Archive for the Category ◊ Player transactions ◊

09 Oct 2011 Keeping Up With Yan Stastny
Yan Stastny

Stastny dons the Ice Tigers crest.

Former NHLer and Hockey Goddesses fave Yan Stastny has signed with the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). Based in Nuremberg, Germany, the Ice Tigers were Stastny’s first professional squad. As we reported last week, Stastny recently parted ways with his former club, CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League.

In Nuremberg he joins a few other ex-NHLers Ryan Bayda (Carolina Hurricanes), Eric Chouinard (Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota Wild) and Sven Butenschön (Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks).

Photograph: From the official website of the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers.



13 Sep 2011 Ex-NHLer Yan Stastny Leaves KHL Squad

Yan Stastny

Yan Stastny

Former NHLer Yan Stastny has parted ways with his Kontinental Hockey League team. He joined CSKA Moscow — Russia’s most celebrated hockey club — in 2010, signing a two-year pact.

The CSKA press service reports Stastny and the team severed ties by “mutual agreement.” Last season, Stastny appeared in 49 games, scoring 12 points.

Photograph: From KHL.com.

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30 Jul 2011 Alexei Kovalev Heads Home
Alex Kovalev

Alex Kovalev

38-year-old forward Alex Kovalev returns to Russia after 18 seasons in the NHL. He has signed a two-year contract with the Gagarin Cup finalist “Atlant”. As Canadian press marks, it’s not surprising, because Kovalev, who signed a $10-million contract with the Senators in 2009, never came close to fulfilling expectations. Nevertheless, Alex was a real star in the NHL – during his long career he scored 428 goals and 596 assists in 1,302 regular season games and had another 45 goals and 55 assists in 123 playoff games.

CEO “Atlant” Andrew Ropes said he had called Alex, as soon as he learned about his intention to return to Russia. “The conversation went very businesslike. I immediately outlined his role in our young and ambitious team, which desperately needed leaders – experienced and respected players. He knew right away I became interested. He was attracted by the figure of a new head coach “Atlant” Gustafsson”, – marked Ropes.

He added that Alex would join his new team in the coming days. “He himself can not wait to begin preparations for the season”, – said Ropes (according to “Atlant” official web-site).

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06 Feb 2011 Slava Kozlov Joins New Team for Playoff Push
slava kozlov in Salavat colors

Slava Kozlov will chase the Gagarin Cup with a new team.

Former NHL star and current KHL player, Slava Kozlov, has changed his club right before the playoffs. His former team — CSKA Moscow — is having a poor season and the move enables him to continue his career on a more successful team. Kozlov has joined Salavat Yulaev — one of the strongest clubs in the KHL. The team’s coach, Slava Bykov, is a former player and a current manager of Russia’s national team.

On Salavat Yulaev Ufa, Slava joins several other former NHLers including Viktor Kozlov, Dmitri Kalinin and Alexander Radulov. According to the official Salavat site, Slava will wear No. 32.

The player himself commented his transfer, saying that his new colleagues were masters and it was pleasant to be with them on one team. Let’s see now how far Salavat will go through the playoffs.

Photo: Vyacheslav Kozlov from Salavat Yulaev’s official website.

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29 Sep 2010 Slava Kozlov Goes to CSKA

Slava Kozlov to KHL.

One of the most prominent Russians in the National Hockey League, Vyacheslav Kozlov, will play in the Kontinental Hockey League this year. The Russian press reports Slava has signed a one-year contract with CSKA Moscow.

Kozlov will swap his trademark No. 13 jersey for No. 72. He joins former NHLers Stephen Valiquette and Yan Stastny, and former Ottawa Senators prospect Ilya Zubov on the Red Army team.

A two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings, Kozlov was the last member of the vaunted “Russian Five” to play in the NHL. His signing with CSKA, however, reunites him with fellow Russian Fiver Viacheslav Fetisov, who is the club’s president.

Photo: Vyacheslav Kozlov by Goddess Kaatiya. Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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21 Aug 2010 Semin in ‘Small’ Wreck and More Russian Hockey News

Semin's car accident - lifesports.ru

Semin's car accident - lifesports.ru

Washington Capitals star Alexander Semin got in a very small car accident last week in Krasnoyarsk — reportedly, his car was slightly hit by another. Semin said he even hadn’t realized what had happened. No one was hurt.

Here’s a small video in which a person tries to learn what has happened and is told not to take the video – Semin car accident

More Hockey News — Straight Outta Russia …

  • Former Thrasher Maxim Afinogenov scored for SKA Saint Petersburg at a summer tournament in Switzerland. As for his return to Russia, Afinogenov said: “I realized – it’s time to go back home.” He promised not to change his style of play and to stay himself. Max also said he’s living in the same hotel as former San Jose Sharks netminder Evgeny Nabokov, noting that they often go out together. And, finally, Max insists he’s forgotten about the NHL already.

