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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kovalchuk returns to U.S. next week

Theologians, they don't know nothing about my soul Two days after Ilya Kovalchuk took over the goal-scoring lead in the RSL with 2 goals against SKA-St. Petersburg, giving him 7 goals in 8 games so far this season, it is being reported by several Russian news sources (including this article in gazeta.ru) that Kovalchuk will be flying back to the States after Khimik's October 4th match against Ak Bars Kazan.

Kovalchuk's planned one-week stay in New York is primarily for the birth of his child, but it also coincides with the October 5th deadline faced by Atlanta by which to sign Kovalchuk. On October 5th the NHL regular season begins, and if Kovalchuk plays another game in Russia after that, he must first clear waivers before returning to play in the NHL.

Said Kovalchuk, "Everthing must be decided upon this week. After the match against Kazan I will take a flight overseas, for the birth of my girl. I will stay in America approximately one week. The chances of my signing a contract with the Thrashers are about 50 - 50. If it becomes impossible to negotiate a deal with Atlanta, then I will remain in Russia. I see nothing terrible in this, therefore I could very easily play a little in my homeland."

On the Kovalchuk web site, kovy.ru, there's an entry titled "On October 4, Will Kovalchuk Conduct Last Match With Khimik?", which surmises that it is "a complete possibility that in America he will place signature under contract with Atlanta." A report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that Atlanta is willing to give Kovalchuk a five-year contract for $28.5 million ($5.7 million per season). It is thought that Kovalchuk wants and is worth $7 million per season, but there are only so many teams left with that much room under the cap, with the beginning of the season only days away.

UPDATE 10/5/05 - A quote from Ilya Kovalchuk, found on gazeta.ru:

"I will return to Moscow on 10 October and then will be ready to give to you the answer, where I will continue career."

5 Comments:

Blogger ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi I´m Chris. Greatings from Germany Bottrop !!

9/30/05, 7:45 AM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

Thanks for stopping by.

By the way, Kovalchuk got another goal last night, his 8th of the season.

9/30/05, 7:51 AM

 
Anonymous pricklypear said...

"The chances of my signing a contract with the Thrashers are about 50 - 50."


Wow. That's so much better than the day before yesterday's odds, which were 60 - 40.

9/30/05, 10:27 AM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

Actually, PP, you're kinda right. Kovalchuk was already quoted about a month ago as saying "chances are 50 - 50", so basically the words mean nothing.

I'd have to believe that Kovalchuk agrees to a deal with Atlanta by October 5th. The fact that he'd be forcing himself to clear NHL waivers if he plays in Russia after that date weakens his bluff.

By the way, for a few hours today, the header to this post read "chuk" instead of "Kovalchuk". I'm not exactly sure why, but I apologize if it confused anyone.

9/30/05, 8:35 PM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

Just a small tidbit of information-- Kovalchuk's baby was born in New York on Friday (9/30), a daughter named Carolina.

10/2/05, 10:25 PM

 

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