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Kovalchuk’s mom: Time in KHL during lockout strongly influenced decision

Jul 12, 2013, 11:27 AM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk AP

When the lockout happened, Ilya Kovalchuk took the opportunity to play for SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League. He returned to the New Jersey Devils when the work stoppage happened, but it looks like his time there was a key factor in his decision to walk away from the NHL.

Kovalchuk’s mother opened up to the media about what transpired and one of the first questions she was asked was if he enjoyed his time with SKA.

“Of course,” Kovalchuk’s mother told SovSport’s in an interview translated by Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov. “Otherwise this question about leaving the NHL wouldn’t even be raised. And so it happened.”

Kovalchuk first began to talk about this matter with his family back in January, but he finished the season with the Devils so everything could be handled in a “civilized manner.”

Some will still be surprised that Kovalchuk would leave the NHL with $77 million over 12 years left on his contract, but his mother argued that number is misleading.

“After the lockout, there are a lot of restrictions at all teams,” she said. “They are also underpaid 20% [of their salary]. The League takes it as an escrow that may not be paid back if the NHL does not make profit. And then there’s government tax of 50%. That means on paper you are being paid $10 million a year, but in reality only 3. So the pendulum swung for Russia.”

How much Kovalchuk will make in the KHL is unclear, but there are reports indicating that he could end up making more annually at a taxation rate of 13%.

But for now, all that’s official is that he has retired from the NHL:

Related:

Devils players didn’t see Kovalchuk retirement coming

So, what’s next for the Devils without Kovalchuk?

What they’re saying about Kovalchuk bolting for the KHL

  1. pastabelly - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    St Petersburg is a beautiful city, Newark, not so much.

    • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      I hope he enjoys the Russian Mafia League. There’s a reason they don’t have lockouts in that league. It “frowned upon” by the owners of the league. He’s gonna regret this move. Four months in a league is a lot different than 4 years. He’ll see why everyone who ever left here to play there came running back. Jagr is a prime example.

      • davebabychreturns - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        Dude, he is Russian. I think he has a pretty good idea of what living and working in Russia is like..

        And as for all the “Russian Mafia League” stuff, even if it’s true as the face of the league and the face of Russian hockey (now that he’s ‘come home’), he will be largely above that kind of stuff.

        His team will pay him eight figures a year for at least a few years with a fraction of the income tax we pay here and he’ll be able to net at least that in endorsement deals as well.

        There’s obviously lots of downsides to playing in the KHL but it’s hard to believe he’s not aware of them for the most part already.

    • jessejames182 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      That doesn’t make any sense Mr. Pastabelly. He could have easily lived in Manhattan and just commuted to work. Isn’t that what Jersey suburbs are for, rich New Yorkers who don’t want to actually live in New York? Your cheap shots at the Garden State are lost on anyone with common sense.

    • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      All the people who criticize Newark here are both right and wrong. NOBODY would live in Newark, yes that is correct.

      But what most of you are unaware of, is that the Prudential Center in Newark and Madison Square Garden in NYC are exactly 13 miles driving distance. Most of the players live in towns like Alpine, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Short Hills Far Hills, Somerset and Saddle River. These are VERY wealthy towns with Mega superstars who live there. They share neighbors who are some of the largest on Wall Street. Neighbors who belittle a $100,000,000 contract.

      It has nothing to do with where the arena is. Have any of you walked around Joe Lewis Arena, or Wells Fargo in Philly, or even the United Center in Chicago after midnight? How about taking a stroll after a game by Yankee Stadium? All stadiums and arenas are in bad locations.

      • stakex - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        Yeah…. but they still have to drive through Newark to get to the rink, and man that is a scary thing to do.

        Granted I doubt that had anything to do with players playing or not playing in NJ, but still.

      • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        Just don’t go to the rink at 2am and you’re fine. You didn’t drive through to Prudential Center. If you did, you’d see that the route off the highway passes through the Portugese/Brazilian section of Newark. So unless you’re afraid of attractive women with big breasts, then you likely have never made that trip.

  2. pensman29 - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Since when is he “in reality” making 3 million dollars a year?

    • davebabychreturns - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      It’s an exaggeration but $11m with 20% escrow taken off and then nearly 50% income tax is down to $4m and change.

      Still ridiculously high by your standards and mine, but when you could relocate and make twice what you’re making now it’s something anyone would consider.

      • ray2013 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        At a 13% tax rate (reported), it figures to be a little more than 17 million a year. Of course, we don’t know what rate the Russian mafia charges on his contract.