  • One of Russia’s most talented young players, Nikita Filatov, is going back to Columbus. Again. Filatov promised to work hard and to play his brand of hockey.

  • Little Viktor Tikhonov is going to move his way into Phoenix and the NHL. His agent admitted — it’s the main goal for Viktor.

  • Slava Kozlov will be waiting for offers from the NHL til the end, but if he doesn’t get them, “we’ll start talks with him,” said CSKA president Slava Fetisov.

  • Finally, the ‘unfriendly ghost’ and current SKA coach Darius Kasparaitis has got a son! His girlfriend gave birth to their son in Saint Petersburg. Kasparaitis already has three daughters.

    via Russian press

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  • 09 Aug 2010 Ex-Thrashers, Current Drama Queens

    Kovalchuk Kilt

    Too late to break out Kovalchuk's Kombat Kilt? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, divas dress to kill.

    I have to say I gasped, then laughed like crazy when I saw the latest in Ilya-gate. The arbiter ruled in favor of the National Hockey League! WHAT?! As the late, great Johnny Carson would no-doubt have said (if he’d been a hockey fan), “that’s some weird, wild stuff.”

    What is it with these ex-Atlanta Thrashers who become drama queens when they leave the team? Maybe Kovy has always been a bit of a diva (yeah, he has been), but we’ve had a string of interesting former Thrasher players all mixed up in the drama: Hossa-gate (and all the unnecessary rudeness surrounding it, of which I disapproved), Dany-gate (and all the rudeness that he did deserve), now this. A high-profile player cannot leave the Thrashers without drama ensuing — either immediately, during or after his departure. (So we stand on alert waiting for Kari Lehtonen to implode, get thrown from a bucking bronco at a dive bar in Dallas and tweak his groin, or eat himself into a fast food coma.)

    Kovy, Kovy, Kovy. You could have avoided all of this ages ago by just taking the sweetheart deal the Thrashers begged you to sign.

    This is all very amusing to me. Is it just me?! Perhaps “drama queen” is overstating it, but really. This is crazy. Kovalchuk is a free agent again! A little more than a month after he became a UFA, Kovalchuk could flit off to the Kontinental Hockey League and join the super team SKA St. Petersburg seems to be amassing over there. He could crown himself a Los Angeles King after all. Or, the humble and loving Thrasher fan in me naively, somewhere in the back of her mind thinks, he could come home to Atlanta. Yes. Go get him Dudley! (Oh! Silly me. We are not a “class organization” in his eyes, so never mind the bollocks!)

    Am I spiteful? Just experiencing a wicked case of schadenfreude and am all giddy? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Until then … LOL Kovy. Oh dear!

    Photo: Ilya Kovalchuk from kiltmen.com. If I am not mistaken, that photograph originally appeared in a fashion spread in a magazine many years ago. The Hockey Goddesses regret not knowing the original copyright owner, but would welcome this information (as much as we would welcome knowing how the author of the story and/or photographer persuaded him to pose in this garb — delightful and oddly sexy as it is.)

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    28 Jul 2010 CHL Teams Getting Busy, Busy, Busy
    Landon Ferraro

    BabyParm waiting for the puck to drop circa 2008.

    So, it’s just about one month before most CHL teams, will be starting their training camps; and my boys are no exception, as they will be getting started on the 25th of August. Along with the normal activities that will go on during this camp for both invitees, draft picks, rookies and vets to get ready for the season the boys in green and grey will also be preparing for their annual Labor Day tournament that they host every year. For a hockey junkie it’s like being let loose on a buffet when you’ve been drinking Slim Fast for four months. It is three full days of games, made up of nine games, with the WHL’s US division teams and usually one from the BC division like last year with Dion Phaneuf’s baby brother and his Prince George Cougars; however this year, we get a treat. Since all of the BC teams had better things to do other commitments, Coach Craig Hartsburg put in a phone call to his old team, aka the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. It’s the very first time that the Tips have played anyone outside of the WHL, my seat is two rows behind the bench; and I am very excited about this.

    Also making me pretty damn excited is that in the past 36 hours, our GM Doug Soetart has pulled off two deals that make me want to know if maybe he’s been taking lessons from Ray Shero or Kenny Holland. Yesterday, the Tips traded for Landon Ferraro and today, they signed former Minnesota Golden Gopher Josh Birkholz. Both of these deals are, to me anyway, complete surprises; but I think they’re going to make our team a bit tougher and a bit stronger if they can live up to the hype especially Mr. Ferraro.

