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Kovalchuk Retired Effective Immediately?

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Tri has changed his definition of what Kovy is multiple times throughout his career here.  At the same time, the Kovy that retired was a different player than the one that played for the Thrashers (though I think he's going to become that again in the KHL).

 

Remember young Forrest Gump, with the leg braces?  I think that's what playing for the Devils felt like to Kovy.  Remember when Forrest started RUN-NING and the braces came flying off?  I think that's how Kovy felt when he played in the KHL.   

nice analogy -- thing that gets me mad is HE ut the braces there.  HE had to take them the fvck off to get this team anywhere and he just didn't knwo how.  That was the entire problem.  He's a quitter - lazy -- so, we all knew it.  Talented people can so often be because they never HAD to work.  Kovy just didn't knwo how to work joyfully. 

 

Guys... I love Elias.  Seriously -- I'm getting misty thinking about how great he is.  I cannot wait to cheer his number going up in the rafters.  I hate ot say it... but he's ready to be the captain now.  He's a dad... I think he should be asked abotu how he feels about it.  If he feels good about it he really should just step up and do it.  It will be seriously fun for him. 

 

I LOVE growing up!  I love aging!!!  It's such a gift - life is.  :wub:  heeheeheehee -- OK  back to work now.

College sports is an even bigger financial debacle. Don't kid urself.

Yeah -- but you have the consistent community and history.  You dont have that in professional sports teams.  They can close up shop any time.  University sports... unless you go to bumblefvck community college you're pretty safe.

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Tri has changed his definition of what Kovy is multiple times throughout his career here.  At the same time, the Kovy that retired was a different player than the one that played for the Thrashers (though I think he's going to become that again in the KHL).

 

Remember young Forrest Gump, with the leg braces?  I think that's what playing for the Devils felt like to Kovy.  Remember when Forrest started RUN-NING and the braces came flying off?  I think that's how Kovy felt when he played in the KHL.   

 

I am going to disagree with that point.   I thought he became a better all-around player with the Devils, but he was overused to the detriment of the rest of the team and himself.   The way he has been used his career was taking a toll on his body.

 

My last memory of him was coughing the puck up on the PP in a must win game last year and just half-assing it afterword.   I think either McGuire or  Olcyk called him out on the play for his poor effort.

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Kovalchuk is not a top 20 player in the league or anywhere close.

Would be interesting to see your list..

Edited by njdevsftw

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I am going to disagree with that point.   I thought he became a better all-around player with the Devils, but he was overused to the detriment of the rest of the team and himself.   The way he has been used his career was taking a toll on his body.

 

My last memory of him was coughing the puck up on the PP in a must win game last year and just half-assing it afterword.   I think either McGuire or  Olcyk called him out on the play for his poor effort.

 

What are you disagreeing with exactly? 

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The more I read, the more I realize this was a mutual decision. 

1) Kovalchuk was very outspoken during the end of the lockout saying he would not come back if he doesnt like the deal. Almost didn't return. 

2) The Devils never expected Kovalchuk to play the entire length of the deal. He will be 42 when it expires. Think about how ridiculously front-loaded the original deal was structured and it was done under the old CBA where if he retired, the salary comes off the cap.

3) The re-capture is lowest THIS year. If he "retired" next year, the cap hit would be just under $700K. If he retired the following year it goes up to $1.2MM. If he retired when he 37, the hit is $4.67MM, when he is 39, the hit is $4MM. At 35, the re-capture hit is $3.666MM, at 36-39 it is $4MM and up. 

4) If the Devils amnestied him next off-season, they would be on the hook for a lot of cash. Considering their rumored financial situation, they likely do not want to be paying a player a lot of money NOT to play. 

Wouldn't be surprised if the Devils approached him and said, "This is the time if you want to go back to Russia. Retire this year, and we will not try to block you from signing in Russia. Wait a few years and we will."


 

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What are you disagreeing with exactly? 

 

That he was burdened by playing the Devils style (braces).   He became more than just a one-dimensional player (all flash, no substance) here.    And he looked happy for the first time in his career. 

 

If he wants to go the KHL so he only has to play one end of the ice and return to losing, that says a lot about his character.  I though he raised his game here.

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ya I think he stays over there for a bit and gets paid well to be a Russina symbol to make the Putins of the world happy. This solution prevents crazy pobelms like blocking players from playing in Olympics and all sorts of drama. I could see him coming back to NHL in 3-5 years but I guess I'm over it as we essentially saved having to buy out a bad contract. Not because I didn't love having Kovy but because it was a pre-lockout contract that could have killed us.