      • stakex - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        I always hate when people use their nominal tax rate to complain about what they pay in taxes. If Ilya lived in Jersey he would be paying 8.5% state and 39.6% federal… for a total of 48.1%. That however is only his nominal rate, and no one in this country actually pays their nominal rate. Phil Mickelson got called on that when he exaggerated what he pays in taxes. In reality Ilya probably paid much closer to 30-35% total, which isn’t that bad when you make $11 million.

        I do agree though that people need to look at this as Kovalchuk leaving a job for a much better paying one closer to home. Its really that simple, and while fans get passionate about sports… to a lot of athletes its just a job.

  3. rpiotr01 - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Russia – less corrupt and better for business than New Jersey!

    • jessejames182 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      You’re so hip, lets talk about Bruce Springsteen’s home some more.

      • davebabychreturns - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        “Finally, someone with the guys to take a shot at New Jersey!”

      • davebabychreturns - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Ugh. guys = guts. Someone with the guts to take a shot at New Jersey.

      • rpiotr01 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        I don’t know anything about Freehold so I can’t talk about that, but I’ve lived my entire life in hudson county – does that count?

      • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Actually Bruce Springsteen hasn’t lived in Freehold since the 70’s. So I doubt you lived you’re life in Husdson County. If you did, then that’s why you hate NJ. It’s slum after slum in Hudson County. You have Bayonne, Union City, Jersey City, West New York, Kearny (has a prison), Harrison, and East Newark. SLUM AFTER SLUM.

        Don’t brag about being from a garbage can.

        Bergen,Monmouth, Morris, Somerset, and Sussex County have all the nice places.

        As for South Jersey, thats not part of the conversation. Yes they have nice and bad places too

  4. blackheart78 - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Only 3 million…wow. I can totally relate to that. Who is up for starting a food drive for Kovalchuk and his family?

    • hockey412 - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      I think you missed the point, somewhere in all that. Yes, 3 million is a lot of money. So when Russia offers 8M, under the table with no tax, the “pendulum swung”…either way no one in his family is asking for sympathy, forgiveness, understanding, or, much less, food from any Americans hahaha.

  5. flydommo - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Let’s face it. The KHL is beginning to become a serious competitor for top-level talent. Russia has a market economy which equals England’s in the 19th century. If you are rich, you can live like a demi-god there while the Putin government is keeping the paupers away.

    • bruinspaw - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      Its not really….. only the Russians are going. Now say if top level Canadians or Americans such as Bergy or Kane decided to go over their then think it would start to become a real threat. Until then let the Russians go home.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        speaking of which, did you guys know Chris mf’ing Simon still plays hockey in the KHL? not saying he’s top talent or anything…. just something i found out the other day that i thought was interesting.

      • brymck1 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        only the Russians are going because the KHL cap is lower (30m I believe) but if you can play for Team Russia your salary doesn’t count against a team’s cap…that’s why only the Russians can get ridiculous contracts in the KHL without crippling the ability of a club to field a workable team.

  6. amityvillefun - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Mrs. Seguin and Mrs. Kovalchuk should stay out of their son’s hockey business and shut the hell up.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      I agree with the Seguin ordeal, his mom was in mama bear mode and considering his apparent reason for getting traded it made him look really bad for his mom to come to his defense. But what did Kovalchuk’s mom say that made him look bad? That by making this decision he can make significantly more money and be closer to his family raising his kids where he wants them to be raised? Um, who disagrees with this? Don’t we all want to make more money and be close to the people we love? What he did was unprofessional, but anybody who can’t put themselves in his shoes and understand where the decision came from must have a crappy relationship with their family. As somebody who just recently got back from spending 4 years in college across the country from their family, I can tell you that most moms who love their children will give their right arm in an instant to be closer to them. Kovalchuk probably takes care of his parents financially and he also has kids. His mother wanting to be closer to her son and her grandkids, and wanting him to be getting the best deal possible for his talents is not crazy, she’s just being a mom.

  7. 2qswing - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    “After the lockout, there are a lot of restrictions at all teams,” she said. “They are also underpaid 20% [of their salary]. The League takes it as an escrow that may not be paid back if the NHL does not make profit. And then there’s government tax of 50%. That means on paper you are being paid $10 million a year, but in reality only 3. So the pendulum swung for Russia.”

    Sounds like Momma did her homework

    • hockey412 - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      Except that it actually equals 4.

      • mpk1516 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Don’t try to explain that to the mathematically challenged. They will simply assume that 20% + 50% = 70% *, fully disregarding the order of operations.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        not to mention that the 50% number is quite a bit off.

      • mpk1516 - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        The 50% is not actually that far off.

