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Rumor from Russian hockey writer: Kovy considering staying in KHL

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i mean as much its frustrating for a NJ fan and how stressed i am that he wouldnt come back at all... im pretty sure he will and to be fair to him. He's a captain there, playing in his country in front of his family and friends i assume and he must be real proud and don't want to let them down as if the KHL was just a rebound and as soon as the ex is calling you, you come back crawling as if nothing happened... im sure Kovy is pissed at the NHL (not at the Devils) and that if he wants to leave the KHL on a good note and like a captain to his team and show that he really cared i guess thats the thing to do. The NHL made all players and workers wait and wait on their greediness, well im glad Kovy is like... "well fvck you, you think im gonna come back crawling asap? I'll do what i have to do and i'll be back in time."

that being said... get your ass down here as soon that game is over Bud

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It's amazing how quickly he can destroyed all the good will he created last year with the fans. It seems to me that this is all about money, and he's pissed that he will only get a prorated portion of his salary for this season because of the lockout. If he wants to send a message, he's dealing with the wrong GM for that as I highly doubt Lou will stand for his BS.

I love watching him play, and not having him will kill this team, but if he wants to stay there, let him...as long as he is banned from all future international competitions (including the Olympics) and the Devils have all penalties regarding his signing revoked when they void his contract. I don't want any player who doesn't want to be a NJ Devil on this team.

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Let him play the ASG. What's the big deal? He's earned that. The NHL isn't coming back till the 19th.

If he plans on staying there forever fvck him though.

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fvck Kovalclaims. No way we give him the Captain after this debacle, he is showing no leadership, no commitment to the team and no commitment to the league.

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fvck Kovalclaims. No way we give him the Captain after this debacle, he is showing no leadership, no commitment to the team and no commitment to the league.

On the contrary, he's actually showing some admirable leadership-quality backbone and class, if you look at the situation he finds himself in, from his perspective.

It's stressful for all us Devils fans, but think about it for a second. Compare all the Russian players that flew back into the U.S. today to Kovalchuk, and ask yourself, who loves the game of hockey more? Ovechkin will be comfy at home clubbing it up this Saturday night in D.C. the way he's done for years, while Kovalchuk is graciously saluting his fans and teammates one last time.

If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if the Devils pick up a nice big Russian addition to the fanbase after this is said and done; more jersey sales, TV opportunities, etc... Not to mention, Kovalchuk won't have time to get comfortable or lazy on Monday, as he'll be right back into the swing of things. I would imagine his fitness and midseason form will have a good impact on the rest of the boys in camp on Monday, who may be rusty.

Edited by DJ Eco
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Well, like I said, they should go back to their PA leadership and ask exactly why it was things happened the way they did. Could this have been solved in September? Probably not, but for it to drag on for that long, and then have everyone give in on everything over what, 48 hours? Then they throw their cards on the table and say "that's it, let's play hockey."

STUPID.

Players should be just as angry at their PA as they should be at the league. I went into this pro-owner and left it thinking "what the fvck just happened?" Always thought this could be a fairly painless negotiation. I was right. Just happened everyone maimed themselves before they came to that realization.

One Russian star player is not going to make a league re-think its labor policy. Especially when that player has been a pain in the ass for everyone involved, and played for a team that has been a pain in the ass for everyone involved. Maybe if he did end up leaving it would be a good cautionary tale to doing that kind of business. There's alot of contracts out there that can blow up in people's faces. Maybe you want to think twice about who you give them to.

Did you even bother to pay attention to the negotiations or did you just assume that's how they would go? This is the absolute opposite of what happened. Minimum salary got raised, contract limits were introduced, escrow was increased, AHL players can make $750,000 and not count on the cap, re-entry waivers are gone - remind me again how this CBA was for the stars? Everything the league tried to do wrt negotiating through the media was aimed at the minimum salary player.

Furthermore, the players' counter offer in November that the league walked away from and threw a hissy fit about was basically what they accepted in January. The owners didn't want to play. Why that is, I'm not sure - I suspect it has something to do with the fact that teams, outside of the big markets, don't make money in November. But putting the slow pace of negotiations on the players when the league opened with 43% and was intransigent all through the process - that's someone not paying attention. Bettman and the league brass thought by threatening the season they'd get what they wanted, Fehr called their bluff, and they split a lot of issues down the center.

Edited by Triumph

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Until the CBA is officially ratified and the KHL's agreement to return players to the NHL kicks in, I'm done paying attention to this story.

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Until the CBA is officially ratified and the KHL's agreement to return players to the NHL kicks in, I'm done paying attention to this story.

Jay Grossman's reaction is a bit troubling, it's the only thing keeping me from saying this.

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fvck Kovalclaims. No way we give him the Captain after this debacle, he is showing no leadership, no commitment to the team and no commitment to the league.

Would you say the same about Stevens even after he refused to report to the Devils training camp after he was awarded to the Devils?

