(US Presswire…..reeling in the years….)
There were quite a few people who watched the webcast of the Ilya Kovalchuk press conference this afternoon and there were many divergent observations. One thing is clear. The Devils have some work to do to get under the salary cap but not nearly the amount many had predicted earlier in the month when the report first came out from the NY Post on July 5th. There will be no linking to that story as honestly it was just not true.
What was true is the fact that Kovalchuk was a good two way player for the Devils. That “me first” philosophy was there at times but for the most part former Coach Jacques Lemaire clearly taught Ilya a few lessons about defense. His +8 with his 27 game stint in New Jersey may just be a preview to come. Yes, he will have to bury the puck more but no question, Kovalchuk still scored 41 times last year.
Now there are ramifications to this contract. with the breakdown first. This was filed with the NHLPA.
Here are the details of the deal, which has been filed with the NHL and NHL Players’ Association:
2010-11: $6 million
2011-12: $6 million
2012-13: $11.5 million
2013-14: $11.5 million
2014-15: $11.5 million
2015-16: $11.5 million
2016-17: $11.5 million
2017-18: $10.5 million
2018-19: $8.5 million
2019-20: $6.5 million
2020-21: $3.5 Million
Those are some very interesting numbers and really there are major concerns and red flags all over the place. One has to give Lou credit for taking advantage of the system to keep his superstar but what will this cost the league in the long run? No one knows for sure but these “sham contracts” are clearly a concern according to many already including Dirk Hoag (On The Forecheck) who wrote this implication.
So while the Devils and the Kovalchuk camp are all smiles, there is a resounding egg on Gary Bettman’s face in the sense that this happened because of his cost certainty vision. That vision clearly helps the creative and I am sure even Lou Lamoriello does not feel too good about this on one hand. On the other hand, Devil fans can rest assured that they will be able to sign Zach Parise to a long term extension now. That is music to every Devil fans’ ears.
The goal now is the Stanley Cup and that window is closing. Will the Devils fade to black in the playoffs again or will Ilya Kovalchuk finally shine or be allowed to shine in the playoffs leading them to victory? The answer is now in John Maclean’s hands as this coach promised a more up tempo system. Let’s see if Kovalchuk and Maclean can deliver. Both of their reputations depend on the other.
Now about other fades to black in the media. Here is one to leave with. Watch HERE. Thanks to the Devils for bringing back TV memories as the press conference quickly faded to black.
One last question from this writer. How long will Kovalchuk play until? Just a thought.