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Around the NHL Part Six(66): The Number of the Beast

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07-12-2013, 11:10 AM
  #451
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Originally Posted by rocky7 View Post
why? he is a free man. he did absolutely nothing wrong and can do whatever he wants. why is an athlete beholden to fans? this is real life not fandom fantasy.
Speaking in absolutes, no he technically cannot do whatever he wants. He can't sign with the Hurricanes tomorrow.

This is why leagues have transfer agreements and the like. To coordinate the movement of players back and forth. I'm not so sure any agreements cover something like this, though.

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07-12-2013, 11:12 AM
  #452
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Rocky, I think someone asked you this before, but I don't remember if you answered: are you of Russian descent, or do you otherwise have some sort of connection with Russia? I mean this in the nicest way, but you seem to have a bit of sensitivity to defending all things that could be perceived as anti-Russian.

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07-12-2013, 11:13 AM
  #453
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Originally Posted by Boom Boom Anton View Post
You don't see a difference between someone who had no say in their ability to leave (in the 90s), vs. someone who voluntarily signed a contract to play in the NHL (Kovy)?
He didn't sign a contract with the NHL, he signed a contract with the New Jersey Devils. A contract that contained a clause providing for voluntary retirement, and that also gives him the right to play in the KHL with the Devils' approval. So yeah, I'm not seeing the problem.

Yes, I realize the situations from the early 90's to now aren't exactly the same. But the essential issue is the same. Those Soviet players signed contracts too, but nobody on this side of the Atlantic was debating the morality of them wanting to break those contracts to come to North America.


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07-12-2013, 11:18 AM
  #454
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he's not beholden to fans, at all, in fact I support his decision in this fashion. However in the business sense he is beholden to contracts that the IIHF honors if he wants to play in International tournaments.

In essence this is what should be expected:
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...05&postcount=3


In essence that would not necessarily cover him playing in the KHL, but as the IOC and IIHF are supposed to honor NHL (as well as other professional leagues obviously) contracts it would bar him from participating in the next 3 World Championships, and the Sochi Olympics.

I don't blame him a bit as a person. I know, had I been a top level player in hockey, I would have basically limited my selection of places I want to play to a very short list based strictly off of team competitiveness and proximity to where my family and/or very close friends live.

In the legal sense of things, at least if the IIHF and IOC are willing to honor what have been established as precedent in the NHL by-laws, he's out of International competition for the next 3 years as a result.

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07-12-2013, 11:26 AM
  #455
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Originally Posted by BanginLikeaBiscuit View Post
Rocky, I think someone asked you this before, but I don't remember if you answered: are you of Russian descent, or do you otherwise have some sort of connection with Russia? I mean this in the nicest way, but you seem to have a bit of sensitivity to defending all things that could be perceived as anti-Russian.
no russian anything Bangin. my opinions hold no matter who a player may be. my opinions may also change sometimes. we tend to discuss russian players a lot and whether or not some will admit it (not necassarily on this board), there are biases. and like i said before, i am the furthest there is from being a bleeding heart liberal.

but you see, and i mean this in the nicest way as well, why even ask the question? my opinions are not restricted to russians. if they tend to be a bit positively slanted, perhaps that's a bias of my own. i do enjoy european style of play.

edit: this kovy thing may be a good example. this shouldn't be a "russian" thing at all. however, it will be a "see that's russians for you". any one of us may have made a similar decision.


Last edited by rocky7: 07-12-2013 at 11:34 AM.
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07-12-2013, 11:29 AM
  #456
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Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
He didn't sign a contract with the NHL, he signed a contract with the New Jersey Devils. A contract that contained a clause providing for voluntary retirement, and that also gives him the right to play in the KHL with the Devils' approval. So yeah, I'm not seeing the problem.

(Yes, I realize the situations from the early 90's to now aren't exactly the same. But the essential issue is the same. Those Soviet players signed contracts too.)
I never said he didn't have the right to retire, he most certainly does and the collective bargaining agreement and his contract allows him to and I am in no way disputing that. I may not like it, but it is his legal right and I don't have a big issue with it. The same way I wasn't as pissed as everyone else about Whitney not waiving his NTC. He negotiated that in his contract and he had every right to exercise it.

