Yesterday Ilya Kovalchuk finally agreed to a new deal with New Jersey, one that is supposedly going to be 17 years long. And I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about that just doesn’t sit well with me.
I want to say it’s the part where he’ll make $11.5 million, but if a team wants to overpay a guy, that’s their prerogative. (But still. $11.5 million? For a guy that has won exactly ONE playoff game and hasn’t figured out what the equivalent of “defense” is in Russia?) People are whipping themselves into frenzies over the cap circumvention and the fact that it utilizes that loophole to keep the cap hit manageable isn’t what bothers me. I think the part of the deal that bothers me is the way in which it uses the term of the deal to keep the cap hit low.
I actually usually like long-term deals. Nicky Backstrom signed a ten year extension in Washington? Heck yes, keep that guy around. Ryan Miller got himself a five year deal? He’s a goalie, he actually wants to be in Buffalo, I support it 100%. And when Tyler Myers signs his twenty year extension* next summer I’ll wear my Myers shirt around town with pride. But these are all deals that (God willing) will be played out. In ten years Backstrom will be 32, Miller will be in his mid-thirties, and I’d like to think Tyler has twenty years* in him (all with Buffalo, of course). Kovalchuk is already 27. Even if he plays until he’s 40, that’s only thirteen years. What I don’t like about this deal is that by making it long enough to keep the cap hit reasonable, it got up to 17 years. For a guy who’s 27. Even if he was a 21 year old signing his first contract after the rookie one it would be different.
It’s not even the fact that the deal is front-loaded. If you want to give the guy the cash up front, fine. But giving him the money up front in a way that makes it easy for you to buy out his last few years, years he’s most likely not going to play, seems to be taking cap evasion a little too far.
I don’t know what the solution to this problem is when they start renegotiating the CBA and I don’t pretend to know. I don’t mind long term deals for players who are bigger names (because regardless of whether or not he can win, I personally consider Kovy to be a big name). For the fans, it gives them security that players they like and players they want to root for and keep in town will stay there. For the team, it gives them a way to pay the player money he wants while not completely screwing over their team for years to come. I just feel like something should be done to prevent deals that no one expects to end with the player still playing. There’s a reason Kovalchuk’s money goes down in the end and I feel like that reason just might rhyme with “shmyout.”
I don’t know. Maybe I’m being completely unreasonable and probably maybe this post doesn’t even make any sense. I just don’t like that guy signed a contract he’ll never play the duration of.
Whether or not the Devils actually win now is an entirely different story and I’m not going to even get into that. (Hint: I don’t see it happening.)
And props to the Kings for not caving in and throwing at him what he wants. You guys showed him not going above 15 years. I think you made the smart choice.
*I’m exaggerating here. A little.
That Kovalchuk trade really worked out for the Devils, huh?
Yesterday I inaccurately predicted what will happen in the first round out west. I hope I’m a little bit closer with my predictions in the east, since at least I see these teams on a more regular basis.
I certainly don’t think this will be some quick and easy series like some people do, but still. Even if the Caps don’t win the Cup this year they sure as heck better not get eliminated by Montreal. *scary eyes*
It sounds like they sucked against Philly this year, but let’s be realistic: WHO is currently the goalie for Philadelphia? I’m not even sure I know.
If I absolutely had to pick which team I hated more between Ottawa and Pittsburgh I think I’d have to say the Penguins, which means that by default they’ll win.
Okay, so here’s the deal: I’m picking Buffalo because I really want them to win (obviously). That being said, I’m really worried about them. Miller obviously can carry them, but can he carry them for a whole series? And I know regular season stats don’t count for anything and blah, blah, blah, but I really don’t like how things went against the Bruins. The Sabres are lucky Savard is out. I’m a little scared. I still don’t think I trust them 100%.
Last night the Caps won their twelfth straight game. I’m starting to feel like they’ll never lose again after coming from behind the way they did last night. That wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.