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The more I read, the more I realize this was a mutual decision. 

1) Kovalchuk was very outspoken during the end of the lockout saying he would not come back if he doesnt like the deal. Almost didn't return. 

2) The Devils never expected Kovalchuk to play the entire length of the deal. He will be 42 when it expires. Think about how ridiculously front-loaded the original deal was structured and it was done under the old CBA where if he retired, the salary comes off the cap.

3) The re-capture is lowest THIS year. If he "retired" next year, the cap hit would be just under $700K. If he retired the following year it goes up to $1.2MM. If he retired when he 37, the hit is $4.67MM, when he is 39, the hit is $4MM. At 35, the re-capture hit is $3.666MM, at 36-39 it is $4MM and up. 

4) If the Devils amnestied him next off-season, they would be on the hook for a lot of cash. Considering their rumored financial situation, they likely do not want to be paying a player a lot of money NOT to play. 

Wouldn't be surprised if the Devils approached him and said, "This is the time if you want to go back to Russia. Retire this year, and we will not try to block you from signing in Russia. Wait a few years and we will."

 

Total conjecture.

I think your math is off a bit, the "worst" year (in terms of recapture) for him to retire in end of year 2019 when we would be on the hook for 4.3m for 6 more years. But that's 6 years from now and the cap will surely be a lot larger then. If he retired in 2018 it's 3.66m, and in 2017  3.55m.

Your argument basically revolves around recapture, which IMO was not a big issue with Kovy's contract no matter when he retired. It would have been less then ideal, but not a reason to throw away 3-5 good years of a superstar.

The Devils let Ilya walk because they had absolutely nothing to gain by tolling his contract, it's as simple as that.

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That he was burdened by playing the Devils style (braces).   He became more than just a one-dimensional player (all flash, no substance) here.    And he looked happy for the first time in his career. 

 

If he wants to go the KHL so he only has to play one end of the ice and return to losing, that says a lot about his character.  I though he raised his game here.

 

I think Kovy had to think harder about what he was doing on the ice than ever before as a Devil.  He had to become more cerebral, more of a student of the game.  I do think he embraced that change at first, and probably even enjoyed it some.

 

I think once he got a taste of playing in the KHL, he embraced the simplicity of just going out there and being able to play to his pure strengths.  Kovy likes scoring...sure, who doesn't, but I think he likes being a pure scorer/sniper who isn't "dragged" down by other aspects of the game.  He may have been better all-around here, but he once he played in the KHL he probably didn't realize how much fun he was missing out on (in his mind) until he got to play there for an extended period of time.  And then once he came back to the NHL, he probably felt shackled and restrained.   

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Total conjecture.

I think your math is off a bit, the "worst" year (in terms of recapture) for him to retire in end of year 2019 when we would be on the hook for 4.3m for 6 more years. But that's 6 years from now and the cap will surely be a lot larger then. If he retired in 2018 it's 3.66m, and in 2017  3.55m.

Your argument basically revolves around recapture, which IMO was not a big issue with Kovy's contract no matter when he retired. It would have been less then ideal, but not a reason to throw away 3-5 good years of a superstar.

The Devils let Ilya walk because they had absolutely nothing to gain by tolling his contract, it's as simple as that.

My math isn't off.  Got the numbers from capgeek and let excel do the work.  Highest would have been before the 20-21 season.  Would have made $90MM, but only counted $66,666,670 against the cap to that point.  Difference of $23,333,330.  With five years remaining, would have been $4,666,6666 for five years.  Considering his actual salary for 20-21 dropped to $1MM per for 3 years, that is when he was most likely to hang it up.

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My math isn't off.  Got the numbers from capgeek and let excel do the work.  Highest would have been before the 20-21 season.  Would have made $90MM, but only counted $66,666,670 against the cap to that point.  Difference of $23,333,330.  With five years remaining, would have been $4,666,6666 for five years.  Considering his actual salary for 20-21 dropped to $1MM per for 3 years, that is when he was most likely to hang it up.

touche salesman! i didn't go that far out. Still, now we are talking about 7 full seasons, the cap will (likely) rise 8 times before we would have had to worry about it. And that's the *worst* case. I don't think it factored into Lou's thinking at all. It's a silver lining now, but he wouldn't have given up the next few years of Kovy for it. We had a pretty good roster 24 hours ago.