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On the contrary, he's actually showing some admirable leadership-quality backbone and class, if you look at the situation he finds himself in, from his perspective.

It's stressful for all us Devils fans, but think about it for a second. Compare all the Russian players that flew back into the U.S. today to Kovalchuk, and ask yourself, who loves the game of hockey more? Ovechkin will be comfy at home clubbing it up this Saturday night in D.C. the way he's done for years, while Kovalchuk is graciously saluting his fans and teammates one last time.

If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if the Devils pick up a nice big Russian addition to the fanbase after this is said and done; more jersey sales, TV opportunities, etc... Not to mention, Kovalchuk won't have time to get comfortable or lazy on Monday, as he'll be right back into the swing of things. I would imagine his fitness and midseason form will have a good impact on the rest of the boys in camp on Monday, who may be rusty.

People do realize he's not 'walking out on his team' by missing a league exhibition, right?

If Kovy just wants to stay through the All-Star game let him say that, and that he'll come back when he's obligated to do so. All these cryptic quotes and double talk are just adding fuel to the fire, especially Grossman's tacit acknowledgement there are issues.

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Honestly, I fully expect him to be back and I think the fact that he hasn't adderssed the American media has dragged this out. I can see him trying to be respectful to his homeland and his fans by not clearing saying I'm ditching you but it also sends a poor message to fans back here in NJ that were looking for him to be our Captain.

This all being said I think the real timer starts upon ratification of the agreement and the listed start to training camp and games. I couldn't believe when Barry Melrose T-ed off on ESPN radio last night as I think the whole hockey community here in North American would be furious if he didn't stay. I also was happy he picked the Rags to finish first in the east and as favorites for the Stanely cup as I prefer not being the favorite.

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You guys are totally over-reacting, in my opinion. In all likelihood, Kovalchuk isn't trying to make a statement about money or the Olympics, he isn't pissed about the terms of the new CBA, and he is not mad about his NHL salary being smaller because of the lockout....he just wants to play some more hockey.

Chances are that he simply wants to do all he can for his KHL team (he's the captain, after all) and put on a show for the fans at the All-Star Game before he leaves. The CBA isn't ratified, so why bother coming back to the US until he needs to? Kovy is a hero in Russia and it's because he cares about his country, his teammates, and his fans. He's not the type of guy to bail on a team, which is why he hasn't bailed on SKA yet, and which is also why he will be back in New Jersey after the KHL All-Star Game to play for the Devils.

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Would you say the same about Stevens even after he refused to report to the Devils training camp after he was awarded to the Devils?

Stevens like all players built his good will over time by winning cups and beign the heart and soul of the team for almost a decade. Just as niedermayer destryed some good will by leaving but built it back up over time, wounds can heal when handled properly.

Kovy hasn't directly addressed the issue for whatever his reason, so that is why its dragging on and why there are angry fans. Kovy doesn't show or comes into camp late and you will see more anger and if he shows late and then struggles to start you will see even more. On the other hand Kovy comes back right around the start of camp and we start out hot and all will be forgotten.

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Would you say the same about Stevens even after he refused to report to the Devils training camp after he was awarded to the Devils?

This is a pretty good point, too. Then he signed with another team, while he was captain.

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You guys are totally over-reacting, in my opinion. In all likelihood, Kovalchuk isn't trying to make a statement about money or the Olympics, he isn't pissed about the terms of the new CBA, and he is not mad about his NHL salary being smaller because of the lockout....he just wants to play some more hockey.

Chances are that he simply wants to do all he can for his KHL team (he's the captain, after all) and put on a show for the fans at the All-Star Game before he leaves. The CBA isn't ratified, so why bother coming back to the US until he needs to? Kovy is a hero in Russia and it's because he cares about his country, his teammates, and his fans. He's not the type of guy to bail on a team, which is why he hasn't bailed on SKA yet, and which is also why he will be back in New Jersey after the KHL All-Star Game to play for the Devils.

I think you are right on with this but like all controversies, when you don't address them directly they fester. Kovy is back here and playing well in a week and none of us remember this until he struggles or gets hurt.

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This is a pretty good point, too. Then he signed with another team, while he was captain.

Lets be honest though, what a bizzare ruling for the NHL in our favor. Who ever heard or rewarding a player as compensation, it sounds like indentured servitude

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Lets be honest though, what a bizzare ruling for the NHL in our favor. Who ever heard or rewarding a player as compensation, it sounds like indentured servitude

It happened all the time back then. That was the system, which was eventually collectively bargained away to the current FA system by the NHL and NHLPA. The question really was whether we were going to get Stevens or a package of Rod Brindamore, Curtis Joseph, etc. Lou pled his case and won, basically establishing his reputation and legacy in that one hearing. Stevens had no choice but to report to the Devils or quit playing the game of hockey. For Kovy, the situation is different. He has a very viable alternative in the KHL, which I wouldn't trust to uphold any of its agreements regardless of the circumstance.