Excuse me for a minute, but ALEX GOT HIS 500TH CAREER POINT!! AND HE’S STORMING BACK TO TAKE THE LEAD LEAGUE!! Did you SEE his second goal? He’s insane. He’s so good at hockey. I don’t know why I’m still surprised when he does stuff like that.
Not to be lost in all of that is Nicki’s five-point night. He’s not too bad. Maybe we should keep him around, George?
The Sabres are playing the Hurricanes in what could be the most painful game ever tonight. If they lose I’m officialy pronouncing them dead.
The Thrashers finally ended the Kovalchuk saga and sent him to New Jersey. I always liked Kovy but I’m starting to change my opinion a little after the way things went down. He’s a great player and he was that franchise, but he was asking for so much money when he doesn’t even know what defense is. It’s clear he wanted out of Atlanta. I just feel bad for the Thrashers fans of the world.
And Ilya does realize the Devils play a trap, right? That never really seemed like his thing.
(I’m still not talking about the Sabres game ever again for as long as I live. Especially since they play Ottawa tomorrow night.)
The Caps just won their eleventh straight game!! They made HISTORY!! They beat the Bruins!! Weeeee!!!! (I’ve been amused by the suckiness of the Bruins this year. They…are not very good at hockey.)
The Caps fell behind early, but they rallied for the win in front of their fathers and brothers. Mike Knuble (<3) got a goal, as did Brooksie, as did Gordo (!!) as did Alex, with his obligatory empty netter. The real story tonight, however, is Jose Theodore. I don’t even really know what to say. Last night Ryan Miller made me suicidal with his horrendous play, but tonight Theo was stellar. I just…wow. Some of those saves were breathtaking. I guess this is the goalie who won the Hart Trophy. If he could keep playing like that, I don’t even know what the Caps could do.
They could very realistically finish the season with a thirty point lead in their division. This is so many different kinds of hilarious.
The Sabres, on the other hand, very realistically could lose their division if they keep giving up important games like the one I’m forgetting even existed. Ottawa has been on a tear lately and they’re only a few points behind Buffalo. Tomorrow night is huge. When If Buffalo loses, to Ottawa, they’ll loose serious ground. And even if they do manage to keep Ottawa back, it’s getting harder and harder to catch New Jersey, even if they did get shut out by the Leafs tonight. (Did I just write that the Devils got shut out by the Leafs? Um, what?) And they can’t expect to just ride Miller after the Olympics. It’s a messy situation. They need to get back to the – gulp – system they were using back when they had so much success.
Tyler was named Rookie of the Month for January!! Congratulations, Tyler!! You’re the bestest.
Not to sound cocky or anything, but I knew they’d win if I was there. And it wasn’t even for selfish reasons. Ottawa has been playing really well lately and Buffalo needs to keep getting two points.
Hecht’s shot in the shootout was hilarious. He schooled Marty. Jochen’s success in the shootouts amazes/amuses me to no end.
The first period was pretty boring, but it was huge that the Sabres didn’t fall behind. New Jersey isn’t exactly an offensive firepower, but they’ve got one of the best goalies ever and it’s harder to come back against them.
Speaking of goalies, I was asked last night by one of the people I was with who “that goalie for the other team is.” I was really patient when I explained the shootout but I had to inform everyone that he’s arguably the best goaltender in the history of the NHL.
I’m still in shock that Ryan let that goal in. Ryan. I thought you would have that one.
My seat was pretty insane. Center ice, club level. I’ve never sat there before so it was lots of fun.
Lindy’s got to go with Lala tomorrow against Boston. Ryan needs a rest and Lala needs to get his confidence back up. Boston isn’t exactly a huge threat so it would be a good time to play him.
Washington won 5-1. I heard it was a great game. They’re pulling away and I doubt the Sabres or Devils will be able to catch them. The ease with which they’ve been winning is kind of scary. There’s so much offense there. Cripes.