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There is a lot more to this drama than we think.  Possible scenarios that I have reviewed in my mind (being the analytical person that I am):

 

1.  The Devils/NHL took some "under the table" money from the KHL to let Kovy walk without a fight

 

2.  Kovy is entrenched in some kind of "black market" business in Russia where mobsters basically said "you play or suffer the consequences"

 

3.  Kovy is just being the "Che Guevarra" of hockey and being a revolutionary wanting to make a statement to the NHL

 

Certainly, the NHL and teams must monitor this closely as we could see an exodus of players from the NHL.  I wouldn't be surprised if this signing by SKA is followed by another high-profile signing by another team in the KHL - perhaps Ovechkin / Malkin 

 

If you ask me, this is the DAY THE NHL died.

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There is no way Lou and/or JVB talked him into retirement at this point in time.  Regardless of the cap recapture BS, this is the WORST possible year for Kovy to up and leave.  We have no first round pick in the upcoming draft because of the circumvention penalty, there was no great FA to attempt to sign this offseason, Brodeur is going to retire at the end of the year, and we are already coming off a season where we underachieved and missed the playoffs. 

 

I get that there may be some tangential benefit to this decision someday years down the road, but we will never actually know what that benefit definitely is as we will never know at what point in this contract Kovy would have retired.  You can speculate all you want, but the fact remains that this is a disaster for this organization (which will make Matteau32 happy). 

 

Is it to early to start talking Connor McDavid in 2015?

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There is a lot more to this drama than we think.  Possible scenarios that I have reviewed in my mind (being the analytical person that I am):

 

1.  The Devils/NHL took some "under the table" money from the KHL to let Kovy walk without a fight

 

2.  Kovy is entrenched in some kind of "black market" business in Russia where mobsters basically said "you play or suffer the consequences"

 

3.  Kovy is just being the "Che Guevarra" of hockey and being a revolutionary wanting to make a statement to the NHL

 

Certainly, the NHL and teams must monitor this closely as we could see an exodus of players from the NHL.  I wouldn't be surprised if this signing by SKA is followed by another high-profile signing by another team in the KHL - perhaps Ovechkin / Malkin 

 

If you ask me, this is the DAY THE NHL died.

Sorry, but having the Russians go home will not kill the NHL.  More North Americans in the league, the better.

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There is a lot more to this drama than we think.  Possible scenarios that I have reviewed in my mind (being the analytical person that I am):

 

1.  The Devils/NHL took some "under the table" money from the KHL to let Kovy walk without a fight

 

2.  Kovy is entrenched in some kind of "black market" business in Russia where mobsters basically said "you play or suffer the consequences"

 

3.  Kovy is just being the "Che Guevarra" of hockey and being a revolutionary wanting to make a statement to the NHL

 

Certainly, the NHL and teams must monitor this closely as we could see an exodus of players from the NHL.  I wouldn't be surprised if this signing by SKA is followed by another high-profile signing by another team in the KHL - perhaps Ovechkin / Malkin 

 

If you ask me, this is the DAY THE NHL died.

 

You watch too many movies brother.  I like the Oliver Stone conspiracy theorist in your thinking, but this is as simple as Kovy wanting to be the conquering hero in Russia where he is carted around on golden chariots, plays with his mini-giraffe and swims in a pool filled with rubles.   At the end of the day, Lou is too classy to toll his contract and prevent him from playing in the KHL.  Plus, he knew he had an open offer from SKA that would pay him the same or more than he made here in pre-tax dollars, then he pays a 13% flat tax rate on his deal there, instead of the 45+% he has been paying to play here. 

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I think Kovy had to think harder about what he was doing on the ice than ever before as a Devil.  He had to become more cerebral, more of a student of the game.  I do think he embraced that change at first, and probably even enjoyed it some.

 

I think once he got a taste of playing in the KHL, he embraced the simplicity of just going out there and being able to play to his pure strengths.  Kovy likes scoring...sure, who doesn't, but I think he likes being a pure scorer/sniper who isn't "dragged" down by other aspects of the game.  He may have been better all-around here, but he once he played in the KHL he probably didn't realize how much fun he was missing out on (in his mind) until he got to play there for an extended period of time.  And then once he came back to the NHL, he probably felt shackled and restrained.   

 

If that's the case, then my fears were validated and I am glad he is gone.     Hopefully, he gets back into his bad habits and we crush Russia in the Olypmics.

