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Kovalchuk Says He May Stay in Russia


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#1 D-Money

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:29 AM

Ilya Kovalchuk says he may stay in Russia if NHL cuts salaries
By Jason Murdoch, CBC Sports
Posted: Oct 23, 2012 2:54 PM ET

Ilya Kovalchuk has a message for NHL owners: Cut his salary and he's staying in Russia. And a few other compatriots might join him.

The New Jersey Devils forward, who signed with SKA Saint Petersburg at the start of the NHL lockout, made the declaration to the Russian website Sportbox.ru.

"We are all happy here [in the KHL]. If the conditions in the NHL will be unclear, many guys will think twice whether to return there or not," he told the website.

"Basically, I don't rule out staying in Russia in the case of a reduction of our salaries in the NHL."

Kovalchuk believes the league's latest offer, one that proposed a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue with the players but limited the length of contracts, among other stipulations, was a move to improve the NHL's image rather than kick-start negotiations.

"It's the same old offer, but in different words," he said. "Right now, the NHL has very bad media and they want to fix it.

"Alex Ovechkin and I agree on this. I already discussed this matter with him as well as with Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Bryzgalov. We'll wait for other proposals."

Two years ago, Kovalchuk signed a 15-year deal with the Devils worth $100 million US.

The NHL's latest offer would not allow a contract of that length. One of the NHLPA's proposals last week was a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenue contingent on the league honouring all contracts signed before the lockout started.

For now, Kovalchuk seems content to be playing in Russia's top hockey league. Among the top scorers in the NHL for the past seven years, he has already collected 20 points in 11 games with his new KHL team.

"I can play in the KHL for the whole year and I'll do it with great pleasure," he said.

LINK: http://www.cbc.ca/sp...uk-lockout.html


I know what you're thinking. "Whoop-dee-doo! Another Russian saying he'll stay in Russia...don't let the door hit you on the way out!" However, Kovalchuk's case is really unique, and actually quite interesting.

It has to do with his salary structure. Most long-term big-money deals we have seen lately are heavily front-loaded. They pay most up front, and then steadily decline. However, Kovalchuk's contract is different. This is how it breaks down:
  
2010-11 - $6,000,000  
2011-12 - $6,000,000
------------------------  
2012-13 - $11,000,000  
2013-14 - $11,300,000  
2014-15 - $11,300,000  
2015-16 - $11,600,000  
2016-17 - $11,800,000  
2017-18 - $10,000,000  
2018-19 - $7,000,000  
2019-20 - $4,000,000  
2020-21 - $1,000,000  
2021-22 - $1,000,000  
2022-23 - $1,000,000
2023-24 - $3,000,000
2024-25 - $4,000,000

For some reason, the first two years of his deal, his salary was comparably low with his contract. Then, starting this season, it shoots up to 11 million, and stays that way for a few years. Why was it structured this way? Why did Ilya take less in the first two years?

But most importantly, did New Jersey management know all along that the NHL was not goint to negotiate any deal on a CBA that did not include a sizeable salary rollback? Because, if that is true, and there is any sort of documentation to prove it, that would be a textbook example of negotiating without good faith.

In the end, it's easy to see why Ilya feels he is getting the shaft. But after all of the drama surrounding his free agency, I can't help but appreciate the irony.
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#2 Xbox

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:30 AM

lol the NHL and KHL have an agreement. HE CAN'T STAY IN RUSSIA
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#3 Langdon Algur

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:35 AM

So wait I'm confused about the CBA now. This may be a stupid question but if the owners got there way with the last offer, would it have affected existing player contracts or just new contracts? Would long term contracts like Kovy's be decalred suddently invalid or would he remain under contract?
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#4 Boudrias

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:37 AM

I'm one of those who says don't let the door hit your ass to hard on the way out. That said I also believe a contract is a contract. Whatever CBA is signed all signed contracts have to be honoured.

These Russians are a particularly sad bunch. The Communist Party (I mean the Mafia) is running the country. Their gangs were extorting protection money from the early guys (Fetisov) when they came over. So times are good in the KHL, let'm stay then.
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#5 Monty

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:43 AM

It's quite funny how uninformed players are. As many, many people know, the NHL and KHL have an agreement in place. Russian players who want to stay in Russia can, if they don't have a deal after this season (if lockout lasts year long). Otherwise, enjoy playing in New Jersey for the next 13 years.
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#6 J.R.

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:00 AM

It's quite funny how uninformed players are. As many, many people know, the NHL and KHL have an agreement in place. Russian players who want to stay in Russia can, if they don't have a deal after this season (if lockout lasts year long). Otherwise, enjoy playing in New Jersey for the next 13 years.