        If you factor in the 39.6% federal income tax, then the 8.9% NJ Income tax, then whatever local tax rate he pays in his respective NJ municipality, if probably comes close to an effective rate of roughly 45-47%. We’ll go ahead and give her credit for rounding to 50% for the sake of simplicity in calculation.

    • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      These accountants can get them in to a 40% tax bracket. They don’t pay the tax on the 20% escrow since they never received it. So they pay 40% of $ 8 million, which is $4.8 Million, then whatever they get from the escrow back, lets say they get all $2 million back, after Uncle Sam’s 40% they keep another $1.2 million, which brings their total salary at $6,000,000 after taxes.

      On an even $10,000,000 pay scale to make it simple.

      Add in cost of living in NJ vs St Petersberg (one of the most expensive cities in the world) plus the tax he’ll pay in Russia (roughly 20%) and you’re talking about, maybe, after round the clock security for you and your famioly, and private schools, and all the local taxes on property etc… It’s likely just under a million dollars extra to be in Russia.

      Russian healthcare isn’t very good either, and we know their planes suck.

      Is it worth it? To Kovalchuk, it is. St Petersberg is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world and full of history.

      So, he made his choice. It’s over.

      The problem is, he may be getting $20 million there, so its a big pay raise too. Soon you’ll see Ovi and Datsyuk getting offers.

      • mpk1516 - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        Your argument is just a hair skewed.

        You forgot the 8.9% NJ State income tax that he pays, the NJ property taxes which are among the highest in the US, the NJ municipal income tax thathe pays, the cost of private schools in northern NJ which are among the highest in the country, the fact that the Russian rate is only 13% and not 20%, etc.

      • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        I factored in NJ State income tax in the 40%.

  8. 2qswing - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Don’t Sweeds, Slovaks, Fins, Germans, Czecks, miss their homeland, families? Why is it only the Russians who skrew their nhl team time and time again.

    • buckyblackhawk - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      Russia is huge and has a similar mind set to Americans…they think their culture is superior than others. Swedes/Finns both embrace the US culture and both learn English in 2nd grade. Knowing the language at the level Finns and Swedes know English makes living in a English speaking country much much easier. I think in 5 years when the KHL establishes itself more in Czech and Slovakia more players from those countries will stay home as well.

      • anthonyverna - Jul 13, 2013 at 12:33 AM

        Also: economics. There are back-door deals in Russia in order to circumvent taxes and other laws. That’s not happening in the E.U.

  9. mpg44 - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Do we really have to revisit this again ? The reason 20% is taken I to escrow is due to the share in hockey related revenue THAT THE PLAYERS WANTED TO HAVE. this is why they should want the league to prosper so they get a piece of it.
    She should reall be ashamed that get son , that she raised , has no honor or respect to contracts that not only he signed but sought out as well ! Again , all the issues I’ve heard so far about going to the khl should have been thought about BEFORE demanding then signing such a outragous contract !

    • 19to77 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      “No honor or respect to contracts he signed”? Almost sounds like he should be looking at owning a team instead of playing for one.

    • davebabychreturns - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      That’s an interesting take on the CBA, that escrow exists because players want a share of HRR?

      They always had a share of it, and both the CBA which introduced the cap (and escrow) and the next have cut down their share of it. Escrow exists to ensure that teams have a mechanism to avoid the situation where they’ve signed contracts that exceed the players share of HRR.

      As for how ashamed everyone should be of Ilya Kovalchuk, you might want to take a couple of deep breaths. The guy has a right to retire and it is absolutely not outside of the terms of his contract. Many Europeans retire from the NHL only to go on to play in their home countries as well. In a way the timing of this is a boon to the Devils, who only paid Kovalchuk more than his cap hit one year so far.

      Now with respect to the “outrageous” contract Kovalchuk demanded and then signed, both sides agreed to that (twice as a matter of fact) so I don’t know how you can blame the player for that. If anything the Devils are screwed because they tried to avoid the salary cap ceiling THAT THE OWNERS WANTED TO HAVE (see I can play this game too), and it’s particularly bad because they did a poor job of it and had a first round draft pick stripped away..

      • mpg44 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        You may find this hard to believe but a really long time ago , hockey players were paid a salary and the profits ( no matter how big or small ) would go to the owners. Thereby the team who had the best players was making the most money. Enter the age if the nhlpa. They fought for a “share ” of hrr so the owners were not making all the money on the backs of the talent. This also kept the drive of the talent to want to be better to make more money. This is how the shared hrr has risen to the level of what it is. Those rules existed long before mr. Kovu “voluntarily ” joined the union. But now that he disagrees with what the union decided was good for the union and not in the best interest of himself , this is what he pulls , stay classy !