    Landon, aka Baby Parm, is the son of former NHL center Ray Ferraro and the stepson of USA gold medalist and Hockey Hall of Fame electee member Cammi Granato. He was drafted and had previously been part of the Red Deer Rebels as well as being chosen by the Detroit Red Wings last summer. I actually got to see him play both up in Alberta when he was a rookie and two years ago here in Everett; and the boys can score. I just hope he has worked on his fighting skills… he got his clocked cleaned by former Silvertip and current baby Blackhawk Kyle Beach when he was here last. We got Landon in exchange for center Byron Froese, who is also a baby Blackhawk chosen in last year’s draft; and I’ll miss Byron. He’s a good kid and a great player too.

    Josh B schmoozing with the Kitties' brass last summer.

    Mr. Birkholz, on the other hand, is a complete unknown to me. He was also drafted last year as a third-round pick by the Florida Panthers; but played last year in Minnesota. When I saw the announcement that he was committing to play here this season, my first thought was “Buh!? Who is this guy?” Well, it appears that the Tips had his junior rights; but as an American kid who was planning to go to college, he decided to play in the USHL instead as a 17 year old before moving over to the Gophers’ program last season. We’ll see what happens with this kid as part of the reason for him leaving UM after one year is for team rules violations; but the Tips brass seem confident that this isn’t going to be an issue. So I guess that I’ll have to trust them since they don’t give a monkey what my opinion is; I’m just a season ticket holder. ;)

    And before I forget, the next two weeks we will have two members of our team spending some time with Team USA. California boy Tyler Maxwell will be spending some time at National Junior Evaluation Camp and I hope he makes it this year. We need more WHL wearing Stars and Stripes. Also with USA Hockey is our Associate Head Coach Jay Varady, who after winning a gold medal this last year as video coach for the U-20 team, will be the assistant coach for the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Good luck to them!

    Anyway… that’s what’s happening in Hooterville this week. I am not sure if I’m going to be able to wait four weeks to smell that ice again; but I guess I have to.

    Photos: Landon Ferraro by Goddess Amy, and Josh Birholz from Bruce Bennett/Getty Images.

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    21 Jul 2010 I Said “Ha-Ha!” (Sorry Kovy)

    Ilya Kovalchuk

    Is Ilya Kovalchuk's future once again hazy? Looks like it.

    Much like Nelson Muntz (of “The Simpsons” fame), I had to let out a tiny giggle at the NHL bringing down the banhammer on Ilya Kovalchuk’s new contract. I know that there have been a few others like this in the last few season; but I asked the same question of them that I did of this one … Does our pal Kovalchoo really need a deal that would last until his oldest child graduates college and would be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of the Gross National Product of a small African nation? (For more puzzling questions, see fellow Goddess Kaatiya’s piece: Kovy’s Contact Rejected — Why?)

    To be honest, I am not a Devils fan in the least. Not only am I a Pens fan and still have a bit of a grudge against Scott Stevens for laying out my boy Paulie K in Game 6 of the 2003 Finals; but the beating of my Ducks in that series make them not too friendly around these parts.

    However, Ilya has always fascinated me; and after he was traded to New Jersey, I was actually kind of happy for him. Things in Atlanta have never quite gotten off the ground, so with Los Diablos, Mr. Kovalchoo was finally going to a club that had the same level of talent to match his own. And that is a problem with this contract; they might not be able to keep all of it for as long as they would like and at the price tags that talent would be asking for.

    Anyway, I thought I would leave you with a few pictures from today’s press conference in New Jersey.

    A greeting from one of his alternate captains (Patrik Elias)...

    and one from his goalie (Martin Brodeur)...

    The posse sits in support or in wait to speak to Lou Lamoriello about this huge-ass deal that THEY would like to have as well; or maybe a bit of both...

    Little do these guys know what lies ahead in the next few hours?

    Kovalchuk poses outside the Devils' arena this afternoon; but will he still be there if they cut down his deal?

    Photos:  Ilya Kovalchuk by Getty Images and The Associated Press.



    20 Jul 2010 Kovy’s Contract Rejected — Why?
    Ilya Kovalchuk

    The NHL says Kovalchuk's contract is 'illegal' -- how can this be? Hasn't precedent been set? (see: Hossa, Ricky D, Bobby Lou, et. al)

    File this under “things that make you go ‘hmmm…’”

    It’s quite intriguing that the National Hockey League has decided to put its foot down with the Ilya Kovalchuk contract. There are several contracts similar to his, though not as long. I doubt they have a legal leg to stand on. Even if the New Jersey Devils and Kovalchuk himself knows this contract was written in such a way as to circumvent the Collective Bargaining Agreement, how can they prove intent? Is it that he’ll be 44 years old when the contract expires and, basically, nobody (let’s say 0.005 percent of players) plays past 40-ish?