On the subject of Ilya Kovalchuk going to Washington, I personally don’t think it’s the best idea (and I also feel like there are other teams that would go after him way more aggressively). Yeah, he’s got a crapload of offense, but the Caps have proven that they don’t really need any extra goals. It wouldn’t be worth giving up what Atlanta would probably want in return and screwing up the chemistry they’ve got going for a rental, and I feel like a line with Alex and Kovy might not work. I know Alex has adopted a “pass first” mentality since being named captain, but that’s just too much offense and too much crazy Russian on one line. If the Caps get one thing at the deadline, I would rather it be a physical defenseman (yeah, their defense doesn’t suck as much as people say it does, but they still could use one). And, of course, that 40-year extension for Lars.
As for Buffalo, Kovalchuk would be the pure goal scorer I still wish Buffalo had (I don’t trust scoring by committee when none of our players has 20 goals. I just don’t like it), but defense is a weak part of Kovy’s game and Lindy would probably put a bullet in his head.
So yeah. There are my thoughts on the matter, for what it’s worth.
I probably shouldn’t laugh, because the Islanders beat the Sabres in a shootout not too long ago, but last night’s game was amusing. The Caps are being rather ridiculous lately, with all this goal scoring and insane power play work and (with the exception of last night) awesome penalty killing. The Islanders just sort of rolled over and died in that one.
In the manual they give guys when they get signed in the NHL, one of the rules should be to never block a slapshot with your face, especially when the shot is coming from Alex Ovechkin. Chances are it won’t work out in your favor.
I don’t like Alex Semin, but holy cow, he’s been fantastic lately.
We’re getting the Caps game in HD tonight but I won’t be here to see it. Frowny face. Why is it always in HD when I can’t watch it?
The Sabres crapped out near the end of their road trip and tonight they’re playing in what one could definitely argue is one of those “four point games.” They and New Jersey are right up there behind Washington (who is starting to pull away). This is a game Buffalo needs to win, and not just because I want to keep the streak with me in attendance alive, and not just because if they lose and I have to hear about how it’s so hard coming back from the West Coast and turning around and playing a game, I’ll scream. Yes, players, your lives suck. You make millions of dollars chasing around a little piece of rubber. It must be awful to be you.
I know Lala was less than awesome in his last start but Lindy can’t start riding Ryan again, especially with the Olympics coming up.
Oh, and I hate Kerry Fraser. That’s all for today.
I’m not that upset about the Sabres game since I went into it anticipating a loss. If anything, I’m glad they at least managed a point. It was almost funny seeing how long it took for their first shot on goal. The Sabres simply cannot play a good game against the Senators, and that’s that. Not really anything else to say.
Derek Roy hasn’t done much of anything this year, but I still hope his injury isn’t too serious. Although it does open up a spot in the lineup if Patty K really is ready to come back.
This team would be so frighteningly bad without Ryan Miller.
The worst part about last night is that my jersey is now 0-1 and got pulled halfway through the second period. Although taking it off looked like it might pay off for a while; right after the Sabres scored their two goals.
We need someone who can score in the shootout.
We need a reliable scorer.
The Caps, on the other hand, won a huge statement game against the Devils. This is the second game in a row they put up four or five goals on an elite goaltender and they didn’t even choke like they usually do when they’re playing New Jersey. Alex had another three-point night so now he’s only four back of the lead league for points. He’s ridiculous. Lars Nicklas had himself a three point night as well, giving him his 200th point and 202 points in 202 games. That’s…crazy. I don’t understand why he hasn’t been re-signed yet and Semin has.
What a nice segway for me to use into Semin’s contract. Um, what?!? One year? $6 million? I don’t get it. GMGM says it’s what the player preferred and gave him more flexibility. I still don’t get it. Players like him don’t sign one year deals. Moreover, how can he sign a deal for $6 million? Can they afford that? Where’s the room to keep Nicki? If there’s one player who needs to stay it’s him. He’s just as important to this team as Alex. Sasha is a great player when he wants to be, but I never saw him as indispensable. Is George just trying to get him a contract so that he can trade him after the season and not have to worry about that? They could get a pretty decent return for him, especially if he’s already got a contract. I’m sure there are plenty of teams who would want him. I’m just perplexed by the whole situation. And a little bit angry. Neuvirth has been really solid the past few games so I’m sure they could trade Theo if they wanted, which would open up more cap room, but there’s still another contract to be signed. And isn’t it contract year for Flash as well?
