Tag: Ilya Kovalchuk


O, Dear: Russia fined $85K for skipping Canadian anthem


Remember when Russian hockey players stormed off the ice instead of sticking around for Canada’s national anthem after a drubbing at the 2015 World Hockey Championship? Apparently that gesture will come at a cost beyond making Matt Duchene really, really mad.

The IIHF fined the Russian Hockey Federation $85K (in the form of 80,000 Swiss francs) for those actions, pointing to an “unmistakable head gesture” from “the captain,” aka Ilya Kovalchuk.

(As you may remember, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and some other players did stay out for at least a portion of the ceremony, so it wasn’t necessarily a team-wide action.)

Here’s a portion of the release, which is soaked in somewhat amusing legalese:

The panel is of the opinion that the occurrences on the ice show that this is not a result of an unfortunate misunderstanding. The Russian players and officials left the ice after a short discussion between the Russian team captain and some Russian officials and the unmistakable head gesture of the captain. It was also noted that the Russian team and management should have been aware of the postgame/victory and closing ceremony procedure because of their vast experience with IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. The open gate was irrelevant.

Therefore the violation of the IIHF Championship Regulations should be sanctioned by a fine as provided in Articles 5.1, 5.2 of the Disciplinary Code.

So the “oops” excuse didn’t work?

Here are the highlights from Canada’s 6-1 win:

This seems like a good time to share a couple extra sad/angry Kovalchuk photos:

source: AP
Via AP
source: Getty Images
Via Getty

Kovalchuk to captain Russians at Worlds

Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk will captain the Russian national team at the World Hockey Championships, which begins Friday in the Czech Republic.

Kovalchuk said coach Oleg Znarok gave him the captaincy role on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old, who left the NHL in 2013 to join SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, last participated at a World Championship in 2013 where he had eight goals and 13 points in eight games as Russia finished sixth.

A knee injury forced Kovalchuk to miss last year’s tournament.

Kovalchuk has captained the Russians previously, but was overlooked in favor of Pavel Datsyuk at last year’s Olympics in Sochi.

Related: NBCSN to air every Team USA game at Worlds

PHT Morning Skate: Randy Caryle is ‘ready to coach again’

Randy Carlyle

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

With three NHL teams already looking for a new head coach and more openings likely coming, Randy Carlyle is hoping to get back behind the bench soon. Caryle was fired by the Leafs in January after leading Toronto to a 21-16-3 record. (The Winnipeg Free Press)

Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $20,000 league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts tonight at 7:00pm ET. Play Now!

The Chicago Blackhawks unveiled a new on-ice video prior to Game 3 celebrating the club’s current roster and storied history.

Ryan Kennedy believes Vladimir Tarasenko could be the missing piece in the Blues Stanley Cup puzzle. (The Hockey News)

Most NHL clubs give out some sort of team “player of the game” award following each win. After the Ducks Game 1 victory on Thursday night, captain Ryan Getzlaf did something a little different.

Ilya Kovalchuk and SKA captured the Gagarin Cup over the weekend. (KHL)

PHT’s top 13 of ’13: Kovalchuk retires, returns to KHL

Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk was supposed to be a Devil for the rest of his career. He was one of the team’s best forwards and poised to stay in New Jersey for the duration of his 15-year deal.

But in 2013, the plan changed. After a lockout-shortened campaign that saw him deal with injury and finish second on the team in points, he called it “probably my worst season,” then stunned the hockey world by retiring from the NHL in June.

Kovalchuk’s retirement didn’t mean he was walking away from the game itself. Rather, he was bailing on the Devils to go play back home in the KHL.

He forfeited the remainder of his $100 million contract to play for the team he suited up for during the lockout – SKA St. Petersburg. Kovalchuk’s mother said his time with SKA during the lockout inspired him to find a way to return, which he did in dramatic fashion.

Of course, he had to make sure the Devils would allow him to go. And asking the team to be OK with parting ways had to be some kind of awkward, especially after all they went through to get him. When the Devils were negotiating with Kovalchuk during the summer of 2010, they were busted for circumventing the salary cap on their first agreed-upon deal. Their punishment? Forfeiting a future first-round pick, a punishment that will come into effect at the 2014 NHL Draft.

So, what was the Devils’ motivation to part ways with Kovalchuk?

For one, they were in a financial bind as the salary cap was reduced to $64.3 million following the lockout-shortened season. They were also dealing with cash-flow issues, as then-owner Jeff Vanderbeek was seeking to sell the team. Having Kovalchuk’s monster contract on the books made both those situations more difficult.

source: Getty ImagesLamoriello agreed to let Kovalchuk go and with it controversy erupted over the Devils finding a way (again) to escape the clutches of the upper limit of the salary cap. Months later, Vanderbeek sold the team to a group led by Joshua Harris.

With Kovalchuk off the books and on his way to Russia, the Devils suddenly had money to spend — and did so by signing Jaromir Jagr and Damien Brunner to free-agent deals.

Jagr alone has helped make people forget about Kovalchuk leaving town with his handling of the press and, oh yeah, his ability to keep scoring at age 41.

As for Kovalchuk, life is good for him in Russia. SKA named him team captain and he’s essentially the face of the KHL. He’s currently eighth in the league in points, averaging over a point per game.

Ponikarovsky jumps to KHL, signs two-year deal with SKA

Alexei Ponikarovsky

Ilya Kovalchuk will have familiar company joining him in Russia.

Igor Eronko reports Devils forward Alexei Ponikarovsky has signed a two-year deal in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg. There he’ll team up with Kovalchuk and aim to win the Gagarin Cup to make up for the Stanley Cup they couldn’t win in 2012 with New Jersey.

Since being traded by Toronto in the 2009-10 season, Ponikarovsky’s career has seen him bounce to five different teams (Pittsburgh, Carolina, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Winnipeg) and two different tours with the Devils. In those three seasons he’s scored a total of 25 goals, the kinds of numbers he used to put up in a single season with the Leafs.

Now that he’s off to Russia, it gives him a chance to find a spark in his game yet again. After hopping from team to team here, this move may actually be for the best.