    Even so, how do you prove intent to circumvent? And even if you do prove it, if the current CBA has that loophole, how do you retroactively close it? And where do you draw the line? Fifteen years was OK for the Islanders’ Rick DiPietro. Marian Hossa signed a big front-loaded contract. Robert Luongo is on a monster deal. Where is the line? Why bring the hammer down at this point?

    I am very curious as to how the league thinks it can get away with this randomness — either you can or you can’t do something under a contract. And, while I am not a lawyer, if those other contracts were not in violation, how can this one be?

    The Kovalchuk drama continues!  He always was a diva — this somehow fits.  (No really … don’t you think?)

    What are your thoughts?

    Photo:  Ilya Kovalchuk by Getty Images.

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    13 Jul 2010 Russian Media Roundup: Datsyuk to College and More
    Slava Kozlov

    Kozlov reportedly has his sights set on the KHL.

    Here’s a brief summary of some of the hot hockey stories making the rounds in the Russian press this week.

    - SKA Saint Petersburg signed ex-San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov to a 4-year, $24 million (USD) contract.

    - Reportedly, former Atlanta Thrashers player Slava Kozlov wants to play in Russia. He is in talks with several clubs.

    - Kontinental Hockey League studies details on 23-year-old SKA player Igor Misko’s sudden death.

    -  The Washington Capitals took four Russians to their summer camp.

    -  Detroit Red Wings and team Russia forward Pavel Datsyuk has entered the university in his native city of Ekaterinburg.  He will study sports management.

    Photo: Vyacheslav Kozlov by Goddess Kaatiya. Copyright 2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.

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    08 Jul 2010 Nabokov Signs 4-year Contract With SKA
    Evgeni Nabokov goes to Russia

    Evgeni Nabokov goes back to Russia.

    One of the best Russian goalies in the NHL — Evgeni Nabokov — has signed a 4-year contract with SKA (Saint Petersburg), Sovsport.ru reports.

    On Wednesday we sorted out the last small difficulties, and Zhenya [a nickname for Evgeni in Russian] signed the contract with the SKA. The agreement was e-mailed to him. Now Zhenya is going to set up him home problems — he should close his house in San Jose, to sell all the unneeded stuff… He moves to Russia with his whole family. The sum of his contract suits him. And KHL is satisfied – to have such a player means to raise the prestige of the league in the world, — said Nabby’s agent Sergei Isayev.

    SKA refuses to name the contract sum.  And the club denies that this agreement with Nabokov will prevent them from fighting for Ilya Kovalchuk.

    Photo:  Evgeni Nabokov from Sovsport.ru

    Evgeni Nabokov goes to Russia
    Evgeni Nabokov goes to Russia

    One of the best Russian goalies in the NHL – Evgeni Nabokov – has signed a 4-year contract with SKA (Saint-Petersburg), Sovsport.ru reports.

    - On Wednesday we sorted out the last small difficulties, and Zhenya [a short for Evgrni in Russian] signed the contract with the SKA. The agreement was e-mailed to him. Now Zhenya is going to set up him home problems – he should close his house in San Jose, to sell all the unneeded stuff… He moves to Russia with his whole family. The sum of his contract suits him. And KHL is satisfied, too, because to have such a player means to

    - said Nabby’s agent Sergei Isayev.

    В НХЛ Набоков выступал только за «Сан-Хосе». В американском клубе он провел десять сезонов, за пять последних зарабатывал по шесть миллионов долларов в год.

    – Объявлять сумму контракта Набокова мы пока не собираемся, – заявил генеральный менеджер СКА Андрей Точицкий. – Вот примет КХЛ закон обнародовать все договоры с игроками – тогда пожалуйста. Пока могу лишь сказать, что Евгений уже давно принял решение выступать за СКА. И сумма контракта его полностью устраивает. В среду, поставив подписи под документом, мы поговорили несколько минут, поздравили друг друга…

    – Почему контракт подписан сразу на четыре года? Чья это была инициатива – игрока или клуба?

    – Я бы сказал – по обоюдному желанию сторон. Теперь вратарская позиция в нашей команде полностью закрыта.

    – Ясно, что сумма контракта Набокова – очень приличная. Означает ли это, что СКА отказывается от своих притязаний еще на одну звезду НХЛ – форварда Илью Ковальчука?

    – Давайте пока без подробных комментариев. Ковальчук остается в сфере наших интересов.

    – Поставлю вопрос иначе – контракт Набокова будет выведен из-под потолка зарплат, что позволяет регламент КХЛ, или этот резерв сохранится для Ковальчука?

    – С этим мы определимся чуть позже.

    – Остается ли в СКА Алексей Яшин?

    – Мы сделали Яшину новое контрактное предложение. Алексей пока не ответил.