They going to fly over there, force them on a plane, get them here and put electrodes on them to make them train, skate shoot etc? If they want to stay, they'll figure out a way, contracts or not.
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#7 Red Light Racicot

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:03 AM

The ignorance some of these guys have is baffling. Do they not even understand their own profession?
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#8 Kass

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:10 AM

Yes they do understand their profession but if you sign a contract stating you will make x amount that's how much you should make not two years later you make 10 or 20% less if someone did that go me I'd be pissed too
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#9 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:17 AM

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Let them stay if they want. It'll even-out the NHL landscape and Sochi much more interesting. (Although the NHL will likely boycott.)
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#10 Pears

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:00 AM

lol the NHL and KHL have an agreement. HE CAN'T STAY IN RUSSIA

I just don't know why players like Ovi and Kovalchuk continue to say they'll stay in Russia. Do they even know they can't?
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#11 WHL rocks

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:04 AM

Yes they do understand their profession but if you sign a contract stating you will make x amount that's how much you should make not two years later you make 10 or 20% less if someone did that go me I'd be pissed too


But if you signed a contract that says the amount and terms is not guaranteed. That the amount may be changed (lowered) in accordance with CBA, then what?
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#12 uber_pwnzor

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:20 AM

I'm with him, the NHL owners have to make up their minds, we can't have a lockout every six years...
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#13 PlayStation

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:30 AM

Well the KHL would think hard about that agreement, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, potentially other stars like Zetterberg Gonchar Datsyuk?
... brygalov...
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#14 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:57 AM

Good. Let the league lose some of its stars.
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#15 MikeyBoy44

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:01 PM

The irony I see in this is most of these guys said they'd quit the NHL if they didn't allow NHL players in the Olympics, yet as of now if they don't fullfill their current contracts they are disqualified from iihf competition.
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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:03 PM

The irony I see in this is most of these guys said they'd quit the NHL if they didn't allow NHL players in the Olympics, yet as of now if they don't fullfill their current contracts they are disqualified from iihf competition.


Really? Well thats something I never knew.
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#17 RyanKeslord17

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:08 PM

I'm happy. Maybe the NHL will start to panick a bit if these star players back out.
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#18 kurtis

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:19 PM

lol the NHL and KHL have an agreement. HE CAN'T STAY IN RUSSIA

Means nothing........................ Good luck trying to sue them... lol If enough of these elite superstars want to stay in the KHl, Knowing the Russians they will pretty much tear that agreement up..

Edited by kurtis, 24 October 2012 - 12:22 PM.

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#19 MikeyBoy44

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

Means nothing........................ Good luck trying to sue them... lol If enough of these elite superstars want to stay in Russia, Knowing the Russians they will pretty much tear that agreement up..


I don't think it's like that. I'm pretty sure they're free to play as much as they want in khl. It's the international play that will matter.
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#20 kurtis

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:24 PM

I don't think it's like that. I'm pretty sure they're free to play as much as they want in khl. It's the international play that will matter.

ohhh
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#21 Dirt Nasty

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:34 PM

What if Kovalchuk announced his retirement, then "retires" then later signs a contract in the KHL, would that be possible to do?
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#22 Grapefruits

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:46 PM

What if Kovalchuk announced his retirement, then "retires" then later signs a contract in the KHL, would that be possible to do?


He would still be contractually obligated to come back to the Devils.
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#23 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:10 PM

Yes they do understand their profession but if you sign a contract stating you will make x amount that's how much you should make not two years later you make 10 or 20% less if someone did that go me I'd be pissed too


This.

The NHL is balking at the situation, saying they and the KHL have an agreement in place that all contracts must be fulfilled before a player can leave for the KHL...but the NHL (the organizations, to be specific) also signed these contracts and should realistically be paying the players what they signed them for.
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#24 canuckelhead70

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:46 PM

who is this guy and what exactly has he done in the NHL? I think the league will survive without him
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#25 MikeyBoy44

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 03:51 PM

He would still be contractually obligated to come back to the Devils.


That sounds odd. Though I could see some sort of loophole in there now. You would think retiring would in some way terminate your contract. I would also think that there might be a small possibility some of these guys may even end up getting bought out. If I were gm or owner and I knew my big contract player wasn't returning I wouldn't want his cap to continue to affect my team. Unless there is a stipulation against players the defect.
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#26 J.R.

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:19 PM

This.

The NHL is balking at the situation, saying they and the KHL have an agreement in place that all contracts must be fulfilled before a player can leave for the KHL...but the NHL (the organizations, to be specific) also signed these contracts and should realistically be paying the players what they signed them for.


Yup, and the players would simply counter-sue the league and teams for not fulfilling their contract and tie it up in courts for years all the while playing and getting paid in Russia.
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#27 D-Money

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:10 AM

Of course, it's all talk. Even if there is a full 12.3% rollback, Kovy would still be making close to 10 million per.

But I understand why he's miffed about it. He signed that contract 2 years ago, and has been playing for a relatively low amount up to this point. Now that he's finally going to hit his payday, he's locked out, and the owners (NJ included) are saying they shouldn't have to pay what they agreed to.
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#28 Caboose

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:35 PM

If I signed a contract saying I'd be making 11.3 million and the NHL told me that wasn' going to happen and I'd be making less hell yeah I'd be pissed.

Good on him.
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#29 Caboose

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

who is this guy and what exactly has he done in the NHL? I think the league will survive without him


LOL

Posts like these make my day.
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