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There is no way Lou and/or JVB talked him into retirement at this point in time.  Regardless of the cap recapture BS, this is the WORST possible year for Kovy to up and leave.  We have no first round pick in the upcoming draft because of the circumvention penalty, there was no great FA to attempt to sign this offseason, Brodeur is going to retire at the end of the year, and we are already coming off a season where we underachieved and missed the playoffs. 

 

I get that there may be some tangential benefit to this decision someday years down the road, but we will never actually know what that benefit definitely is as we will never know at what point in this contract Kovy would have retired.  You can speculate all you want, but the fact remains that this is a disaster for this organization (which will make Matteau32 happy). 

 

Is it to early to start talking Connor McDavid in 2015?

What is that saying, take a step back before taking two forward?  Brodeur is done.  Schneider is going to be your #1 this year.  It seems like a disaster, but it will benefit in the long-run.  $250K is nothing against the cap.  He was going to make $56MM over the next 5 years.  It may hurt the ticket sales as they will struggle for 2-3 years, but long-term this is what is best.  This is not the Rangers fan in me glad he is gone, this is the realist being objective.  Whether they are able to re-build or not is yet to be seen, but that is always the case.  Will be hard to get UFAs the next year or so.  Where you really need to worry is if Elias, Salvador, or Zubrus decide to retire before the contract ends and then all their money as +35ers counts as dead money against the cap.  As far as the lost draft pick.  It was STUPID of Lou to not give up the 29th last season.  Even if you win the Cup, it is only 1 spot worse.

touche salesman! i didn't go that far out. Still, now we are talking about 7 full seasons, the cap will (likely) rise 8 times before we would have had to worry about it. And that's the *worst* case. I don't think it factored into Lou's thinking at all. It's a silver lining now, but he wouldn't have given up the next few years of Kovy for it. We had a pretty good roster 24 hours ago.

It will go up.  Was reading a few weeks back that early projections are the cap next year will be ~$75MM.  Which is why I am not worried about getting Lundqvist, and the rest of the FA's the Rangers have coming up, signed.

Edited by Matteau#32

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There is a lot more to this drama than we think.  Possible scenarios that I have reviewed in my mind (being the analytical person that I am):

 

1.  The Devils/NHL took some "under the table" money from the KHL to let Kovy walk without a fight

 

2.  Kovy is entrenched in some kind of "black market" business in Russia where mobsters basically said "you play or suffer the consequences"

 

3.  Kovy is just being the "Che Guevarra" of hockey and being a revolutionary wanting to make a statement to the NHL

 

Certainly, the NHL and teams must monitor this closely as we could see an exodus of players from the NHL.  I wouldn't be surprised if this signing by SKA is followed by another high-profile signing by another team in the KHL - perhaps Ovechkin / Malkin 

 

If you ask me, this is the DAY THE NHL died.

 

Died, no. Did the NHL brand take a hit? I say yes, some say no. What remains to be seen is if Kovy is an isolated case. If others begin to follow, a talent base that has already been diluted through multiple expansions will be diluted further.  

 

But I am guessing the players that DO leave won't be Kovy/Ovechkin-types...they'll be pretty good NHLers (like Radulov) who can put up bigger numbers and earn a lot more money in the KHL. 

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I think Kovy had to think harder about what he was doing on the ice than ever before as a Devil.  He had to become more cerebral, more of a student of the game.  I do think he embraced that change at first, and probably even enjoyed it some.

 

I think once he got a taste of playing in the KHL, he embraced the simplicity of just going out there and being able to play to his pure strengths.  Kovy likes scoring...sure, who doesn't, but I think he likes being a pure scorer/sniper who isn't "dragged" down by other aspects of the game.  He may have been better all-around here, but he once he played in the KHL he probably didn't realize how much fun he was missing out on (in his mind) until he got to play there for an extended period of time.  And then once he came back to the NHL, he probably felt shackled and restrained.   

 

I think another thing that people might be looking over, since it only gets mentioned occasionally, is that Kovalchuk is fairly politically active in Russia and has made it clear that he's a big Putin supporter.  I've rarely heard any of the post-Communist Russian players bring up politics at all.

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If that's the case, then my fears were validated and I am glad he is gone.     Hopefully, he gets back into his bad habits and we crush Russia in the Olypmics.

 

What we're all forgetting is that the KHL season is only 52 games.  No more pacing himself to meet the rigors of an 82-game NHL season.  This is going to be much easier on his body in a lot of ways.