    Отметим, что от контракта Набокова со СКА выиграл не только питерский клуб, но и сборная России. Наш тренерский штаб получил в свое распоряжение опытнейшего голкипера на ближайшие чемпионаты мира и Олимпиаду в Сочи.

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    03 Jul 2010 Will Kovalchuk Get ‘Yashin-ed’?

    Ilya Kovalchuk

    Kovalchuk has said he just wants to win, but is it just lip service?

    As I’ve watched the Kovalchuk bonanza (note slight sarcasm), the thought has occurred to me repeatedly that perhaps he will be the next Alexei Yashin. Some of the warning signs might already be there.

    Yashin. Awesome player, but a guy maybe too many people expected too much out of. Maybe they expected more leadership than he could give. Hey, some guys just aren’t made that way. Maybe he was overpaid. (Maybe, they all are, but we won’t go there.) But being deemed an “overpaid” player brings massive pressure and expectation. Yashin was a captain for two different NHL teams — that’s a heaping helping of stress and responsibility for pretty much anyone, but for some it’s like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Some guys are best left doing what they do best and no more. In Kovalchuk’s case, wind up, shoot, score, sneak out of the area and slip off to Morton’s in your sweet baby blue Bentley. No questions asked. As captain in Atlanta, he was never the media guy or the go-to-for-a-quote guy, which is part of the captain’s gig.

    But what does Kovy have to do with Yashin? You’re probably thinking I am crazy. Maybe you’re right, but I am thinking several steps down the line. Let’s say Kovalchuk signs with the New York Islanders as is now the tasty rumor of the day. (The Islanders are, coincidentally, Yashin’s last NHL team. I won’t even mention the coincidence that Kovy and Alexei have the same patronymic, er, middle name: Valeryevich) Anyway. So, he signs with the Isles, he gets massive dollars, massive term. With it he gets the scrutiny of the New York media. He also gets the love (and hate) of the New Yawk fans. Whereas in Atlanta, he could slip out the back door without answering questions, in New York (or any other hockey haven) he’ll be held to account. A quiet night at The Cheesecake Factory (a Kovy fave)? Fuggetaboutit. In New York the fans will put him to the test even as he tries to enjoy that triple turtle cheesecake with extra whipped cream. Nobody will be polite. Nobody will call him Mr. Kovalchuk. It’ll be right up in his face with something like this: “What the [bleep] were you [bleeping] doing in last night’s [bleeping] game you [bleepity-bleepity-bleep]?! You bum!”

    Kovalchuk has said in the past that he prefers anonymity and after years of watching how he handles himself around Atlanta, I am inclined to believe it. He’s spent years ducking the two or three reporters who make the ATL locker room scene. How will it feel to have a face full of ultra pushy reporters every single night and no way to sneak off into the darkness? Will he wilt? Thrive? Get angry? Or get “Yashin-ed” (that is to say, blamed for everything)?

    Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk

    As exciting as Ovechkin, left, Kovalchuk differs from his friend and countryman in some important ways.

    Let’s say he is made captain of his new team. Can he handle the pressure? People might argue that sure he can. Of course! He’s held up under the gun of the Russian national team. He’s even excelled. But I argue, this is different. Much different. As a member of the national team, he’s among friends and fellow countrymen. He’s at home. In North America, he’s a bit of a fish out of water. He doesn’t seem to have the same comfort level here as, say, an Alexander Ovechkin (or his NHL-trailblazing forefather Sergei Fedorov), for example. He’s a bit of a homebody. Married young, with three young kids. Yet … like Yashin, he has a wife who was somebody once. Where Yashin has former supermodel Carol Alt, Kovalchuk has Nicole, who sang in a popular Russian, all-female group before settling down. Maybe she’s pushing to jumpstart a career here in the U.S.? If that’s the case, L.A. or N.Y. would be A-OK from her standpoint.

    Alexei Yashin was vilified for holding out for more money when he was with the Ottawa Senators. Kovalchuk is painted by many here in North America as a “greedy bastard” — all about the money, not about the winning. Is it true? The jilted Thrasher fan in me has a tiny “yes” peeping inside. If he wanted to win, he could have done what Marian Hossa did: Hand-picked teams he felt had excellent chances of winning. Instead, if rumors are true, and that he’s asking for the sun, the moon AND the stars, he will have a limited number of teams able to pony up that kind of money. And, by all accounts, the number of teams is quite limited (teams in the Kontinental Hockey League notwithstanding). At the moment he seems to be proving the all-he-cares-about-is-money crowd to be correct. People said that about Yashin too.

    Yashin was a solid player, really, but he could not shoulder the heavy burden of expectation that his contract placed on him. Some players thrive under such burdens, some break their sticks in frustration, cast them into the stands and get suspended by the league (hello Kovalchuk!).

