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The Kovalev situation


ch_nl
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Kovalev wants to see what the free agent market can give him.

And if no other team will offer him a better deal than the canadiens he will probably sign.

And what if Kovalev is the last one to sign a contract? Then there will be no-one left for us?

What about Selänne? And how about that defenceman we need? When will he sign and who is he?

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I hear ya. I think that both the organization and the fans have put a premium on resigning Kovalev. He's obviously talented, but I'd rather see them save the money and look to pick up a solid two-way defenseman. I think they should give some of the younger guys in Hamilton a solid shot this year, because the Habs can get offense later if they need it...

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Ok. I can agree. But I still think that a team needs veterans to balance the mix.

And Dackell, Juneau, Quintal and Sundström are gone. Maybe Kovalev and Perreault will go too. What's left then. Koivu and Rivet?

Bring back Kovalev.

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Stan Savran is reporting that his sources indicate that Kovalev will be signing with the Pens some time next week. He says that the sources indicate that while the deal has not been signed it's "virtually a done deal."

The report is also that the Pens had considered having a press conference next week to announce both signings, but that word of Recchi's singing leaked out, and so they "hastily" put together today's press conference -- hence the reason Recchi wasn't even there!

One of the most respected and versatile sportscasters in Pittsburgh, Savran has served as co-host of Fox Sports Net's SportsBeat (now Savran on SportsBeat) since February of 1992.

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I can't believe the Pens just got Recchi for 3 million a season...3 years, 9 million. He had 75 points last year, is respected, solid at both ends. Sure he's 36 but that signing can't bode well for what someone like Kovalev wants to make...I don't see how the Pens can afford Kovalev AND Recchi. They're practically bankrupt as it is...and why would any player want to play in that atmosphere?

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Zhamnov still tops Penguins' wish list

Monday, July 12, 2004

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sure, the Penguins would like to sign free-agent right winger Alex Kovalev. A lot.

But only at their price. And only on their terms.

That means it might not happen as soon as some suspect. And it's not guaranteed to happen at all.

Besides, while Kovalev would greatly upgrade the Penguins' skill level and give them a badly needed goal-scoring threat on the wing, he wouldn't address what management regards as the team's top priority: Adding a playmaking center or two.

Alexei Zhamnov, late of Philadelphia, is the guy the Penguins coveted most when the free-agency market opened July 1 and remains atop their wish list. Despite reports that he is seeking $5 million per season, acquaintances contend Zhamnov would have re-signed with the Flyers if they had offered him a four-year, $17 million package like the one they gave Keith Primeau this spring.

While the Penguins continue to pursue Zhamnov -- there has been no indication when he will select a team, or even whether he has whittled down the list of contenders -- they do have a few fallback candidates to bolster them down the middle.

They like Jason Wiemer, who had eight goals and 14 assists in 75 games while splitting last season between the New York Islanders and Minnesota, but mostly for the toughness and grit he would provide.

Wiemer, 28, never has had more than 31 points in any of his 10 NHL seasons. He made $1,622,500 in 2003-04.

Conversely, Jozef Stumpel, who also is prominent on the Penguins' radar, won't provide much muscle, but has been a consistently effective playmaker since breaking into the NHL with Boston during the 1991-92 season.

Stumpel, who turns 32 July 20, has split his career between Boston and Los Angeles, with two stints for both clubs; he had eight goals and 29 assists in 64 games with the Kings last season.

Stumpel's most productive season was 1997-98, when he had 21 goals and 58 assists in 77 games. He has had 50 or more points in seven of the past nine years.

During the first week-and-a-half of free agency, few players have received as much money as they might have in earlier years, and Stumpel seems unlikely to buck that trend.

After earning $2.85 million in 2003-04, he probably can expect to command somewhere between $1.5 million and $1.75 million per year on his next deal.

Kovalev should fare far better, although he won't get anything close to the $6.6 million he pulled down last season.

Kovalev is believed to be seeking a salary in the $4.5 million-$5 million range, and that likely is more than the Penguins will pay. Especially when Kovalev would like a deal long enough to carry him to retirement.

What's more, some in the organization remain skeptical that Kovalev, who is most effective when given the freedom to improvise, would adapt well to the structured style employed by coach Eddie Olczyk.

