North American journalist Pierre Lebrun named the full list of clubs of the league who are interested in signing a contract with Russian striker Ilya Kovalchuk. “The main contenders for Kovalchuk are Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. The second interested group is Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks, the journalist said.
“Kovalchuk wants to do what Ovechkin did – take the Stanley Cup”
A well-known columnist for the Canadian TV channel TSN Darren Draeger commented on the situation with the return of striker Ilya Kovalchuk in the NHL.
“The level of interest in Ilya is quite large, and this is true. He is interested in more than 10 teams. The advantage of Kovalchuk and his agent Jay Pi Barry is that they can negotiate with the clubs right now, and not wait on July 1. Of course, there are teams that are skeptical about him. He is 35 years old, he has not played in the NHL for a long time, but he had good statistics in Russia, and at the Olympics he became MVP. I talked to him 10 days ago, and he said absolutely the right things.
He has more money than he and his family can spend, so the pursuit of the dollar is not talking. Perhaps he will sign a two- or three-year agreement. He has Olympic gold, there are a couple of Gagarin Cups, so now he wants to do what his friend Alexander Ovechkin and “Washington Capitals” did – take the Stanley Cup. He will choose as carefully as possible, because he is still competitive at a high level, “said Draeger.
Columnist New York Post
New York Post columnist Larry Brooks commented on the “New York Rangers” interest in Kovalchuk.
“If the club’s management fails to agree with Kovalchuk and will miss it, then this will be a huge mistake. Ilya is the best free agent on the market, besides now he will not demand a long contract for six to seven years.
Kovalchuk is exactly the type of player that the Rangers do not have now: he will fight, lead the team and play with full dedication, proving his worth.
He was the favorite of the head coach of the New Jersey Devils Jacques Lemer, and in 2012 he scored 14 goals in the playoffs. You know, I’m not at all sure that the “Los Angeles Kings” would have won that Stanley Cup, if Kovalchuk was healthy in the final.
If you think that he ended as a player after completing a career in the NHL, then you are mistaken. Kovalchuk is perfect for a team that is looking for a foundation. Around Kovalchuk you can build a new young nucleus. Ilya can become the most vital part, which will reduce the process of perestroika to the maximum, which can, and often does, happen to last for a long time. It would be a shame to lose such a player, given that Kovalchuk wanted to join the Rangers, “Brooks wrote in his column.
The position of “Boston”
The general manager of Boston Bruins Don Sweeney confirmed the interest of the club to the Russian striker Ilya Kovalchuk and said that in case of successful negotiations with Kovalchuk he will not offer a new agreement to Riku Nash, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
“I was in contact with his agents, it’s true. The reasons are clear – he weighs 104 kg and still scores goals. Yes, he is 35 years old, and this must be taken into account, but he can still contribute to the result.
I hope he looks at our team and will be interested in this option. Now he has indicated this intention, but it is difficult to judge without a personal meeting. Of course, in case of an agreement with Kovalchuk, we will not abandon Nash. Here the situation is “or-or.” Both of them cannot be on the team, “- quotes Sweeney Boston Globe.
“Kovalchuk wants to play in the area of New York or in California”
Well-known columnist Bob Mackenzie believes that Kovalchuk is looking for a contract worth over $ 6 million per season.
“I think that Kovalchuk is still competitive at the NHL level. He is a good striker with excellent statistics in the KHL. In doing so, you need to be careful in your expectations from his game, as from the game of any 35-year-old striker. Probably, now he is looking for a two-three-year contract worth over $ 6 million per season, so this is not cheap option for clubs. I do not know how many Kovalchuk can score – 15, 20, 25 or 30 goals, but they expect him to be able to score steadily.
Interest in San Jose? This is not a surprise, because the head coach of the “Sharks” is Peter Debor, under whose leadership Kovalchuk successfully played for the “New Jersey Devils” the year they reached the Stanley Cup finals.
Obviously, in the fight for the hockey player is also involved, “New York Islanders” and “New York Rangers”. So, the trip to California was interesting, but at the moment I do not know what Kovalchuk will choose. Now there is an understanding that Kovalchuk wants to play somewhere in the New York area, but he is also exploring other options, including with clubs from California, “said Mackenzie on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 radio.
“Kovalchuk creates interest in his person – it will benefit him”
Here is what another famous columnist Elliott Friedman thinks about the contract situation of Kovalchuk.
“This weekend he was in Los Angeles and San Jose. I know that “Anaheim” does not pretend to Kovalchuk for two reasons: it is the salary ceiling and club philosophy in relation to the players from Russia. “Ducks” are not the team that enters the Russian players market.
“Los Angeles” is necessary to drive forward, and it is no accident that the “kings” invited Kovalchuk to a personal conversation. Surely they showed an interest in Jeff Skinner and Max Pachoretti. With Kovalchuk they also try to come to an agreement.
“San Jose” is also included in the pool of candidates, because they have no problems with the salary ceiling. In addition, the head coach of the “Sharks” is Peter Debor, under whose leadership Kovalchuk successfully played for the “New Jersey Devils” when they reached the Stanley Cup finals. They had an excellent relationship.
“New York Islanders” is also in the group of applicants. In general, Ilya does the right thing, he creates an interest in his person. In the end, it will benefit him, “Friedman said.
Bruins continue to “live in the moment”
BOSTON — For the second straight year, the Bruins have a 3-0 series lead over the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. And, obviously, for the second straight year, the Black and Gold look to finish off the Orange and Black to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1992.
There’s no doubt that the Bruins are a confident group right now and have a lot going for `. They’ve also had the same mindset going into this series on putting last year’s collapse aside.
And once again, the team is using the same mindset with the cards they’ve been dealt with going into Game 4 tomorrow night at the TD Garden.
“As the old saying goes, it is what it is and you just have to deal with it,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after practice today.
“You move on in life and we’ve moved on,” Julien continued. “We’re a confident group. I like where we are right now. The biggest thing we have to do is to put the past aside and really continue living in the moment.”
For some, like Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand living in the current moment is a little easier since they’re both playing in their first postseason.
The two, however, acknowledged that the Bruins need to go in for the kill and not give the depleted Flyers squad any hope of getting back into the series.
“It’s very important. That’s what we want to do,” Horton stated. “We don’t want to give them any life and go back to Philly. We want to play as hard as we can now and play desperate. It’s never over until its over.”
“You want to go all in…you want to go in for the kill,” Marchand stated. “They’re vulnerable right now and we need to make sure we keep them down. If you give them any bit of hope then that’s a dangerous thing especially in the playoffs. If they take a game, anything can happen going back to Philly. We need to make sure we do anything we can to win and we don’t want to let them back in this series. So we have to make sure we’re ready for tomorrow.”
The Bruins mentality is far different then they way they approached last year against the Maple Leafs. In fact they made an immediate response to Peter Laviolette’s statements after their win in Game 2, in which he tried to put the pressure back on the Bruins.
Given the Flyers’ injuries to Chris Pronger and Jeff Carter — both of whom didn’t participate in practice Thursday — and their current goaltending carousel, the Bruins couldn’t have asked for a better chance to finish Philly off in four straight. And if that’s the case then the history from last year’s events will certainly be forgotten.