    Alexei Yashin

    Yashin is all but forgotten in North America -- except by the Isles who will continue to pay him until 2014.

    Let’s say he gets his big NHL pay day. He gets his long-term contract. He gets the sought-after no-trade clause. Let’s say he’s playing in the pressure cooker of a New York or under the bright lights in Hollywood. How will he hold up? One could argue that he didn’t hold up particularly well in Atlanta, where the spotlight isn’t as bright and the pressure is, well, close to nil. Sure he got his goals, but he was prone to brooding and fits of immaturity, particularly when things weren’t going well. (He was prone to moments of brilliance as well, no doubt about it.) One could argue that he didn’t lead Atlanta to glory. As a matter of fact, one wouldn’t need to argue that. It’s a fact. One could argue he’s a sniper, pure and simple, not a leader. One could argue — and many have — that he’s obsessed not with winning, but with money. Time will tell the true tale.

    Five or six years down the road, I think we could be talking about one of two things: Kovalchuk being “Yashin-ed” — bought out and essentially forgotten by the league; or he experiences a modicum of success, but not as THE leader of whatever team he is playing for. If Kovalchuk wins anywhere, he will be a key piece, but not THE piece that seals the deal. He’s just not that kind of guy.

    A third option — and one I still consider a possible scenario — is that he does go ply his trade in the KHL, spurning whatever offers come his way here in North America and going for the really big dollars the KHL can offer. I believe superstars like Kovalchuk are leaned on heavily by the powers that be in Russia and Kovalchuk recently supplanted Alexei Morozov as the captain of Team Russia. I could see Kovalchuk returning in glory to play in the KHL. Coincidentally, the KHL team said to be the front runner for his services? SKA St. Petersberg — Alexei Yashin’s team.

    Photos: Ilya Kovalchuk; Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk; and Alexei Yashin by Goddess Kaatiya. Copyright 2007-2010. All Rights Reserved.

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    01 Jul 2010 Going Loco! Second Season Starts — UFAs Galore!

    “Loco del calor!” as David Lee Roth once sang (and as we in the South are experiencing). Plus, I refuse to use the word “frenzy” today. Here comes a blog-along, like NHL Draft Day. So bear with me as things get crazy!

    *  Wow!   Dan Hinote an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Guess he’s retired.  Unless he’s going the player-coach “Slap Shot” route!

    *  More once it hits noon!

    * Michael Leighton re-signed in Philly. (Two-year deal.)

    * Paille re-signs Boston. Savvy can address later!

    * It’s noon.  Let the game begin!

    *  Sergei Gonchar moves to Ottawa!

    * Former Thrasher Braydon Coburn stays with Philly (two year deal, per Craig Custance). Thank you D-Wad for losing him for Alexei Zhitnik! Grrrr…

    * COME ON THRASHERS!!!!!

    * People who do on-air fonts need to remember the difference between a person who “resigns” and a person who “re-signs.” HUGE difference, loves. /copyeditor rant

    * Alex Tanguay (back) to Calgary Flames. Wow.

    * Philly VERY busy! They got Andrei Meszaros from Tampa.

    * BABCHUCK’S BACK. The ‘Canes pick up their on-again, off-again, sometimes troublesome Slavic baby.

    * Wheee! Guillaume Latandresse re-signs with Minnesota Wild. Get WILD!!

    * Marty Biron leaves Philly for New York Rangers — will he be the next Kevin Weekes — never able to secure that No. 1 goalie situation. I think he already is the new Kevin Weekes.

    * Come on Thrashers — if you can’t get the Moose, get DAN ELLIS! YEAH! Come on!

    * Former prime minister Paul Martin to Pittsburgh!? What’s going down with NJ?!

    * Does letting Paul Martin go mean a Kovalchuk signing is nigh?!?

    * Dying to see where Kovy goes — is he a greedy bastard? Or does he just dislike Atlanta’s direction? Does he go to LA to revive his wife’s singing career?!

    * Little Philippe Paradis traded! Awww Mr. Glasses from last year’s draft to Blackhawks. Versteeg going back to Leafs.

    * Zybenk Michalek to Pittsburgh. (Five years, 20 mil.)

    * COME ON THRASHERS GET SOMEONE GOOD!!!

    * Colby Armstrong to Toronto — three years, $9 million. That’s a lot, I think.

    * Dan Ellis goes to Atlanta rival Tampa Bay. On the plus side, no more Niitty in Tampa (for those who don’t know, Atlanta has never beaten Niittymaki). On the minus, oh Dan Ellis would have been a fabulous bit of marketing for the Thrashers.

    * Olie Jokinen back to the Flames — really? Is that possible? Hard to believe that rumor.

    * Jody Shelley to Flyers. Gosh. Excitement today. The Flyers are going wacky today?! No?