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What is that saying, take a step back before taking two forward?  Brodeur is done.  Schneider is going to be your #1 this year.  It seems like a disaster, but it will benefit in the long-run.  $250K is nothing against the cap.  He was going to make $56MM over the next 5 years.  It may hurt the ticket sales as they will struggle for 2-3 years, but long-term this is what is best.  This is not the Rangers fan in me glad he is gone, this is the realist being objective.  Whether they are able to re-build or not is yet to be seen, but that is always the case.  Will be hard to get UFAs the next year or so.  Where you really need to worry is if Elias, Salvador, or Zubrus decide to retire before the contract ends and then all their money as +35ers counts as dead money against the cap.

It will go up.  Was reading a few weeks back that early projections are the cap next year will be ~$75MM.  Which is why I am not worried about getting Lundqvist, and the rest of the FA's the Rangers have coming up, signed.

 

The cap hit is not a problem.  The problem is that this team was already thin on offensive playmakers, and we have effectively removed our best 2 player in the span of 1 calendar year.  That is a crushing blow for most organizations that will take years to recover from.  They will rebuild over time, no doubt, but this team (and the fanbase as well) invested so much in Kovy ove rthe past 3 years, that it will take a while to recover. 

 

As far as Elias, Salvador, and Zubrus are concerned, they still have their 2 compliance buyouts that can be used if push comes to shove.  

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There is a lot more to this drama than we think.  Possible scenarios that I have reviewed in my mind (being the analytical person that I am):

 

1.  The Devils/NHL took some "under the table" money from the KHL to let Kovy walk without a fight

 

2.  Kovy is entrenched in some kind of "black market" business in Russia where mobsters basically said "you play or suffer the consequences"

 

3.  Kovy is just being the "Che Guevarra" of hockey and being a revolutionary wanting to make a statement to the NHL

 

Certainly, the NHL and teams must monitor this closely as we could see an exodus of players from the NHL.  I wouldn't be surprised if this signing by SKA is followed by another high-profile signing by another team in the KHL - perhaps Ovechkin / Malkin 

 

If you ask me, this is the DAY THE NHL died.

 

I'd like to think that #1 went down, as illegal as that may be. He was obviously going to leave anyway, and being the organization we are, we probably wouldn't have objected. So if the KHL and SKA St. Petersburg injected some money into Vanderbeek's finances just to "make sure" we allowed the transition to happen seamlessly, I would not mind that one bit.

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Died, no. Did the NHL brand take a hit? I say yes, some say no. What remains to be seen is if Kovy is an isolated case. If others begin to follow, a talent base that has already been diluted through multiple expansions will be diluted further.  

 

But I am guessing the players that DO leave won't be Kovy/Ovechkin-types...they'll be pretty good NHLers (like Radulov) who can put up bigger numbers and earn a lot more money in the KHL. 

Even if Ovechkin and Malkin leave, not a big deal.  Have guys like Crosby, Toews, Stamkos, Kane, Tavares leave and it will be a disaster.  Even if all the best Russians started playing in the KHL, an argument starts about which league is better, but it won't matter.  The NHL will still continue to flourish in North America.  Maybe even more with more North American players.

The cap hit is not a problem.  The problem is that this team was already thin on offensive playmakers, and we have effectively removed our best 2 player in the span of 1 calendar year.  That is a crushing blow for most organizations that will take years to recover from.  They will rebuild over time, no doubt, but this team (and the fanbase as well) invested so much in Kovy ove rthe past 3 years, that it will take a while to recover. 

 

As far as Elias, Salvador, and Zubrus are concerned, they still have their 2 compliance buyouts that can be used if push comes to shove.  

Not on Elias.  Compliance buy-outs can only be used on Contracts signed before 9/15/12.  Secondly, not sure they can be used on 35+ players.  Not sure on 2nd point.  1st point is definitely acurate.

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The cap hit is not a problem.  The problem is that this team was already thin on offensive playmakers, and we have effectively removed our best 2 player in the span of 1 calendar year.  That is a crushing blow for most organizations that will take years to recover from.  They will rebuild over time, no doubt, but this team (and the fanbase as well) invested so much in Kovy ove rthe past 3 years, that it will take a while to recover. 

 

As far as Elias, Salvador, and Zubrus are concerned, they still have their 2 compliance buyouts that can be used if push comes to shove.  

 

There's only one compliance buy out left.  And for a team that just had a ton of money come off the books in both cap and actual salary, it's neither here nor there.

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There's only one compliance buy out left.  And for a team that just had a ton of money come off the books in both cap and actual salary, it's neither here nor there.

 

Did we really use a compliance buyout on Hedberg?  That just makes no sense to me considering how low his salary actually was. 

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