What I said was that HE (KOVY) voluntarily signed to play in the NHL (a contract with an NHL team). If he wanted to play hockey, he had the option to sign in the KHL, NHL, Swedish League, Swiss League or where-ever he wanted. The pre-early 90s Soviet/Russions did not have those options as the government imposed restrictions on them that did not give them that choice.

That that is not "essentially the same issue"..it's not even close.

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07-12-2013, 11:33 AM
  #457
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In a lot of ways I feel for these Russian guys. I get homesick at least a few times a week and I only live 12 hours from there. Add to that the difficulties of the language barrier and the xenophobic jackholes that seem to populate NHL circles trumpeting their supposed inferiority all the time, I'd probably want to go back home too.

Plus, it's New Jersey.

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07-12-2013, 11:35 AM
  #458
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he's not beholden to fans, at all, in fact I support his decision in this fashion. However in the business sense he is beholden to contracts that the IIHF honors if he wants to play in International tournaments.

In essence this is what should be expected:
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...05&postcount=3


In essence that would not necessarily cover him playing in the KHL, but as the IOC and IIHF are supposed to honor NHL (as well as other professional leagues obviously) contracts it would bar him from participating in the next 3 World Championships, and the Sochi Olympics.

I don't blame him a bit as a person. I know, had I been a top level player in hockey, I would have basically limited my selection of places I want to play to a very short list based strictly off of team competitiveness and proximity to where my family and/or very close friends live.

In the legal sense of things, at least if the IIHF and IOC are willing to honor what have been established as precedent in the NHL by-laws, he's out of International competition for the next 3 years as a result.
In the link those punishments all say "without consent of the member club". So if the Devils consent to him play for SKA why would he be subject to any repercussions?

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07-12-2013, 11:39 AM
  #459
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Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
He didn't sign a contract with the NHL, he signed a contract with the New Jersey Devils. A contract that contained a clause providing for voluntary retirement, and that also gives him the right to play in the KHL with the Devils' approval. So yeah, I'm not seeing the problem.
Did it have such a clause though? My understanding is that Kovalchuk and the Devils mutually agreed to void the contract so he could sign in SKA.

The way I see it, Lou saw an opportunity to get rid of an absolutely terrible contract that an ownership with deeper pockets than the current regime forced him to sign. The parting was mutual; if they had wished, the Devils could have kept his NHL rights.

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07-12-2013, 11:39 AM
  #460
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Originally Posted by Boom Boom Anton View Post
I never said he didn't have the right to retire, he most certainly does and the collective bargaining agreement and his contract allows him to and I am in no way disputing that. I may not like it, but it is his legal right and I don't have a big issue with it. The same way I wasn't as pissed as everyone else about Whitney not waiving his NTC. He negotiated that in his contract and he had every right to exercise it.

What I said was that HE (KOVY) voluntarily signed to play in the NHL (a contract with an NHL team). If he wanted to play hockey, he had the option to sign in the KHL, NHL, Swedish League, Swiss League or where-ever he wanted. The pre-early 90s Soviet/Russions did not have those options as the government imposed restrictions on them that did not give them that choice.

That that is not "essentially the same issue"..it's not even close.
Yeah, he voluntarily signed a contract, and that contract gave him an out. He took it.

I edited my earlier post for elaboration.

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07-12-2013, 11:43 AM
  #461
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Originally Posted by rocky7 View Post

but you see, and i mean this in the nicest way as well, why even ask the question? my opinions are not restricted to russians. if they tend to be a bit positively slanted, perhaps that's a bias of my own. i do enjoy european style of play.

edit: this kovy thing may be a good example. this shouldn't be a "russian" thing at all. however, it will be a "see that's russians for you". any one of us may have made a similar decision.
I ask because like you said, there has been a lot of 'Russian discussion' lately between the draft, free agency, and now Kovy, and it seems like you're usually the quickest to defend Russians. Made me curious if you were Russian yourself, or otherwise had some connection.