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Lets be honest though, what a bizzare ruling for the NHL in our favor. Who ever heard or rewarding a player as compensation, it sounds like indentured servitude

That's how Group 1 free agency worked back then...when Team A lost a player to Group 1 free agency to Team B, Team A was entitled to compensation. Team A and Team B would each submit a compensation package, then an arbitrator would pick one package or the other, as each team presented its case.

A lot of people thought Lou wouldn't win when he initially asked for Stevens (St. Louis was offering Rod Brind'Amour, Curtis Joseph, and some other parts) for the Blues' signing of Brendan Shanahan, but he was very smart, because he knew the NHL didn't like the fact that the maverick Blues were driving up salaries with their big-money signings; nevertheless, Lou also knew that he would have to present a flawless case to give the NHL an excuse to award the Devils Scott Stevens. Rich Chere wrote a great article on how thorough Lou was, and how he dotted every last i and crossed every single t...because St. Louis thought the NHL would never award Stevens to the Devils, they didn't work nearly as hard in presenting THEIR case. It was a stunner to everyone involved when the Devils were awarded Stevens.

BTW, the Devils were awarded Randy McKay (and Dave Barr) in a Group 1 signing, when Troy Crowder signed with Detroit. The Devils actually "lost" that one...Lou asked for Bob Probert.

And re: Stevens, the Devils winning that case nearly ripped the team apart initially. Stevens was furious with the ruling and didn't want to report, and several Devils threatened to walk out on the team (Ken Daneyko and John MacLean among them) if their salaries weren't increased, in light of what Stevens would be making. It's amazing (almost miraculous) Lou navigated those treacherous waters as smoothly as he did.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Honestly, I fully expect him to be back and I think the fact that he hasn't adderssed the American media has dragged this out.

You indirectly bring up a good point. As long as he's in Russia, the only media that is engaging him is the Russian media. He doesn't have ESPN or NBC or MSG microphones in his face, which is why his answers are more geared toward the Russian fans and media. Unless the TSN crew flies to Russia on Sunday and asks him explicitly "Are you leaving the Devils for good?", he really doesn't have any reason to address that specific answer to any Russian media. It's a question that isn't being asked, which is why we don't have an explicit answer. In other words, Russian media are asking questions that Russian people want to hear answers for.

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That's how Group 1 free agency worked back then...when Team A lost a player to Group 1 free agency to Team B, Team A was entitled to compensation. Team A and Team B would each submit a compensation package, then an arbitrator would pick one package or the other, as each team presented its case.

A lot of people thought Lou wouldn't win when he initially asked for Stevens (St. Louis was offering Rod Brind'Amour, Curtis Joseph, and some other parts) for the Blues' signing of Brendan Shanahan, but he was very smart, because he knew the NHL didn't like the fact that the maverick Blues were driving up salaries with their big-money signings; nevertheless, Lou also knew that he would have to present a flawless case to give the NHL an excuse to award the Devils Scott Stevens. Rich Chere wrote a great article on how thorough Lou was, and how he dotted every last i and crossed every single t...because St. Louis thought the NHL would never award Stevens to the Devils, they didn't work nearly as hard in presenting THEIR case. It was a stunner to everyone involved when the Devils were awarded Stevens.

BTW, the Devils were awarded Randy McKay (and Dave Barr) in a Group 1 signing, when Troy Crowder signed with Detroit. The Devils actually "lost" that one...Lou asked for Bob Probert.

And re: Stevens, the Devils winning that case nearly ripped the team apart initially. Stevens was furious with the ruling and didn't want to report, and several Devils threatened to walk out on the team (Ken Daneyko and John MacLean among them) if their salaries weren't increased, in light of what Stevens would be making. It's amazing (almost miraculous)Lou navigated those treacherous waters as smoothly as he did.

All of this really shows why older fans appreciate Lou so much. He really did some amazing things for this team. He didn't hit the ball every single at bat, but he sure knocked it out of the park often enough.

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I just heard on XMRadio from Potvin that he thinks the Devils will sign him.

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All of this really shows why older fans appreciate Lou so much. He really did some amazing things for this team. He didn't hit the ball every single at bat, but he sure knocked it out of the park often enough.

To me, it was Lou's deft and sure handling of that near-mutiny that transitioned the Devils from minor league nonentity to a team that truly deserved respect, even moreso than the '88 playoff run, and a team that deserved to have superstar players as much as any other team. People who weren't fans of the team back then don't realize how much of a joke the Devils were close to becoming. The early-to-mid 80s Devils teams weren't very good, but they were trying and they knew it was going to take time, and then it sadly seemed like that oh-so-slow rise to competive respectability was about to blow up completely. Once the Stevens ruling came down, arrogant GMs basically started calling Lou almost immediately, with a "c'mon boy, you know he doesn't want play for you, so why don't you hand him over to a real hockey team like us, and we'll give you some stuff in return" attitude.

To Lou's credit, he basically told all of those GMs to stuff it, that Stevens was going to be a New Jersey Devil come hell or high water, and that was that.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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