not offering another one. We see nothing to be gained at this point by meeting just to meet," Daly said, the Associated Press reported. In a statement, the union's special counsel Steve Fehr responded, "The league is apparently unwilling to meet. This is unfortunate, as it is hard to make progress without talking."

Some are predicting another mislaid season will cost the league, owners and players more than just lost money; it could cost them a North American fan base (particularly in the good ol’ USA were it doesn’t rival the big three: football, baseball and basketball).

So if Kovalchuk does make good on his threat to stay in Russia, he won’t be missed. Now, if this was an NFL lockout and Eli or Victor Cruz threatened to not come back, well that’s the unthinkable.

Comments (11)
11 Friday, 12 July 2013 10:10
He is a one dimensional overpaid player that couldn't check his hat. He had some great years playing in ATL especially with Marc savard but is just ok now
10 Wednesday, 07 November 2012 09:20
Did you do any research before writing this article Gina?

- Players don't hit 100 points anymore. It's an unfortunate reality, but a reality it is
- He led his team to the Semi finals. He was a major driving force behind a massively over achieving NJD team
- The Devils USED to play defensive hockey. Now their defence sucks so they are more high octane which might also be because they had: Kovy, Parise, Clarkson, Elias, Henrique, Zubrus and Sykora.

If you are any sort of hockey fan, any sort of NJD fan you should be doing everything and anything to get Kovy back.
- NJD already lost Parise (1. did you know that that. 2. do you even know who Parise is?)
- NJD still has to give up a first round pick for the snakey deal they made Kovy.
- Add in 2 ancient Gs (lockout won't help either),
- A terrible D unit,
- An ageing forward unit

Kovy is literally the difference between giving up the 1st overall pick and the 8th.

I respectfully request that you do some actual research before writing your next article. This is offensive mainly because people actually paid for it (subscribers, if not, sponsors). If you hired a plumber and he came in and used paper mache piping you'd be pissed. This article is paper mache piping.

Is it that hard to log onto nhl.com and checking stats? Standings? News articles?

Let me know if you need help, I'll gladly assist

artigas cruz
9 Monday, 29 October 2012 18:49
Um... -Not- an A**hole?
So... Gina, please don't kill yourself. I know, you likely weren't planning on it, but you deserve to have someone state as much. I'm not sure what that person was trying to accomplish by posting that ... twice ... but yeah. Also, I feel "stupid" is a fairly inappropriate word in this situation and contributes nothing to society. I can't help but laugh during that Billy Madison scene in someone's comment, but that's because it's hilarious regardless.

Now, I only found this article due to a link in another article that references what comment 8 says. Truthfully, it influenced how I read yours. Looking back, however, perhaps the spoiled athlete comment was merely a jest (somewhat in bad taste), or maybe you even meant something else, such as that the contract is lucrative but the results aren't.

People seem to be missing that the article isn't about Kovalchuk. Rather, it is another lockout article, which happens to include some comments made one of the Devils' stars about him possibly staying in Russia. Given that you write for NJnewsroom (and because it's about hockey), a fair, though not necessarily true, assumption would be that you are a Devils fan, and maybe his words stung a little, seemed ungrateful, etc. Then again, maybe the "Eli or Victor Cruz . . . unthinkable" statement provides a lighthearted nature with which to interpret your statements about Kovalchuk. ... Or maybe you just don't think he would be missed.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter ... all that matters is that people p*ss me off and make me silently weep in the corners of my mind about the future of society and the ignorant behavior of its members. No, I'm not contributing by saying that, but it's my reasoning, not my message. Message = "you deserve to have someone state [don't kill yourself]" in the comments of your article where someone else has said otherwise, even if you don't care in the slightest that they said it.
(The reason the message is limited to that is because I assume part of being a writer entails ignoring people that say "stop writing," without actually critically evaluating whatever they read)
8 Sunday, 28 October 2012 18:43
Stop Writing
"There are spoiled athletes and then there is Ilya Kovalchuk, the $100 million kid who has yet to break the 100-point scoring barrier in a single season for the New Jersey Devils."

There have been TWO players who've broken the 100 point barrier in a single season since Kolvachuk signed his contract. TWO. And Kolvachuk has hands down been the Devils best player since signing, especially during their last playoff run, and he will continue to be for years (especially with Parise in Minnesota now). Losing Kolvy would be a terrible, terrible blow to the team, and it would be bad for the NHL to lose such a talented player.

