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Kovalchuk would be “delighted” to play in the KHL all season

Oct 3, 2012, 12:32 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

If the NHL and NHLPA can’t come to their senses and negotiate an end to the lockout, Ilya Kovalchuk says he’s happy to play the entire season in the KHL.

“I really don’t care, the main thing for me is hockey,” Kovalchuk, now with SKA St. Petersburg, told RIA Novosti.

“I really like it here and if there isn’t a season there, then I’d be delighted to play it out here and try to do it as well as possible.”

Kovalchuk did, however, admit that playing professional hockey in Russia isn’t quite as cushy as what he’s used to as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

“The NHL’s been around for more than a hundred years, but the KHL’s existed for just five,” he said. “In terms of infrastructure there’s something to strive for. If the arenas in all the cities were as good as in St. Pete, then we could talk about something.”

Kovalchuk was set to earn $11 million this year in New Jersey. And unlike many of his superstar brethren who negotiated guaranteed signing bonuses as a form of lockout insurance, he won’t get a penny out of the Devils if there’s no NHL season.

  1. blomfeld - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    ““I really don’t care, the main thing for me is hockey” …

    Sure Kovi baby ! … but that $100,000,000.00 contract isn’t too bad either eh ? Friends, for the life of me I honestly don’t know which one makes me sicker … Kovi or Ovi ? Spoiled, parasitic, selfish, moody, untrustworthy and disingenuous are just a few of the words which come to mind, whenever I think of these two clowns. And don’t get me wrong, as apart from Bobby Orr, my favorite player of all time remains Vladislav Tretiak … not to mention Kharlamov, Maltsev, Yakushev and company. So a Russian hater I’m not ! It’s just that the behavior of these entitled Prima Donnas is grotesquely at odds with the way a hockey player today “ought” to be (ie: like Igor Larionov for example in the case of Russians). Anyway, we LA Kings sure took care of Kovi last year, eh ? ;)

    • dino1730 - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Haha because if you were that good at anything and somebody offered you 100 million bucks to do it, you would definitely be the “stand up” guy and turn it down.

      • blomfeld - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:55 AM

        just walked away from an 80 K contract on September 7th due to “principle” … so do yourself a favor there pal and go look that word up in the dictionary !

    • paperlions - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      …and please stop referring to us as “friends”. It is condescending and untrue.

      • blomfeld - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:49 AM

        no problem “asshole” …

    • eyeh8goodell - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Or maybe he’s just not as hung up on the NHL as you are. The Stanley Cup is not the trophy of his homeland. Hate to break it to ya, but there are many, many millions of people all over the world doing just fine not being here in North America with no desire to be either.

      • blomfeld - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:58 AM

        hey Einstein … if that’s the case, then why the hell is he playing here in the first place ?

  2. lsxphotog - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    If your answer isn’t “I wan to win The Stanley Cup” then you’re not playing for the right reasons.

    • loinstache - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      Inclined to agree with this. There are enough leagues to ‘just play hockey’ for a liveable wage with that level of skill. If you’re getting paid that much you better be gunning for the best.

      • lordfletcher - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        or he understands that the season will not start alone on his word and is fine with playing back home.

        Imagine if the role was reversed. Would you care that much if you had to play hockey in your home town for one season or half a year… settle down

      • blomfeld - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:09 AM

        “or he understands that the season will not start alone on his word” …

        If that’s the case, then he’s even dumber than he looks !

  3. nyrangersfan - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Overpaid, worthless dirt bag. He certainly doesn’t play like he’s worth that kind of money. I hope he stays there!

    • dino1730 - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Odd you would say that about a 29 year old who has already amassed 406 goals and 379 assists, and who played with an injured back that required surgery since February. But nah, you certainly know what your talking about.

