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#81 Revan

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 05:34 AM

I managed to catch some air and I gotta admit, the arguments about the Devils benefitting from it, maybe even encouraging the situation, are starting to hit home. Here is a quick analysis from The Hockey News, a good read:

 

http://www.thehockey...l-involved.html

 

Don't really know why I had missed it, but until yesterday I wasn't aware that the Devils would get a salary cap penalty for Kovalchuk retiring a few seasons before the end of the contract. And I had no idea it could get THIS ugly:

 

Had Kovalchuk decided to retire after Year 9 of his 15-year deal, he would have earned $86 of his $100 million, but the NHL’s punitive cap-recapture scheme would have hit the Devils with a cap hit of $4.3 million for each of the last five years of that contract, as opposed to a hit of just over $250,000 now until 2024-25.

 

We know Lou doesn't shy away from finding loopholes to get players in and out, especially when there's a bad contract to unload. I never viewed Kovalchuk's deal as a bad one, I actually thought it was pretty sweet because of the extra years, but now I see with the new CBA it became really, really problematic.

 

So, the thing I'm wondering right now is how Lou played this out. What was his initial reaction (I mean, in his mind) to Kovy telling him he's considering going back to Russia? Was it "sh!t, we're going to lose our franchise player" or was he like "well, we can get out of a bad situation thanks to this, so the sooner he bolts out of here, the better for our cap and finances"? On one hand, we all love to view Lou as this evil lord pulling strings from behind the courtain and keeping his hands clean, but on the other: he sacrificed quite a lot to get this fella here, so it's tough to imagine he could be happy about this.

 

Not sure how to feel about it today. Yesterday I was furious at Kovalchuk and depressed by the big loss, blaming only him. Right now I'm still devastated because we got weaker, but at the same time, can't stop thinking about Lou letting him go. Clearly he knew it was in the club's interest in the long run - they agreed it was best for both sides. But I loved Kovy and if Lou outright worked with him to get him out of here, then I'm disappointed in him as well. I know I probably sound like a spoiled kid saying this, but even if it's the lesser evil, I'm still more pissed about losing my favourite forward overnight than pleased with LL working his magic to help us years from now. I just had so high hopes for #17 I'm depressed this is how it ends.


Edited by Revan, 12 July 2013 - 05:37 AM.

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#82 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:02 AM

 

BTW CR76 is your quotation mark in the wrong place in the title?

 

Yeah, I guess it is, lol. 


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#83 DevsMan84

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:24 AM

After really digesting this I am on the mindset that this is crushing in the short term but in the long term it is probably for the better. I always figured by year 6 or 7 of that contract kovy was going to decline quite a bit and that contract will start to look real ugly. Glad we got rid of that while only taking a small cap penalty now before we would be in a bigger world of hurt. Not only that but we did get about three years worth of world-class talent so can't complain about that.

I think a lot of fans are hurt because of two things. One is because of all the hoops the devils had to jump through and the sacrifices they have made to sign the guy and build the team around him. This has been talked about quite a bit over the last day so I won't go into that.
The othe reason is that he really was the first player of his level that we got right when he was still in the early years of his prime. We have been used to either having a mostly no name offense or getting star players who are past their prime as short term rentals. With Marty having one foot in retirement he was to be the player synonymous with the devils.

However again for years the devils did just fine with a no name offense. Hell look at the 2003 devils offense and that too is largely a no name offense too with great defense and goaltending. Sounds a lot like what we have this way and I am sure Lou will get another forward of some calibre to plus that hole. I know 2003 was a different time but there is still two months left in the offseason and the regular season doesn't end until best April so there is plenty of time.

It sucks but I'm not too worried about our future.
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#84 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:35 AM

I just had so high hopes for #17 I'm depressed this is how it ends.

 

Regardless of how individual fans felt about Kovy, I don't think there's a single Devils fans who can honestly say that they're outright HAPPY about this, even with the Devils getting out from under a contract that logic dictates was on its way to becoming a disaster before much longer. 