Do us all a favor and please never write again so nobody ever has to read your pathetic excuses of articles ever again.
7 Friday, 26 October 2012 11:03
"Obviously you don't understand that you've taken a sniper and put him in a defensive minded system"

No they didn't. The Devils made it to the Finals with some of the most aggressive forechecking in the league. They dismantled Philly and NY with a 2-1-2 format the entire playoff series. Are you drunk or something?

"If the Devils ever decide to be an offensive team then he would flourish"

They ARE an offensive team. Kovy finished with 83 points last season. You do know that right? Did you watch more than 8 seconds of the playoffs last year? You COULDN'T have otherwise you would realize how immensely off base your comment is..

"so that means you will trap teams forever and you'll take 15-20 shots while yielding 12-20 and win games 1-0 on a fluke goal by Cam Janssen more often then not,"

For the love of God...let go of the 90's already. Stop parroting archaic NONSENSE. The Devils use the trap about as much as every other team in the league. Their forechecking has vastly improved. Kovy finished with 83 points. (37 goals and 43 assists). They also had (3) 30+ goal scorers with Elias almost a fourth at 26 goals.

The disparity of Shots Per Game in the entire league is only 7.4 The disparity of Shots Against? 5.7 That's the entire league. What does that mean?
It means that in a typical game, there's only a difference of 2.5 Shots For, per period from 1st in the league to 30th. It means that there's only a difference of 2 Shots Against, per period, from 1st in the league to 30th. Translated - Most teams are playing similar systems on any given night. Teams simply don't just "play the trap" anymore. They employ multiple strategies, at different times in the game depending on what they need to do. The Devils are NO different.

They switch between the trap, left wing lock, playing the puck, dump & chase, carrying the puck through the NZ, aggressive forecheck, passive forecheck, to name a few on ANY given night. No particular system is abused. It's a hybrid anymore. Like MOST teams in the league.

"The NHL is also returning to the "clutch and grab" it was before 2004 lockout"

Not even close. What the hell are you watching? Re-runs of the 1995 playoffs? While not calling as many penalties, refs are still calling FAR MORE obstruction penalties than they did pre-lockout. How can you write something so asinine and still call yourself a hockey fan?

You really need to THINK before you comment.
6 Thursday, 25 October 2012 19:53
Timothy Howard
Obviously you don't understand that you've taken a sniper and put him in a defensive minded system, and you lost your best playmaker to minnesota. The NHL is where the BEST players in the world come to shine for longterm careers and to be idols to both american,canadian, and mother countries up and coming hockey players alike. The Devils got him cheap, the new NHL hardly anyone breaks 100 point mark anymore. You as writer should follow the game of hockey better, Ilya has played for defunct Atlanta that had no real talent, look at Marian Hossa's numbers when he left Ottawa they went down, now with DET/Chicago they have increased. If the Devils ever decide to be an offensive team then he would flourish, Peter DeBoer has to listen to your special assignment coach Jacques Lemaire so that means you will trap teams forever and you'll take 15-20 shots while yielding 12-20 and win games 1-0 on a fluke goal by Cam Janssen more often then not, it's not his talents or being the traditional lazy russian sniper that goal poach it's your team in a whole. The NHL is also returning to the "clutch and grab" it was before 2004 lockout which depletes goals per game if you knew that, as fans please write articles with facts not so-called frustration in mind.
5 Thursday, 25 October 2012 18:21
Someone smart
4 Thursday, 25 October 2012 17:31
kill yourself
gina please kill yourself
3 Thursday, 25 October 2012 17:30
gina kill yourself
2 Thursday, 25 October 2012 16:52
Never write again
Do you even know who kovalchuk is
1 Thursday, 25 October 2012 15:10
Michael Fallon
Are you serious? Ilya Kovalchuk would be missed especially in NJ he scored in the TOP 5 in the NHL last year in overall points. He led all of the NHL in playoff points until game 6 of the finals and this is the guy the Devils rallied around in the playoffs not Zach Parise. If guys like Kovalchuk, Malkin, Ovechkin, and Datsuyk don't return from the KHL that hurts the NHL more then most people think these are superstars who bring in fans i.e. revenue for the league. They need to get this deal done go to a 50/50 split and honor all current contracts thats what both sides want right? this whole thing is ridiculous.
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