      • blomfeld - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:22 AM

        OVECHKIN = “0″ Stanley Cups

        by the way goof … Ovechkin only has 339 career NHL goals … that doesn’t even put the idiot in the “top 100″ of all time ? … heck, even Ted Lindsay has more at 379 ! … so what’s the deal here ? … are you gay or something ?

  4. martysbetter - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    So I guess if you guys got laid off you’d just wait around until your company decides to hire you back?

    Idiots, I don’t blame him at all – dude wants to play hockey, if the NHL isn’t going to let him play here, why not play in Russia?

    I don’t understand the fan loyalty to a league who has screwed us over multiple times over the past decade.

    • blomfeld - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:39 AM

      “So I guess if you guys got laid off you’d just wait around until your company decides to hire you back?” …

      perhaps that’s what a parasite like “you” would do, given that your words paint you to be a lazy person yourself ? … we on the other hand, are reasonable people who would attempt to move on and make a fresh start somewhere else … the only problem for your boyfriend Kovalchuk there however, is that he’s running away from a situation where “moving on” is not an option … or at least it shouldn’t be, if the man had any character or substance.

  5. barkar942 - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Well, if he just stays there and never comes back, Vanderbeek and the Devils will be able to get out of their bankruptcy problems by savine 9 million a year on a less expensive player!

    • blomfeld - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:40 AM

      “Here Here” to that, eh ? :)

      • dino1730 - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:12 AM

        ovechkin has played 10 less seasons than Ted Lindsay and is only 40 goals behind him. So what is your point to that argument above there champ?

        Marcel Dionne and Rod Gilbert also have 0 cups. Does that make Grant Marshall better than the 2 hall of famers? Because Marshall has 2. What does this boil down to? The fact that they make more money than anyone else, and are elite hockey players, but their from Russia? And hey, good for you walking away from 80 K, but you failed to mention why your such a stand up guy. Is it because you live with your parents? Or they were asking you to kill children or something?

  6. eyeh8goodell - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Typical North Americans……thinking they’re the center of the hockey universe and to hell with anybody that doesn’t want to be here. LOL. They play a different style overseas and are completely happy with it. They don’t grow up dreaming of North America glory. And our NHLers aren’t exactly lighting it up over there. It’s a different game played on a larger surface. Get over yourselves.

    • blomfeld - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:46 AM

      “thinking they’re the center of the hockey universe and to hell with anybody that doesn’t want to be here” …

      Okay atom-cracker … if that’s the case, then kindly explain why these parasites like Kovalchuk are even here in the first place ? … now do us a favor and just piss off !

  7. 950003cups - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Ilya Kovalchuk didn’t demand any signing bonuses aka “lockout insurance” to play in NJ. Very stand-up kind of guy. Atlanta wold have given him anything he asked for. Its no coincidence that since his arrival (EXCLUDING the John MacLean era) the Devils enjoyed much success in being the best team in the NHL after the All Star break in 2011, and going to the Cup Final in 2012 with Kovalchuk putting up clutch goals and leading in scoring. He carried the offense on his back, while Marty held stellar in goal. While Zach Parise was a great all around player, he was atrocious in the post season with missed open nets, bad passes, and dropping many passes. He was also knocked off the puck quite easy. His 2-way ability in NJ doesn’t necessarily translate over that he will be the same player in Minnesota. Even Kovalchuk became a much much better 2-way player since coming to NJ. That’s how the system is built.

    If Kovy wants to stay in the KHL while these bozos decide how to divide up the money WE pay them. Then let him stay there and keep in hockey shape.

    • blomfeld - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      Translation: We kicked your ass pal !

      GO KINGS GO !!!!! :) :) :)

  8. 950003cups - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:49 PM

  9. kodyknight2821 - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Wouldn’t have to back check there.. Probably why he likes it

  10. spicyjimbolaya - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Pure example of how greedy the players are. If all they want to do is “play hockey” even if it means at a pay cut, then WHY don’t they settle with the NHL? Why are the players fighting the owners so much if all they want is “to play hockey”???

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