And I think most people don't view the 'Russian factor' in a discriminatory way, it's simply a different dynamic with foreign players. They leave their home and come half way around the world to play in the NHL. It's understandable that not all would like to stay, and that some might have trouble adapting, so there's always a chance they would prefer to return home to play their hockey. Russians get the worst of it because they have the 2nd biggest league, and are able to pay superstars more than they would earn here. It's not a 'Russian' thing as much as it is a foreigner thing. It's the same as KHL teams worrying about keeping North American talent that comes over there. There's that same risk that they would prefer to return home.

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07-12-2013, 11:46 AM
  #462
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Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
he's not beholden to fans, at all, in fact I support his decision in this fashion. However in the business sense he is beholden to contracts that the IIHF honors if he wants to play in International tournaments.

In essence this is what should be expected:
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...05&postcount=3


In essence that would not necessarily cover him playing in the KHL, but as the IOC and IIHF are supposed to honor NHL (as well as other professional leagues obviously) contracts it would bar him from participating in the next 3 World Championships, and the Sochi Olympics.

I don't blame him a bit as a person. I know, had I been a top level player in hockey, I would have basically limited my selection of places I want to play to a very short list based strictly off of team competitiveness and proximity to where my family and/or very close friends live.

In the legal sense of things, at least if the IIHF and IOC are willing to honor what have been established as precedent in the NHL by-laws, he's out of International competition for the next 3 years as a result.
thanks for that info. i didn't know it but i'm sure kovy is very aware of all rules and regs. i expect he will act accordingly. it's just this - kovy is such an *******!!! blablabla stuff from fans that's goofy and that is all i meant.

edit: also, if kovy can "legally" play wherever and whenever, good for him. why people feel slighted is immature for the lack of a better term imo.


Last edited by rocky7: 07-12-2013 at 12:08 PM.
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07-12-2013, 11:53 AM
  #463
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Did it have such a clause though? My understanding is that Kovalchuk and the Devils mutually agreed to void the contract so he could sign in SKA.
I'm not making things up, if that's what you mean.

It was publicized sometime after he signed that there was a clause giving him an out to play in the KHL, dependent on the team's approval with the individual KHL team he wanted to sign. No doubt providing for a compensatory agreement between the Devils and that team, since the NHL and KHL don't have a formal transfer agreement.

I'm inclined to think the "retirement" language is more for the benefit of the Devils' salary cap. Assuming he agreed with the Devils that he would not attempt to come back and play for another NHL team, they have no reason not to void the contract since they still retain his rights with the league office for the next 12 years anyway.

Now, if he decides he wants to come back to the NHL and play for some team other than the Devils, he's being a dirtbag and will be deserving of whatever criticism he gets. But I doubt that happens.

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07-12-2013, 12:05 PM
  #464
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I ask because like you said, there has been a lot of 'Russian discussion' lately between the draft, free agency, and now Kovy, and it seems like you're usually the quickest to defend Russians. Made me curious if you were Russian yourself, or otherwise had some connection.

And I think most people don't view the 'Russian factor' in a discriminatory way, it's simply a different dynamic with foreign players. They leave their home and come half way around the world to play in the NHL. It's understandable that not all would like to stay, and that some might have trouble adapting, so there's always a chance they would prefer to return home to play their hockey. Russians get the worst of it because they have the 2nd biggest league, and are able to pay superstars more than they would earn here. It's not a 'Russian' thing as much as it is a foreigner thing. It's the same as KHL teams worrying about keeping North American talent that comes over there. There's that same risk that they would prefer to return home.
when you verbalize the "russian factor" like this it makes good sense and i'm glad you see it that way. for me i guess i interpret many who discuss russians in a xenophobic sense like Roboturner said. many don't think of it merely like that without using the opportunity to also express their russian stereotype babble.

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07-12-2013, 12:11 PM
  #465
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While I feel for Devil fans and agree it's not exactly the most "up and up" thing to do from a fans perspective, it was a mutual agreement on both parties.

There was a statement yesterday on Twitter basically stating that because the Devils decided not to fight the transfer, the NHL didn't fight it. If the Devils had, the league would have. That tells me Kovy went through the proper channels and got the permission where he needed to. Unfortunately, that permission doesn't extend to the fans.

