Around the League #6: Dat Hertl
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07-13-2013, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Originally Posted by
If I thought for a minute that was the case here I'd be agreeing with you.
Lets remember that this is a guy who turned down twelve year $101 million and seven year $70 million offers from the Thrashers before being traded and eventually signing his illegal (longest in the history of the MHL) seventeen year deal with the Devils. This guy has always been about the money.
All the hoopla surrounding his free agency and his "demands" was ridiculous.
Second, I've always been a believer in honoring the contracts you sign. I criticize Kovalchuck for the same reasons I criticize Pronger. Its even worse in Kovalchuck's case because he had the gall to sign a seventeen year deal. Who does that?
I'm kind of past criticizing greedy players because its not a subset of the species, it is the species. I threw up as early as 1990 when Mark Messier was extolling the virtues of kids coming to the rink to see games as a kid and how he was able to do that (his family had somewhat modest means at the time and I knew him) while at the same time engaged in yet another contractual impasse where he felt that he wasn't paid enough dime. My first thought was that this generation of player is leading to a pricing of game that kids WON'T be able to see. So nothing surprised or disappoints me anymore in that regard as bird has already flown so many times.
Kovalchuck gets no special consideration because he's Russian. He wants to play at home? Fine, do so after you have honored your contractual obligations. Or better yet, don't lobby to get yourself the longest contract in NHL history if you are so unsure of your ability to endure life away from your homeland.
See, ever since the WHA I'm more inclined to think that NHL contracts hold limited legal right to pursue and I think that because the WHA won in court and NHL contracts could be stampled on. All NHL contracts arguably do is limit movements within that league. Outside of the league is fair game as we are seeing again in this instance and that we will see a lot more of.
It would be tough to call him a winner given his NHL career.
I don't hold this view of player worth. A lot of players that never win the SC are winners in my mind. Joe Thornton is a winner. Somebody imminently successful at imo the hardest sport to play in the world and at the absolute top of his craft. A generational talent. I do also think SC teams often involve some player here, player there serendipity. If Bickell for instance doesn't play out of his mind fantastic in first two rounds and be the most dangerous Hawk on the ice this SC pure and simple doesn't happen. Theres almost always some unlikely unsung contributions that seperate winning from losing. In a team sport winners and losers are rarely defined individually.
I have no problem with that. The Russians produce a lot of great players and its natural that the fans there want to see their best players.
If more Russian players elect to play at home that would be fine with me. Not like the NHL is going to fold up or anything.
No, but exlusivity is dead and done. Both contractually, marketing, world rights etc. Don't think for a moment either that an American Broadcaster may be seduced by a future KHL or Eurasia based league. American broadcasters have kind of always thumbed their noses at the Canadian loaded player talent in NHL while waxing on about any import player.
I'd say that's extremely unlikely. I'm familiar with the "hockey" played in Asian countries like China, ROK and Japan
. Trust me, its laughable. Russia has money for now, but most of the Asian states created out of the USSR are still pretty poor and backward. Infrastructure and air travel is dodgy to say the least. Even in the KHL there are probably only a half dozen really first class franchises (by NHL standards).
The bolded is irrelevant. I mentioned the clear shifts that taking place in the world. Countries that don't produce great players worth watching will simply have the bucks to pay them to come. Theres going to be some league expansion, more notoriety, and player raids. This pretty much a given. NHL has had their exclusivity for about as long as thats going to happen. Hockey is marketable after all.
Kovalchuck will float his way through the rest of his career. I'm glad I won't have to watch it.
Lots of NHL players appear to do this. Why so critical of this one? Just curious. You're generally more objective than me but in this instance you don't like this player or at least thats what I'm sensing.
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