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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:50 pm 
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Kovalchuk, Ovechkin to KHL?
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2010/01/13/brophy_kovalchuk_ovie/#
January 13, 2010

BY MIKE BROPHY
sportsnet.ca

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Could the lure of $20 million a season cause Ilya Kovalchuk to leave the NHL and return home to play in the KHL?

At least one NHL general manager thinks it is possible.

"(Alexander) Medvedev is on a mission," said the GM, who requested anonymity. "He’s paying (Sergei) Fedorov $14 million this season so how much do you think he’d pay to get Kovalchuk? Twenty million a season? That’s what I’ve heard."

Medvedov is the president of the KHL.

Considering players in the KHL do not pay taxes, nor do they pay escrow like they do in the NHL, if this is true then Kovalchuk stands to make a lot more playing in Russian than he could in North America. Not only that, there has been speculation NHL players could face another salary rollback during the next collective bargaining agreement talks.

Kovalchuk, currently 11th in NHL scoring with 26 goals and 50 points in 39 games, is in the midst of contact negotiations with the Atlanta Thrashers and there is all kind of speculation the team will trade him if they cannot get his signature on an extension. It has been reported he is looking for in the neighborhood of $10 million a season for 10 years.

Said one NHL player: "That is impressive. For one year, wow, that's like six-to-seven years here after taxes."

Considering the Thrashers are struggling at the gate, it seems highly unlikely they could pay one player that kind of money – unless, of course, they sign him in order to sell the franchise. There is speculation the owners would like to sell the team and they suspect it is worth more with him than without him.

A number of teams have expressed interest in acquiring Kovalchuk, but they must decide if they first need to get his name on a contract as part of the deal or can they risk taking him as a rental player only to have him leave at the end of the year. It could be costly to a team to trade for him and then have him bolt in the off-season, the way Marian Hossa did after his short stint with Pittsburgh two years ago.

Kovalchuk isn’t the only player in the sights of the KHL. A source told sportsnet.ca Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin is so upset about having to pay 18 per cent of his salary to escrow he is prepared to pondering leaving the Capitals after this season. Sources say Ovechkin expressed his displeasure with having to pay escrow during an NHLPA conference call meant to talk about the direction of the organization.


Federov is making $14 million a season in Russia??? Wow. Talk about overpaid.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:18 am 
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The taxes these guys pay in the US is probably pushing 50% with all the different state and federal taxes. I would imagine that it would be appealing to return home AND make more money. I don't know why they would stay if they can make more money and be closer to their families. The NHL could be in trouble if the KHL decides to make a major push to compete for players with NHL teams. The question is just whether or not the KHL teams can afford to pay enough to really create a talent drain for the NHL.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:09 am 
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One word...FREEDOM...It's the reason more players , Especially russian players, stay in North America rather then going back to the "Mother" land...Russia may boast of being a democracy now, but there is still an unerlying communist rule there, where people still disappear if they don't agree with the politics...Ovie will stay, , while Kovalchuc may actuall choose to go...

Just my two cents


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:14 am 
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20 million a ...SEASON? That's baseball salary.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:33 am 
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Yeah, the money is there, but the quality of play is so far below the NHL, it's a joke.

Anybody here remember former Blues (and other teams, of course) defenseman, Kevin Dallman? A bit underwhelming while he was here, no?

Look at his numbers as soon as he jumped to the KHL.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdis ... ?pid=42343

28 goals? I believe he won KHL Defensive Player of the year that year too. So....yeah.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:36 am 
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Generally, you don’t become an elite athlete by happenstance. It takes drive, a want to be the best, and pride. I would believe that most of these guys’ egos will keep them In the NHL where they can prove themselves against the best in the world.

It makes a lot of since for guys to head back home in the twilight of their careers where they can make a fortune and keep their numbers up, but I don’t see a lot of guys going that route in the prime of their careers.

I guess we’ll see, and I’m sure this will eventually push NHL salaries, but it’s not as if these guys are exactly playing for peanuts right now.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:53 am 
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I could see this hurting the NHL more in years to come if some big names go to the KHL to play out their carreers. That could make it seem more attractive to younger players that have alot of ties to back home. Most of the big name Russian players that are already here are probably to settled to want to move. That being said $20 mill without taxes wants me to get out my skates.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:13 am 
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How popular is the KHL? Can they keep this up for long?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:24 am 
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I think most superstars are more concerned about the legitimacy of the NHL and their place in the record books than some Kommie garbage league where they can make some quick bucks.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:49 pm 
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There is speculation the owners would like to sell the team and they suspect it is worth more with him than without him.


A lesson learned courtesy of The St. Louis Blues. :evil:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:53 pm 
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goon attack wrote:
I think most superstars are more concerned about the legitimacy of the NHL and their place in the record books than some Kommie garbage league where they can make some quick bucks.



A little idealistic, but I'm with ya.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:30 pm 
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I can't find the article I read it in, but i've heard that some players in the KHL are having a hard time getting their paychecks. Doesn't matter if you're making $15mil a season on paper if you never see half that money.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:46 am 
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TheoSqua wrote:
I can't find the article I read it in, but i've heard that some players in the KHL are having a hard time getting their paychecks. Doesn't matter if you're making $15mil a season on paper if you never see half that money.



There was an article to that effect in the offseason when they were talking about the league being players for big name FAs last offseason.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Ovechkin is not going back to the KHL. That's crazy talk.


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