And Rocky, you seriously don't understand why Devil fans are upset with him? Why he's being called a traitor and other unsavory terms?

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07-12-2013, 12:13 PM
  #466
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Guys, can we please stop arguing over Russian hockey players and turn the conversation back over to Chad LaRose? He has such a great smile.



So Patrice Bergeron re-signs to an 8 year contract at $6.5 million per. And in the lulz news, David Clarkson is getting compared to Wendel Clark as a Maple Leaf: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=427501.


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07-12-2013, 12:13 PM
  #467
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when you verbalize the "russian factor" like this it makes good sense and i'm glad you see it that way. for me i guess i interpret many who discuss russians in a xenophobic sense like Roboturner said. many don't think of it merely like that without using the opportunity to also express their russian stereotype babble.
It has nothing to do with being Russian.

If Eric Staal demanded a trade to a Canadian team tomorrow and refused to report, I would call him a traitor too.

Not because he is one, but because I'm pissed as hell that we would be losing our best player for nothing.

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07-12-2013, 12:14 PM
  #468
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when you verbalize the "russian factor" like this it makes good sense and i'm glad you see it that way. for me i guess i interpret many who discuss russians in a xenophobic sense like Roboturner said. many don't think of it merely like that without using the opportunity to also express their russian stereotype babble.
I posted in another thread that the "Russian factor" simply means that GMs have to weight the benefits of having said player versus the chance that the player (like Kovalchuk, Radulov, etc.) decides he wants to return to the motherland. GMs have plans, long term plans (insert Rutherford joke here), so they have to take into account everything that goes into employing a player. To NOT do so would be foolish.

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07-12-2013, 12:17 PM
  #469
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I'm not making things up, if that's what you mean.

It was publicized sometime after he signed that there was a clause giving him an out to play in the KHL, dependent on the team's approval with the individual KHL team he wanted to sign. No doubt providing for a compensatory agreement between the Devils and that team, since the NHL and KHL don't have a formal transfer agreement.
I'm not calling you a liar, I just haven't seen anything about a KHL outclause.

What I have seen is a statement from Lou saying that the contract is now void (vs., if Kovalchuk were to return to the NHL, Lou could have exercised the right to keep him as Devils property).

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07-12-2013, 12:24 PM
  #470
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I'm not making things up, if that's what you mean.

It was publicized sometime after he signed that there was a clause giving him an out to play in the KHL, dependent on the team's approval with the individual KHL team he wanted to sign. No doubt providing for a compensatory agreement between the Devils and that team, since the NHL and KHL don't have a formal transfer agreement.

I'm inclined to think the "retirement" language is more for the benefit of the Devils' salary cap. Assuming he agreed with the Devils that he would not attempt to come back and play for another NHL team, they have no reason not to void the contract since they still retain his rights with the league office for the next 12 years anyway.

Now, if he decides he wants to come back to the NHL and play for some team other than the Devils, he's being a dirtbag and will be deserving of whatever criticism he gets. But I doubt that happens.
that's right. no doubt the devils organization and their lawyers and kovalchuk have this all worked out of course. but the fans, being the legal eagles they are know better. if he decides he wants to return to the nhl, i doubt he could play for anyone else unless the devils release him from any obligations. i'm a retired archaeologist not a lawyer but i assume if he did and they were to, and he decided to sign with the hurricanes, big deal. that wouldn't make the guy a dirtbag. to some fans i guess it would though.

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07-12-2013, 12:33 PM
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For me, the argument that says "he signed a contract, so he should play it out" doesn't work because the contracts are deliberately written to have more wiggle room than, say, a sale contract. There are out clauses on both sides - buyouts on the team side, retirement on the player side. It's standard operating procedure and it's fair because there's consideration in both cases. The consideration the player receives in a buyout is a pile of cash and the freedom to go somewhere else. The consideration the team receives in a retirement is getting off the hook for the salary and the assurance that the player won't play against them during the time they thought they had him (I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Kovalchuk wants to go home and promises never to come back. If he does, it has to be with the Devils, right? The alternatives were to buy him out for over $50M or to have him stay home, suspend him, then rip up his contract, assuming that's even an option (I'm guessing it is, because that's what people were saying Luongo should do to get out of his contract). Instead, they decided to let $250K count against the cap, which is peanuts. In exchange for that, they have the assurance that he'll never play against them in the NHL.