Hmm. It’s just all a little odd. We shall have to wait and see how it all plays out.
Tonight the Sabres are playing the team of Sir Christopher’s hometown, and hopefully he’ll be able to play. I’m not sure who Lindy benches to make room for him. I know he’s the captain, but I’d almost say Rivet after the way he played the past few days…but he is the captain.
Team Sweden announced their roster. I hope Henrik Zetterberg is back in time to play for them. They always put together a good team and this looks like another one. I am a little surprised Henrik Tallinder made the team, but I guess now that his rape case is all cleared up he’s a valuable asset.
I know that this was exactly how Buffalo started out last year and I know it’ll all start going downhill soon enough (probably around the time Ryan gets completely exhausted at the Olympics), but for now, I’m completely enjoying the Sabres’ success. They’re winning, and they’re beating good teams. This is fun.
Marty Brodeur has not looked good this season. At all. I’m ecstatic that Timmy got his first NHL goal (AAAHHH!!! TIMMY!!! I LOOOOOOOOVE YOU!!), but Marty did not look good at all.
Ryan Miller will soon hurt himself/get too cranky to play well/get exhausted by the Olympics as I mentioned above, but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying his awesomeness. Ryan, you’re not so bad when you’re playing well.
We ended up getting the Devils feed for the game which was annoying in that I couldn’t hear Rick and Harry, but was cool in that I could hear what other announcers (namely, Doc) think about the Sabres. I agree, boys. Chris Butler was a wonderful find.
I can’t believe Clarke MacArthur already has five goals. This is redonk. He’s got to stop scoring at some point. It’s not like he could get thirty.
I’m pretty sure Pommer got his third of the season in February last year.
Mike Grier and Timmy K playing together continues to amaze me. I love the two of them. They’re so good together. Their chemistry is spectacular.
Lots of NHLers have been struck with swine (or at least are coming clean about when they had it) today. I hope none of the Sabres catch it. And I hope Quintin Laing doesn’t get any of my beloveds in Washington sick.
Tonight was Tyler Myers’s ninth game, but there wasn’t seriously any drama surrounding it, was there? There’s no way they can send him back to juniors. No. Way. I will jump off a bridge or something drastic and (only slightly) unnecessary like that.
Tomorrow night the Caps play the Ilya-less Thrashers. It will be in HD, which makes me happy. I’m sad Ilya got hurt, and in a contract year, no less, but his absence makes the Caps’ job a bit easier. I would love for them to continue this sick-nasty winning streak they’ve got going.
Speaking of contract years, I’ve been feeling rather warm and fuzzy towards one Jose Theodore as of late. It’s not secret around here that he and I never really got along very well (scroll down to the earlier ones), so this fondness is a new territory for me. I don’t think he’s the same goalie that won a Hart trophy a few years back, but he’s been the better goalie for the Capitals to this point in the season. I just hope that IF the Caps re-sign him, he doesn’t start sucking again. I really hate when players only play well in contract years.
If/when Buffalo loses to Toronto, I will cry. I’m just letting you all know.
WOOO!!! The Capitals WON last night, everyone!! I can’t even remember the last time I got to see one of my favorite teams win a playoffs series. It’s been ages. *narrows eyes at Sabres*
The Caps looked like crap for the first two periods and I was so worried and I was trying to study while I was watching and it wasn’t doing any good. But then they won. SERGEI scored the game winner!! Oh, Sergei. Stop this right now. My crush on you is so inappropriate, and you scoring the series clincher did nothing to help it.