    * Tough guy-o-rama: Derek Boogaard to New York. Yowza!

    * I guess it’s OK to mention here that deep in my heart I still wish for Kovy back in Atlanta.

    * Where will Slava Kozlov end up? I am afraid it might be the KHL.

    * Surprisingly unsurprising or unsurprisingly surprising. Colby leaving ATL. No surprise. Everyone, myself included, figured he’d go rejoin the Penguins and his bromance-worthy pal Crosby. I wish him all the best in Toronto. He’ll be entertaining to the media if nothing else, because of, you know, who he is. ;-)

    * Not all that surprising that Kovy is still unsigned. I am sure he has a million and one options to go through. But, wondering, if at some point he doesn’t start getting into a pickle in which teams keep spending and have less room for him. Therefore, he ends up with fewer choices?

    * Chris Viv (@ajcthrashers on Twitter) reports that the Thrashers are “working” on their goaltender situation. Oooooh. I wonder if that just means re-signing The Moose. Or bringing back Michael Garnett?!?! (Whose hockey cards I still collect incidentally, and who has really done well in the KHL.)

    * I like the Tampa Bay Lightning re-signing Martin St. Louis. He’s solid. He’s a Thrasher killer, but he just works there. Way to go Tampa on Marty and getting Dan Ellis, whom I coveted for the Thrashers.

    * Where will Goddess Sasha fave Paul Kariya go?!?

    * So Dan Hamhuis (great last name) to the Canucks. Interesting. I never thought Dan Hamhuis would be an edge-of-your-seat, where-will-he-go?!? kind of guy. No offense to him, but it’s wacky.

    * So Thrashers free agents: Maxim Afinogenov, Pavel Kubina, Eric Boulton, Evgeny Artyukin, (my dear and beloved) Vyacheslav Kozlov, Chrisoph Schubert, Chris Chelios (LOL), Marc Popovic and Johan Hedberg. NONE of these guys is signed. Yowza! Maybe Goddess Thorkhild has some scoop from Russia about Afinogenov, Kozlov or Artyukin (??).

    * D-Men in hot demand today.

    * Some of these deals just don’t thrill: Jeff Tambellini to Vancouver. Maybe if it was my team. Hmph.

    * Chris Mason signs with Thrash — wow. I am going to need a few seconds/minutes/days to think about this, particularly the loss of fan-fave Hedberg, which this certainly means.

    * Yowza — Chicago South for the Thrashers with Andrew Ladd coming to the ATL for a pick. Go Dudley??

    * I haven’t mentioned Volchenkov. I guess I am lazy. Volchenkov to New Jersey. Blah, blah, blah.

    * So from the Bizarro World Olie Jokinen goes back to the Calgary Flames. Interesting. Anyone have any thoughts?!

    * As an aside, the Bizarro World is a place in DC comic book land where the inhabitants do the opposite. Of course anyone who watched “Seinfeld” is somewhat familiar with this world.

    * Ivan Vishnevskiy we hardly knew thee. He goes back to Chicago in the Andrew Ladd deal. Weird.

    * The dismantling of the Blackhawks begins. The Blackhawks do stock up in so doing. Goddess Savvy foresaw this in a wonderful post just days after the big victory.

    * I am a bit sad that Thrashers pretty much ended up with nada for Kari Lehtonen, a former first-round draft choice, going second overall (after Rick Nash!!!).

    * Two-year deal for Chris Mason from Atlanta Thrashers. I am not as excited about this as I might have been about Dan Ellis, though, it might turn out better? Thoughts anyone?

    * If Olie Jokinen can go back to Calgary, how ’bout the Thrashers bring back Marc Savard! (Just kidding, Goddess Savvy.)

    * @benthrashers tweets: “Chris Mason was 13th in the NHL in wins and GAA and finished all 61 games he started.” NICE!

    * @craigcustance reports Johan Hedberg is likely headed to New Jersey. I feel a bit sad, despite the post above.

    * If you made it this far in the post, thank you for reading. How about giving me a shout out? Leave a comment and say, “I read this post and I didn’t even get a stinking T-shirt.”

    * Hey! The Sabres are going to sign brave, brave Jordan Leopold. And there was much rejoicing. (Later, they will eat Sir Robin’s minstrels.)

    * Curious about Garnet Exelby — a former Thrasher and huge fan favorite in Atlanta. Also wondering about Manny Legace and Jose Theodore.

    * We need some more bloggers — are you reading this? Interested? Message Goddess Kaatiya.

    * If “frenzy” didn’t start with an “F” would it always be a “frenzy” on free agent day?

    * Now that the Thrashers have raided the Blackhawks’ closet, when are they going to nab John Torchetti?!?

    * It’s been uncannily quiet on the Kovalchuk front. KHL rumors — no? Any rumors? Only the tired LA one. Let’s hear something on Kovy!