Loyalty to a team or whoever else is great and all, but when you make an arrangement for 15 years, you don't know what kind of circumstances are going to arise during that time period. Maybe I'm naive to think so, but it sounds like his family dynamic has changed since he signed his contract and I don't get the impression that he negotiated in bad faith to the team. If push comes to shove and a man has to choose between his family and his employer, I'd much rather see him be loyal to his family.


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07-12-2013, 12:39 PM
  #472
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While I feel for Devil fans and agree it's not exactly the most "up and up" thing to do from a fans perspective, it was a mutual agreement on both parties.

There was a statement yesterday on Twitter basically stating that because the Devils decided not to fight the transfer, the NHL didn't fight it. If the Devils had, the league would have. That tells me Kovy went through the proper channels and got the permission where he needed to. Unfortunately, that permission doesn't extend to the fans.

And Rocky, you seriously don't understand why Devil fans are upset with him? Why he's being called a traitor and other unsavory terms?
and answering to HtoCH as well, yes i understand the disappointment from fans. of course. but i just find the name calling over the top when talking about a guy who made a choice for himself and his family that's all. it's a sport and a hobby. a "d-bag"? what he has accomplished in his life and what he has chosen to do is admirable.

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07-12-2013, 12:42 PM
  #473
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For me, the argument that says "he signed a contract, so he should play it out" doesn't work because the contracts are deliberately written to have more wiggle room than, say, a sale contract. There are out clauses on both sides - buyouts on the team side, retirement on the player side. It's standard operating procedure and it's fair because there's consideration in both cases. The consideration the player receives in a buyout is a pile of cash and the freedom to go somewhere else. The consideration the team receives in a retirement is getting off the hook for the salary and the assurance that the player won't play against them during the time they thought they had him (I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Kovalchuk wants to go home and promises never to come back. If he does, it has to be with the Devils, right? The alternatives were to buy him out for over $50M or to have him stay home, suspend him, then rip up his contract, assuming that's even an option (I'm guessing it is, because that's what people were saying Luongo should do to get out of his contract). Instead, they decided to let $250K count against the cap, which is peanuts. In exchange for that, they have the assurance that he'll never play against them in the NHL.

Loyalty to a team or whoever else is great and all, but when you make an arrangement for 15 years, you don't know what kind of circumstances are going to arise during that time period. Maybe I'm naive to think so, but it sounds like his family dynamic has changed since he signed his contract and I don't get the impression that he negotiated in bad faith to the team. If push comes to shove and a man has to choose between his family and his employer, I'd much rather see him be loyal to his family.
exactly. he had a business arrangement in "good faith", legally chose to change his mind and put his family first instead of hockey fans. Soooooooooooo? and if he can legally earn money doing something else including playing in the khl so be it and all the best.


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07-12-2013, 12:45 PM
  #474
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Kovalchuk wants to go home and promises never to come back. If he does, it has to be with the Devils, right?
No; since he retired and the Devils voided the contract, he has to either:

--Wait a year, or;
--Receive permission from all 30 teams that he can come back.

Once he comes back, he's a free agent.

Though I doubt he's coming back. There is absolutely no way someone is going to fork over the amount of money he just forsake in order to go home.

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07-12-2013, 12:54 PM
  #475
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Originally Posted by Highway to Cap Hell View Post
No; since he retired and the Devils voided the contract, he has to either:

--Wait a year, or;
--Receive permission from all 30 teams that he can come back.

Once he comes back, he's a free agent.

Though I doubt he's coming back. There is absolutely no way someone is going to fork over the amount of money he just forsake in order to go home.
Ah, OK. Even so, if he were to come back I don't think the Devils would get too mad about it (the team, at least... the fans would probably riot in front of his house). As valuable as he was on the ice, they needed some financial help and getting out of paying him $56M over the next five years will go a long way.

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