        As for the contract , yes you are right , two wrongs don’t make a right. This goes both ways. By him havering an ou of a contract . Why shoots the owners be locked into it for life. Remember what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. . THIS IS A HUGE PANDORAS BOX THAT HAS BEED OPENED!! He also had a hand in that contract , they didn’t come up with it I their own , he help set the terms. And by signing it he should have factored al the issues he says is the reason why he is leaving now. Again…. Stay classy!!

        Lastly , I never liked him or his contract . I’m glad the devils will get back to devils hokey and not kovys hockey!! The devils style , team first mentality won three cup and got into the playoffs 13 consecutive seasons! More money now to get multiple line I stead of all the offense on one. !! I can’t wait to see the shocked look on the faces of the doubters.

      • davebabychreturns - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        “a really long time ago , hockey players were paid a salary and the profits ( no matter how big or small ) would go to the owners”

        You mean like in 2003-04? When NHL teams spent 76% of their gross revenue on player salaries? Because that’s when hockey players were paid a salary and profits (no matter how big or small) would go to the owners. There was no salary cap or linkage to revenue or any kind, teams signed players to a contract and then paid them that amount.

        Teams were of course inflating player salaries like crazy in the free market so they locked the PA out in order to gain a salary cap linked to revenue, they also managed to cut the players share down to 57% of hockey related revenue only.

        This past CBA negotiation saw them cut the players share down further (and limit which revenue qualifies as well).

        So yeah, I don’t understand how someone can claim that this system is one the players pushed for, the owners have benefited massively both on paper and in reality from the last two CBAs – after fairly conclusive victories over the PA.

        “Why shoots the owners be locked into it for life. Remember what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

        Because it gives them full control over Kovalchuk’s right in the NHL until he’s 44 years old or something crazy like that.

        No NHL contract governs what Kovalchuk does outside of that league, and everyone knew he would retire well before the end of the deal – that’s why the first contract was rejected and the team was penalized and that’s why the second contract has fallen under the punitive “cap recapture” rule which will see the Devils lose cap space until the end of Kovalchuk’s deal.

      • sunderlanding - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        It’s easy to blame the player for the contract, because, like you said, they both had to sign it, so yes the team is at fault as well, but so is he. As for being ashamed of him, I think the fans have all the right in the world to be ashamed, he took their money remember, as it’s the fans who basically give the league all it’s money, and then left the team they love. Sure the Devils aren’t the most prosperous team, but that doesn’t mean the few fans they have don’t love the team as much as any other fan, so when your superstar gives up on you it’s going to hurt, and you have the right to call him unprofessional.

  10. brainoflindros - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    LET’S WIN THIS FOR MOTHER RUSSIA!

  11. jb8383 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I think those reasons are complete garbage. He was still making a ridiculous amount of money!!! (even after pay reduction or escrow under the new CBA) And then she says something about taxes…if you don’t want to pay taxes…do not come to this country!! He had no problem accepting a $100 million dollar deal. He clearly just wanted to play in Russia. I can’t understand how the new CBA would drive him to quite the NHL and leave $77 million.That makes no sense to me. Don’t see other players jumping ship to other leagues because of that. If he liked playing in Russia better, fine, go back. Should have really considered that before committing to a deal with the Devils.

    • bruinspaw - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Must have been one hell of a pay day in Russia!

      • ray2013 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        $20 million a season, instead of $11 million this season, and when you factor in taxes, it’s more than double. So yeah. Pretty good payday.

    • davebabychreturns - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      So the reasons are garbage, but “if you don’t want to pay taxes, do not come to this country.”

      Newsflash.. he doesn’t want to pay taxes… so he left.

      I don’t see what’s so hard to understand?

      • jb8383 - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        I meant then he shouldn’t have signed the contract in the first place. IMO, those aren’t reasons to leave the NHL. So to me, doesn’t make sense.

      • davebabychreturns - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Maybe he shouldn’t have signed the contract in the first place but everyone and their dog knew he’d be retiring before the end of it.

        It’s why the Devils first attempt at a contract was rejected and why they will lose cap space due to the recapture rule.

        The fact that he retired at age 30 is a shock but the fact that he would have retired well before the expiry of the deal was a 100% certainty before the ink was even dry..

      • jb8383 - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        Yeah maybe he wouldn’t have lasted until 2025 season but this is different. It’s not like he can’t play anymore, he’s choosing to play in Russia instead. Whatever, I’m kind of over it now, nothing can change it, he’s gone so just have to move forward. Hopefully Lou can work some magic.