 

I definitely did not want him back when he became an UFA, unless it was for reasonable money (which it wasn't)...I just didn't think he was a good fit, based on what I saw after he came over in the trade.  I wasn't alone in that one.  And let's face it, it hasn't been easy street for him here.  His first year was brutal, even though a good offensive showing in the second half made his stats look more respectable.  He clearly had some serious holes in his game that needed to be addressed (to his credit, he did allow himself to be coached into being a more complete player, but I'm sure the process was difficult for him at times).  Tri and others will now pick apart Kovy's 2011-12 numbers to make them look less impressive than they appear at quick glance, and I'm not saying they're wrong to do that, but I think we were all pretty happy with the progress his overall game was showing, and I think he won over a lot of the doubters and naysayers that year.  It really did feel like the Devils were starting to become Kovy's team, and his heart was firmly vested in the Devils and his teammates.  If not for the lockout, I think things very well could have remained that way.

 

I feel that what simply happened here is that the playing hockey for the Devils ultimately represents a challenge that Kovy no longer wanted to undertake.  I think hockey in the KHL for Kovy is less physically taxing and probably more fulfulling, in that he can play a lot "prettier" there than here...I think much less will be asked of him on the ice there.  Add in that he's going to be paid plenty handsomely, and that it's his homeland, and all of this became a no-brainer.  He will get chastised for his lack of loyalty and not honoring the contract that the Devils worked so hard to give him, but he might as well be going to Mars, as far as his "retiring" goes...he will never have to deal with Lou, VBK, the NHL or Devils' fans again, so he likely couldn't care less about that part of it, and he's going to be treated like a conquering hero back home for turning his back on the big bad NHL that has been robbing the Russians of their homegrown hockey heroes for years.  He will say the right things in the paper, about how he respects Lou and the franchise and the Devils' fanbase, but privately he will probably tell those closest to him how happy he is to close this chapter of his life and move on.       


Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 12 July 2013 - 06:37 AM.

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THE NHL MUST LOVE THE DEVILS - from who else? A RANGER fan!
[Mark Messier]: A big, bald attention whore with a stupid Easter Island-lookin face. - from who else? DaneykoIsGod!

Even when Marty comes back maybe Larry should put Clemmensen to be on the goal during the shootouts.
Can the coach do that ? Switch the goalies 5 seconds to go in overtime?
- Most priceless quote ever posted on a message board.

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It's easy to support a great player when he's playing at his very best. It takes a true fan to support that same player during those rare moments and stretches when he's not. Babe Ruth went 0-4 some games, and sometimes Wayne Gretzky was held pointless. There may be such a thing as greatness, but no such thing as absolute perfection every single night.

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20 out of 1,946 njdevs.com members agree: CR1976 is the Most Knowledgable Poster of 2008! Victory is mine...oh yes, victory is mine!

#85 Bibby89

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:42 AM

I've cooled off a little and to be honest I'm now in he mindset that Lamiorello was able to acquire a top level goalie at the draft without either 2 goalies on the roster, or even the head coach knowing until moments before. All things are now possible and I'm just holding out hope that since he says he wasn't blindsided by the decision, he may have had some sort of plan B prepared. The timing kind of sucks because of the lack of top level free agents available now, but there are plenty of players still available to fill some of the needs and allow them to get back to team style hockey.
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#86 hasunow

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:43 AM

Clearly, as far as dark days in the Devils franchise go, Kovy "retiring" ranks waaaaaay the hell up there.  Goes without saying...and even worse, as fans it was damned near impossible to see this coming.  We were all blindsided today, and as expected, we all experienced a lot of emotions and feelings, and pretty much all of them were negative.
 
I am disappointed, but now that the shock is over, I can't say that I am angry with Kovy necessarily.  Don't get me wrong, as far as CR1976 the Devils fan goes, the fvcker's dead to me forever, but the human being in me sees it this way:
 
He's not American.  He's Russian.  Clearly Russia feels right to him in a way America never did. 
 
It's easy to say, "Well, if he had any doubts about staying here, he shouldn't have signed that deal."  He signed it in 2010.  It's now 2013.  A lot can happen in three years.  People can change.  What seemed like a great idea in 2010 can feel like a lousy one a few years later.  Since Kovy clearly had a change of heart and no longer wanted to be a part of this franchise, it's a good thing that the Devils are no longer on the hook for paying him $77 million.  Yes, it's going to hurt in the short term, but Kovy's contract was a bad one the minute it was signed.  I can't imagine he could've held up continuing to carry the workload that was being asked of him.  His deal was going to be a rough one in time (same as Parise's).  With this contract null and void, new opportunities WILL present themselves, but I'm not going to pretend that the Devils became a better team today.   
 
