Tag: Ilya Kovalchuk

Roberto Luongo

Gillis on Luongo: ‘Either play or don’t play’


The Vancouver Canucks made a couple of minor free-agent pickups today, signing defenseman Yannick Weber to a one-year deal and center/winger Brad Richardson for two years.

But the big story remains veteran goalie Roberto Luongo, who’s been conspicuously silent since Cory Schneider was traded at the draft.

Almost a week after the fact, it remains unclear how Luongo feels about the move and what his intentions are for next season. The 34-year-old wanted and expected to be traded, but ultimately his contract meant it was Schneider who was moved.

This afternoon, general manager Mike Gillis was asked about Luongo’s options.

“Either play or don’t play,” replied Gillis, adding he plans to travel to Florida to speak with Luongo (as Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini has already reportedly done.)

And what if Luongo doesn’t show up to play? Well, we’re not lawyers here. However, here’s what PHT legal analyst Eric Macramalla told us during the lockout when Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk were threatening to stay in the KHL…

An NHL contract, which is called a “Standard Player Contract” or an “SPC”, provides at Section 14(b) that a team has the right to terminate a contract if that player shall “fail, refuse or neglect to render his services hereunder or in any other manner materially breach this Contract”.

Not rendering services would include not showing up for work. So while Ovechkin and/or Kovalchuk wouldn’t be in a position to challenge the validity of their contracts, they could elect not to return to the NHL, thereby setting in motion a series of events that would end with their clubs terminating their contracts.

It seems unlikely that Luongo would risk voiding a contract that still has $40.6 million left to be paid out, not to mention the risk of getting sued for damages.

Still, he did say in April that he’d “scrap” his contract if he could.

Maybe that was more than just his frustration talking?

Islanders to buy out Rick DiPietro

Rick Dipietro

Rick DiPietro is about to become an ex-Islander.

Arthur Staple of New York Newsday reports the Islanders will place the much-maligned goaltender on $100 waivers tomorrow for the express purpose of using a compliance buyout on him.

GM Garth Snow’s decision to buy out DiPietro will cost the Islanders $1.5 million per year for the next 16 years as he had eight years remaining on his deal, good for a total of $24 million. Seven years ago, DiPietro signed a 15-year, $67.5 million deal with the team, a deal that’s been panned ever since mostly due to DiPietro’s inability to stay healthy.

The Islanders were already in the market for a goaltender this summer and DiPietro never factored into their plans. Last season, he was sent to the AHL after passing through waivers unclaimed. There he found himself embroiled in some controversy after making comments to a local reporter who mistook his sarcasm for truth when he said the treatment by fans made him contemplate suicide.

DiPietro’s 15-year deal has only been matched in length by Ilya Kovalchuk’s deal with the New Jersey Devils. Now he sees his future in doubt and an ugly chapter to his career come to a close. It makes quite the fall from grace for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 NHL Draft.

Ovechkin eliminated again: Team USA crushes Russia

Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers shakes hands with Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals after a 5-0 victory in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on May 13, 2013 in Washington, DC.
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Apparently Alex Ovechkin can see the future.

When talking about his recent struggles in the first round of the Washington Capitals’ series against the New York Rangers, Ovechkin said, “I didn’t score and we lose. I score we lose.”

That was the case this morning as Ovechkin had a goal and an assist in a crushing 8-3 loss to Team USA.

“We lost due to egregious mistakes in the neutral zone, even though we talked about it,” Ovechkin said, according to Yahoo!’s Dmitry Chesnokov. “This is carelessness.”

Ilya Kovalchuk failed to record a point for Russia in this quarterfinal match. Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny was the hero for America with two goals and four points. His efforts helped chase out Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov following his interesting Russian interview.

Bryzgalov was replaced late in the second period by Stastny’s Avalanche teammate, Semyon Varlamov, who didn’t fare any better.

Among the other notable players was 23-year-old Craig Smith, who had five assists for Team USA after recording 12 points in 44 games for Nashville this year.

Russia, which beat America in the Preliminary round, has now been eliminated after winning the IIHF tournament last year. Team USA will play against either Switzerland or the Czech Republic in the Semifinals.

France beat Russia today

2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

From the IIHF website:

HELSINKI – Antoine Roussel scored the second-period winner as France beat Russia 2-1 in one of the biggest upsets in international hockey history on Thursday. The result ended the defending champions’ World Championship winning streak at 13 games.

Damien Fleury and Antoine Roussel scored for France. This was France’s equivalent of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” where U.S. college players defeated the heavily favoured Soviets at the Lake Placid Olympics.

NHLers in the Russian lineup (PDF) included New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk and Andrei Loktionov, as well as Columbus players Artem Anisimov and Fedor Tyutin.

In the second period, former NHLer Alexander Radulov was stopped on a penalty shot by French goalie Florian Hardy.

“It’s fantastic to beat the defending champions and the best players in the world,” French coach Dave Henderson told the IIHF website, per NHL.com. “It’s so big for French hockey it’s hard to describe.”


Devils to keep ’13 first-rounder, forfeit ’14 pick

Lou Lamoriello

Hours prior to the first-ever NHL Draft Lottery — in which all participants have a shot at the No. 1 pick —  the Devils announced they’re keeping their first-rounder.

On Monday, New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello confirmed the organization will participate in the opening round of 2013 NHL Entry Draft which, of course, will be held in Newark, N.J. on June 30.

That decision means the Devils’ 2014 first-round selection will be forfeited, as per a salary cap circumvention penalty for signing Ilya Kovalchuk.

The penalty was announced in Sept. 2010 ($3 million, 2011 third-round pick, future first-rounder) with the understanding it was up to the Devils to decide which year — ’11, ’12, ’13 or ’14 — they’d give up the 1st.

The club opted to hold onto its 2011 first-rounder (selecting Adam Larsson) and, curiously, also decided to keep their 2012 first-rounder — the 29th overall pick, with which they took Stefan Matteau.

Why curious? Consider this take from Yahoo!’s Neate Sager:

The franchise, which was stripped of a first-rounder after the NHL ruled it circumvented the salary cap while signing Ilya Kovalchuk, was widely questioned for even using its first-rounder in 2012.

What was the point of hanging on to second-last pick of the first round in a weak draft year, then rushing him to the NHL to perform in spot duty, disrupting a crucial development season?

Taking Matteau also painted the Devils into a corner where they likely going to have to give up their first-rounder in the fecund 2014 draft.

Missing out on a possible shot at an elite youngster such as the Barrie Colts’ Aaron Ekblad, Kootenay Ice’s Sam Reinhart or Kingston Frontenacs’ Roland McKeown is a hefty price to pay to take a player who seems to be struggling with some maturity issues.

The draft lottery will be held tonight (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN), and the Devils hold a 2.7 percent chance of capturing the first overall selection.

Florida (25 percent), Colorado (18.8) and Tampa Bay (14.2) hold the highest odds.