      • sunderlanding - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        Doesn’t mean it isn’t a garbage move. Sure we knew he would retire before the end of the contract, but all that means is we knew it was a garbage contract, and that he would pull a garbage move. Now he’s done it, so now the fans say “GARBAGE”! They can understand it, but it’s still garbage.

      • jb8383 - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        Bottom line – it was all about the $ with Kovy. Look at Marty who took less $ over the years to stay in Jersey and play for the team he loved. It just pisses me off that he Kovy just bailed.

  12. ibieiniid - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Next on PHT, we’ll check in to see what Kovy’s 2nd grade teacher thought of his sudden retirement. And tomorrow, was a bad bowl of borscht behind the blocker beater’s beleaguerment?

  13. blackhawks2010 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    11 goals in 2013? Who cares, he’s not even a top 20 player in NHL anyone. Go play in KHL where you can score goals ruble head.

    • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      Dude, you have NO IDEA how bad I WISH YOU WERE RIGHT!!!

      But you’re not. He’s such a presence out there. He takes up tons of ice time. Plays in every situation PP, PK, 5on5 of which he’s the driving force on each. The Devils will survive without him, no doubt. But they’re gonna need to change things drastically. DeBoer has lots of work to do. If he can’t adjust then he’ll be out of a job. It’s no small order.

      He came in with a team consisting of Kovy, Parise, Clarkson (his guy from juniors), Henrique, and Brodeur. He’s left with 2 of the 5, and one is retiring. Cory Crawford is no doubt a great acquisition, but he’s not even in the same league as Brodeur (at 41) in puck handling, which has made him almost irreplaceable

      • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        Sorry… I meant Cory Schneider!!!!! this kovy thing has me all messed up

  14. oquintero99 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    The lockout made Kovy play in the KHL and just opened a different door for him. If it wasn’t for the lockout Kovy would probably made a different decision (maybe a few yrs from now he would play in the KHL). Yes, he agreed to that contract, and yes, maybe he should of just played a bit more. But let’s face it, how many of us take new jobs for more money, more benefits and it involves relocating? Kovy may have walked away from 77 million in the US, but he is probably going to get paid more than 77M in Russia.

    I’m not a Devils fan but the outrage on Kovy is a bit too much in my opinion.

    • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Imagine Ovechkin leaving the Caps to play in Russia? Or Datsyuk leaving Detroit? Malkin leaving the Pens (at least they have Sid)?

      I think the outrage is just about right. Unless its you who was affected, you can’t judge what the proper amount of outrage is.

      • oquintero99 - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        You might be right but the outrage comment and how it will affect the Devils. I was just trying to make a point that Kovy going back to Russia is something you or me would do if I had a better job opportunity.

        But yes, I do see the point where he should of done this before the start of free agency when there were still good players to try and sign. At least it would have given Lou a chance to pursue a replacement.

      • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        If I was offered that kind of cash, I’d be on the next plane to Uganda or wherever they tell me to play. I get that part. Kovy was bought.

        Twice actually. We bought him, then his commie comrades bought him.

        But I still think this outrage will continue. They just started to get over Parise leaving, then lost Kovalchuk almost exactly a year later.

  15. ray2013 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    We spent the last few seasons talking about the Coyotes debt, and that they would need to be moved. The Devils’ debt supposedly dwarfs the Coyotes’ debts. The Devils are on the market; given the size of their debt, getting rid of a big ticket contract like Kovalchuk’s makes a lot of sense (which would have been around $56 million to be paid out in the next five years). Minus this expenditure, the team becomes more attractive to a new owner. So blame Kovalchuk for leaving, but also blame the Devils’ ownership for getting in such a financial problem that they need to get rid of his contract. And blame Bettman and the rest of the owners for the lockout. There’s blame for everyone, except the Devils’ fans (though you could say that not enough Devils fans go to games, creating the massive debt, which created the financial problems that led to management agreeing to Kovalchuk leaving).

    • 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Devils sold out almost every home game this past season, and had almost full attendance. It’s not the fans.

      But here’s the kicker: Devils attendance started picking up steam when……………….

      Yup, you guessed it. When Kovy signed here.

      The building is gonna be empty again. You need superstars to fill seats. Parise never sold seats. He’s not a superstar no matter how big a contract he signed. Kovalchuk is.

      I’m so pissed. I gotta endure 82 games with nobody left on the team, and no draft pick?

      Lou Lamoriello has a LOT of work to be done.

  16. 950003cups - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Just don’t go to the rink at 2am and you’re fine. You didn’t drive through to Prudential Center. If you did, you’d see that the route off the highway passes through the Portugese/Brazilian section of Newark. So unless you’re afraid of attractive women with big breasts, then you likely have never made that trip.

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