So in short, I can't bring myself to hate Kovy.
 
But I can hate the NHL right now.  Because today showed that the brand has been cheapened, and the NHL has no else to blame but themselves for this.  They've taken the brand for granted for too long, and because of their arrogance (thank you Gary Bettman), they allowed another game to ride into their turf and become a competitor for the world's best players' services.  This is such a sad joke.  The NHL is supposed to be the best league in the world, the league where the top players from all-around want to compete for the right to hoist hockey's ultimate trophy. That's supposed to be a fvcking NO BRAINER!  Remember, it wasn't so long ago that Russians were yearning, screaming, begging for the chance to play in the NHL...not the opportunity to go BACK! 
 
With Kovy's defection, to me, everything about the NHL took a hit today.  The league, how it's perceived, the Cup...somehow all of it seems a little less significant, a little less important, and the NHL is not a league that can afford to take hits to its credibility like this.  One of its best players willingly turned his back on what is allegedly THE friggin' PREMIER hockey league of the world.  I'm still amazed that this could even happen, regardless of the circumstances.   
 
Anywhere, just curious where others who are somewhat breathing normally again are.


While still in shock and will miss his style of play immensely and what he brought to this team, I share almost the identical thoughts and feelings as you. Well put!
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#87 Jerzey Devil

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:51 AM

Since he's making so much money, Kovy should pay the retirement penalty (250k) every year or lump sum us. He should do that anyway. And he should pay the 3 million in fines we were slapped with in trying to give him that first contract.

Other than that I'm still pissed at him. I don't blame anyone for wanting to go home (Zach included) but with what our organization went through to get him he left us in really bad shape.
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#88 gardenstatepkwy

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:53 AM

I slept on it.  I still hate him.  He left the entire organization, including his team mates hanging out to dry.  The timing of what he pulled stinks to high hell. Thinking about everything the Devils sacrificed including the trade to get him, cash and draft picks in penalties and who knows what else (Parise, other FAs).  The Devils bent over backwards for him. And in return he bent them over.

 

No, sorry, I'm still angry and I probably will be until the Devils actually use that available cap space to go get someone who will make a huge impact to the team and put asses in the seats like Kovalchuk did.  I don't think it will happen this year.  That kind of player isn't available unless Lou can make a trade.  Maybe next summer.  Whatever. Kovalchuk can go to hell.


Edited by gardenstatepkwy, 12 July 2013 - 07:54 AM.

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#89 Pepperkorn

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:21 AM

Since he's making so much money, Kovy should pay the retirement penalty (250k) every year or lump sum us. He should do that anyway. And he should pay the 3 million in fines we were slapped with in trying to give him that first contract.

Other than that I'm still pissed at him. I don't blame anyone for wanting to go home (Zach included) but with what our organization went through to get him he left us in really bad shape.

Owners can't force the players to pay for their own stupidity.  Devils get what's coming to them.  That's the way it is. 


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#90 devilsfan26

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:26 AM

Since he's making so much money, Kovy should pay the retirement penalty (250k) every year or lump sum us. He should do that anyway. And he should pay the 3 million in fines we were slapped with in trying to give him that first contract.

Other than that I'm still pissed at him. I don't blame anyone for wanting to go home (Zach included) but with what our organization went through to get him he left us in really bad shape.

I'm pretty sure that 250k per year isn't actually paid, it's just a number that is counted against the cap.


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#91 Jerzey Devil

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:28 AM

Owners can't force the players to pay for their own stupidity.  Devils get what's coming to them.  That's the way it is. 

 

I meant it as Kovy should be offering to pay the fines himself because of what he did to the organization. 


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#92 devilsfan26

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:30 AM

I slept on it.  I still hate him.  He left the entire organization, including his team mates hanging out to dry.  The timing of what he pulled stinks to high hell. Thinking about everything the Devils sacrificed including the trade to get him, cash and draft picks in penalties and who knows what else (Parise, other FAs).  The Devils bent over backwards for him. And in return he bent them over.