Alex was so over his interview with Chris – oh, I’m sorry, Christine Simpson - last night. It was funny. It made me laugh.
But he said a baaaad thing in the interview in the locker room. Alex, we told on Albert in third grade when he said “Jesus Christ” for a reason. It’s bad. Don’t say it, or we’ll tell on you and then the teacher will take you out in the hall and talk to you and you’ll have to sit out for ten minutes during recess. These are the lessons I take away from elementary school.
I have to make a poster tonight, and that’s it. It’s odd knowing I don’t really have to study. Okay, well, I do have a few quizzes coming up, but that’s what homeroom’s for.
I didn’t get a chance to mention it, but, uh SUCK IT, SHARKS. Everyone was getting on my case when I picked the Ducks to win but then they DID. Ha. See, people? Frostee is not as crazy as you all thought!
Upon reviewing my first round predictions, it would appear as though I guessed the correct winner for every series except the Vancouver/St. Louis one. I was just off on the games it would take. Like, really, really off. I really thought Boston would need six to knock out Montreal?
This whole, “Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are a couple” thing is highly amusing. Glen, I’m thinking if we didn’t already know about it the boys were trying to keep their love affair hush-hush. Way to completely out them.
CHRISTOPHER returned last night! Chris Clark, my BFFL, played last night. I may not have realized it until halfway through the first period, but at long last, the Capitals’ captain has come back! I also realized that he and I found each other and then lost each other way before I started calling players by their full first names instead of nicknames, so Chris = Christopher. FYI.
I’m really proud of myself, or ashamed of myself, depending on how you look at it. I skipped right over the Alex interview tot he Chris one when I went on the Caps’ website today.
Also, Alexander = Alexander Ovechkin. When I’m talking about Semin, I either call him Semie or call him Sasha in a rather disdainful tone. Just so y’all know.
I found a Russian I don’t like! (aside from Max, of course) Viktor Kozlov is lame. I’ve suspected it all season long, and this series confirmed it.
If any of the fans who were sitting behind the Rangers bench are reading this, those signs and those rain ponchos were absolutely brilliant. I loved them.
Alex, Geno, and Pavel are the Hart finalists. I totally heart Pavel, but I don’t really think he has a chance. Also, in a completely non-biased way (because nothing I ever say is biased on this here blog), I think Alex has the best chance to win this.
The Capitals, however, don’t appear to be the team that will win this playoffs series. It makes me sad, but it’s a fact of life.
Sucks for the New Jersey fans. I did think Carolina would win the series, but the way in which they won is really harsh.
My mom has a really funny – and COMPLETELY wrong – Swedish impression. She coined it when trying to lift my spirits after the Game 2 loss when they were interviewing Henrik, and when the handshake line showed him and Nicklas last night she did it again. It’s so bad. It’s so funny. I wish I knew how she possibly came up with it.
In gym we’re playing floor hockey and I recently discovered that the reason I’ve been sucking on left wing is that I’m actually a natural defense(wo)man. It’s wonderful. No one every wants to play goalie so all we have are these little blocks, and I did an excellent job defending the net. I was a +12, but I got yelled at every time I tried to join the rush. It was an interesting situation, as my gym teacher kept yelling at my partner and I to run around and get active, but whenever our forwards controlled the puck and I wanted to run down and help them, she yelled at me to stay put. Thus is the extent of damage Brian Campbell has inflicted upon me.
My phone exploded last night when they won. It’s very sweet of everyone who texted me. It’s very funny that people who work with my parents somehow got a hold of my number to congratulate me.
Pittsburgh is very close to Buffalo. My parents have been toying with my emotions about going to one of these games, because apparently they know people who could get tickets. I think they’re just doing it to crush me, as parents are wont to do, but, um, there’s a game Friday night next week. I get out of school at two. Just sayin’.
This post is very long and ramble-y. I’ll stop now. Time to make my seating arrangements. Just in case anyone was wondering, a dinner party with Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Deng Xiaoping is actually really boring.