    * Selfishly, I want Kovy either back in ATL (not gonna happen, I know) or in the K. That way I can still cheer for him.

    * Turco? Nabokov? Theodore? Toskala? What’s up boys?

    * As a Thrasher fan I am thrilled that Thrasher killer Antero Niittymaki is OUT OF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE! Yes! (As I mentioned above, the Thrashers have never beaten Niitty.)

    * Awww … the Ducks re-signed Saku Koivu. Now I can continue to never see him anymore (alas).

    * Saw that people call Dustin Byfuglien “Buff Daddy.” Now this I love. Perfect for ATL, yo.

    * A source is reporting that the Los Angeles Kings are now the only suitors left for Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils are out — he’s too rich for their blood. I still have an inkling that the KHL could be calling. But maybe Kovalchuk’s wife wants to renew (?), rejuvenate (?), or in the eyes of some start a career in L.A. Hmmm…

    * Where might a personal favorite of mine — Darcy Tucker — go?

    * Gotta give props to @TSNBobMcKenzie — that dude’s got sources and sources and more sources.

    * Well, that about wraps this up for me. What are you thoughts on the NHL’s free agent day? Share ‘em with us!

        3 Comments


    25 Jun 2010 Jaromir Jagr to Continue His Career in Omsk
    Jaromir Jagr and his trademark smile.

    Jaromir Jagr (c) Sovsport.Ru

    The famous Czech player Jaromir Jagr is to continue his career in the Russian KHL team “Avangard” (which are also called “Hawks”). He has signed a one-year contract with the club, the official Avangard website reports.

    Meanwhile, a Russian sports site Sovsport.Ru has published an article about what people in Omsk think about Jaromir after the dramatic final at IIHF Worlds. Russia lost all the chances after a Russian player “broke the rules” on Jagr and was sent off. Later the referees admitted their mistake, but the Czech Republic had become the new world champion.

    The reporter took several pictures of Jagr and walked around Omsk with them.

    REPORTAGE shop

    - This is Jaromir Jagr, – said a salesman, – only a shaved one. We haven’t seen him for a long time. I think he was here last summer – he bought training shoes for 5 thousand rubles [~$160]. The ordinary shoes, even I can afford them.

    GLAMOUR cafe

    Jagr has a club card there and often visits their strip-hall.

    - Jagr is a bit tired from this fame. He comes to us with his Czech fellow players and sits in the corner, – said the senior club administrator Larissa.

    - He never ran close to the stage, but girls danced in his zone. Jagr often asked a girl named Lyalya for her private dancing, – said a manager.

    - Before the world champs Jagr came here and was very disappointed. He told me: Lyalya! You’re pretty, you should dance! This is it, I say, I don’t dance anymore. But how come, he answers, you must dance, you’re so beautiful and such a good girl! And I’m not in dancing for only a month. I danced for three years, and I miss it. I danced for Jaromir three or four times during nights, – said Lyalya, a former dancer, who is now one of the managers.

    CAR WASH

    - The man from your photo is always in a hurry. When we wash his car, he never goes out. IS THIS JAGR??? I saw him on ice, but didn’t find anything common with our client. What shall we do now? To shout “Avangard is the champion” the next time? – asked a car washer.

    SUPERMARKET “ASTOR”

    - Jagr comes to us almost every midnight, he lives in a 9-storey block of flats. He has a discount card (7% off), his usual purchase is 300 rubles (~$10). He takes a small basket and takes children cake cheeses, five or six bottles of pure water, honey, jam, chocolate, and then he goes to bacon and sausages department, – said a security guard.

    - Sure we know him, – smiles a saleswoman in the department. – His favorite weight is 300g, he always experiments, takes various sorts of bacon or sausages. Perhaps, Jaromir hasn’t yet found his bacon?

    BEER RESTAUTANT “At Svejk”

    - The favorite Jagr’s dish is the one with special cheese, Czech schnitzel with chicken and mashed potatoes, he can have two courses at a time, – said a waitress Julia. – Jagr both orders stuff to his home and has lunches here with his girlfriend Inna and a friend Nicas. He usually sits in the very corner with his back to the door, eats very fast and rushes out. He spent here a lot of time only once or twice. Jagr is friends with our Czech chef. When Jaroslav Psota was here, he was told ‘Jaromir has come!’, and he made special courses for the player. Now Jaroslav is back in Czech Republic. But when Jagr is back, the chef is back, too!

    All the people of Omsk on the “Jagr route”, marks the reporter, were surprisingly good-willed to the Czech star. And in spite of the sad result of the IIHF final [for Russia] they’re waiting for Jaromir in autumn.

    Photo: Jaromir Jagr by Sovsport.Ru

        3 Comments


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