 

No, sorry, I'm still angry and I probably will be until the Devils actually use that available cap space to go get someone who will make a huge impact to the team and put asses in the seats like Kovalchuk did.  I don't think it will happen this year.  That kind of player isn't available unless Lou can make a trade.  Maybe next summer.  Whatever. Kovalchuk can go to hell.

Lou has known about this, in his mind he already had that cap space at the start of free agency.  The guys we got are the "replacements" if you want to call them that.  Obviously they aren't as good as Kovalchuk, but who was available this year that is that good? 


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#93 Jerzey Devil

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

I'm pretty sure that 250k per year isn't actually paid, it's just a number that is counted against the cap.

 

Well that's not so bad at least. I can't really see that crippling us in any way. But I want that 3 million back.  :ECW: 

 

:cryriver:


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#94 Pepperkorn

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:04 AM

I meant it as Kovy should be offering to pay the fines himself because of what he did to the organization. 

I bet he's not allowed to.  If I were the NHLPA I'd blow my stack if anyone tried that.

 

I wonder what happens to his agent's cut of that.  He may be the real loser in all of this


Edited by Pepperkorn, 12 July 2013 - 09:08 AM.

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#95 MantaRay

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:07 AM

There is no rush.   Let the dust settle, play the hand you've been dealt.

 

I still like the make-up of this TEAM right now.    If we can add a Boyes or Raymond, someone young and not too expensive to play on Elias wing, we will be fine.


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#96 CRASHER

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:10 AM

I bet he's not allowed to.  If I were the NHLPA I'd blow my stack if anyone tried that.

 

I wonder what happens to his agent's cut of that.  He may be the real loser in all of this

 

Why would the PA care? He's no longer a part of the union anymore?

 

I'm sure his agent is counting the rubles as he signs with the KHL.......


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#97 Satans Hockey

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:18 AM

I slept on it and I'm still as pissed as I was yesterday. I hope this money hungry quiter gets a career ending injury so he can't collect his money.
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#98 devilsrule33

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:21 AM

I wonder if I am the only one here who is just sad, not angry or disappointment, just sad. Not trying to make it seem that I am somehow better than anyone or that anyone is wrong for wishing ill will. Everyone has the right and probably should be furious. But I don't know, this just is really crappy. It was fun having an electric player for a few years, even though it really only worked out for one year.

 

I don't think he has set the franchise back too much by leaving. The only thing I'd say is if Lou knew he was leaving, you could possibly start rebuilding, but without a 1st next year, what's the point? You could still do those things now. And I think the Schneider trade is a great thing for a team competing or rebuilding. 

 

The contract penalty sucks, but that was a sunk cost. And the trade to get him was basically for free. The Devils did not lose any assets. I am tired listening to the Kovy contract stopped the Devils signing Parise. I don't believe it, but if did, then it stopped a giant sized contract that everyone here has ripped to shreds. I don't like the idea of paying $100 million for a 65-70 point player that can't shoot.  

 

It's been a tough few years, but I'll never count out Lou. Better Kovalchuk came to this decision now then in a few years or that be some serious dead cash sitting on the books.


Edited by devilsrule33, 12 July 2013 - 09:40 AM.

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#99 NJDevs4978

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:29 AM

Why would the PA care? He's no longer a part of the union anymore?

I'm sure his agent is counting the rubles as he signs with the KHL.......


Which agent? He's got a Russian agent and Grossman. Grossman might have been a big loser yesterday considering Kovy probably is using the Russian agent with SKA...
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#100 Colin226

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:32 AM

HFBoards poster's ranking of some formers Devils: We ride together, we die together, Devils for life tier: Stevens Daneyko Elias Brodeur Sergeant Brylin I love you so much and wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors tier: Rafalski Madden Gionta I have no ill will towards you tier: Pandolfo C'mon son, I expect better from you tier: Niedermayer MacLean Vishnevski Tier: Vishnevski YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE Tier: Parise There is no curse in elvish, entish, or the tongues of men for this treachery tier: Gomez FIRE AND BRIMSTONE Tier: Kovalchuk
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