Kovalev, late of Montreal, chafed under the restrictions imposed by the system coach Claude Julien installed for the Canadiens, and was emphatic during a recent interview that he does not want to have his creativity stifled by the team he joins.

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Originally posted by Uwey

Kovalev, late of Montreal, chafed under the restrictions imposed by the system coach Claude Julien installed for the Canadiens, and was emphatic during a recent interview that he does not want to have his creativity stifled by the team he joins.

Don't like the sound of that! Anyone see that interview?

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i would like to see a transcript of this recent interview. I believe about 5% max of what I read in articles such as these, Especially when Kovalev's statements are characterized instead of quoted. I've also seen articles say that kovalev was adjusting well to the Julien system and one could imagine that a kovalev/Koivu/Zednik line would be forced into less of a system than other canadiens lines.

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The link for the above article is http://post-gazette.com/pg/04194/345211.stm

However, the more realistic approach is in an article for today. The same author states that if Kovalev is to play in Pittsburgh he will more than likely have to take less money than other teams will likely offer. So we'll if Kovy really wants to play in the Steel City based on whatever contract he ends up signing.

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Originally posted by simonus

one could imagine that a kovalev/Koivu/Zednik line would be forced into less of a system than other canadiens lines.

I couldn't agree more.

I mean, with the "new NHL" immerging, with teams like Tampa Bay winning the cup with their run and gun style, but with a twist of defense, this has to be playing on all teams management’s mind. If Habs resigned Kovalev, or someone else similar to his standards, it would make that top line a scary one to play against. With Julien and his defensive system though, he would have 3 lines to follow it, which would go out, and be capable of shutting down the other teams top lines. With the way the team is currently shaping up though, it looks like these other 3 lines, will also have the ability to score, which, has been quite the problem in the past, as the Habs only had one good line to put the puck in the net.

SIGN KOVALEV!... lol

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I don't think the Pens will be signing Kovalev. They have their eye on Zhamnov!! Which is a good thing for the Habs!!! If we can get Kovalev for 4.5 Million$, I'll consider it a good deal!!1

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Here are the results of the Kovalev poll....

450+ people voted...

And 1 person forgot to save the results (me) d'oh! ... But from my memory the poll was split down the middle.

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We need Kovy back, plain and simple. He is the ONE true sniper we have on the team (Ryder is more of a "wow, I got the puck on my stick and now I have to shoot" type of player). With Kovy, so many more things happen on offense. Zed's scoring will increase, as Kovy brings a hard shot that renders rebounds for Zed to pound in. Koivu's points will go up with all the assists to Kovy. Kovy can create shots, unlike many players on the roster. He is not extremely fast, but he is agile and can shoot while moving towards the middle. He has a hard and accurate shot from the wing, something we have missed on the top line since Martin Rucinsky. He is not too bad defensively either...he is surprisingly strong and can take men off of the puck...he can go along the boards and come away with the puck as well. He just does so many things for us, and it would be a shame to let him go. We can easily be the highest bidder, and I don't think he would refuse the money from a playoff team.

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What's taking so long?

He should have been signed allready. Why would he want to return to Pittsburgh? The worst team in the leauge? Has Kovalev gone lazy and only things about the long hollyday it means by playing for the Pens?

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Originally posted by ch_nl

What's taking so long?

He should have been signed allready. Why would he want to return to Pittsburgh? The worst team in the leauge? Has Kovalev gone lazy and only things about the long hollyday it means by playing for the Pens?

He wanted to play with Lemieux to get that fire he had before in the Pitts.

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any chance that the money opening up for pittsburgh signings is a signal that lemieux isn't going to be playing? It seems like lemieux is going to keep playing forever, but it might make some degree of sense. Perhaps they are delaying the announcement until they get some free agents.

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Originally posted by ch_nl

What's taking so long?

He should have been signed allready. Why would he want to return to Pittsburgh? The worst team in the leauge? Has Kovalev gone lazy and only things about the long hollyday it means by playing for the Pens?

The CBA negotiations are whats taking so long. Nobody really wants to sign anyone with an expiring agreement between players and owners.

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