Tuesdays With Stoosh: 7.20


Thoughts as I contemplate the fact that I’ll be 51 years old when the New Jersey Devils are scheduled to stop paying on Ilya Kovalchuk’s new 17-year contract…

Kovalchuk’s deal is reportedly for 17 years, $102 million total. It’s worth noting that $95 million is due to Kovalchuk in the first 10 years of the deal. The final five years of the contract – at which point Kovalchuk will be in his early-to-mid-40s – are slated to pay him $500,000. I’m sure that’s exactly the way the Devils and Kovalchuk have it planned out…that’ll he’ll play all the way to the end of that deal and be perfectly content making $550,000 a year at age 44.

Hopefully you had the sarcasm meter turned to 11 on the last part of the above paragraph.

When I first heard the news of Kovalchuk re-upping with the Devils and staying not just in the conference but in the division, my initial thoughts were, quite appropriately…


But let’s wait and see what happens here. The Devils failed to get out of the first round last year with Kovalchuk on the roster. Their roster hasn’t changed THAT much. Kovalchuk’s not a floater. He’s not really much of a systems guy either, and now he’s locked in on a team that’s synonymous with the word “system” in the NHL. Throw all this in with a new coach – and not just any new coach, but one for whom Devils fans have been clamoring in John MacLean. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.

“Now I have a machine gun. Ho, ho, ho.”

Not really sure what New Jersey’s plan is with this move, but there have been rumblings that Lamoriello isn’t going to hang around much longer. Maybe his plan was to load up, bring in Kovalchuk to take a shot at a Cup over the next couple of years and let the next guy inherit the bulk of Kovalchuk’s contract while also worrying about life without Brodeur. Not sayin’. Just sayin’.

Worth noting, though, that Zach Parise isn’t going anywhere. They’ll be able to keep Parise and Kovalchuk much the same way the Pens should be able to keep Crosby and Malkin or Staal together long-term. They’ll trade just about anyone else on that team before they’ll entertain the idea of trading Parise.

Not to be outdone, the Flyers relieved themselves of some salary cap hell by dealing veteran scoring winger Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 30-year old journeyman defenseman Matt Walker, a draft pick, and Matt Walker’s crappy contract that carries a three- year term and an annual cap hit of $1.7 million.

Quick aside: Ray Shero isn’t above criticsm at all. But it’s very refreshing to see the Pens not have to take pennies on the dollar to move guys like Gagne and Versteeg – proven “supporting cast” veterans that still have a good deal to offer – just so teams can afford to get under the cap and field a roster. Hell, in Versteeg’s case, you’re talking about a veteran player who still has a good deal of upside.

With the signing of Sean O’Donnell and trade for Walker, the Flyers have now dropped $3 million in cap space to find out which of those two spends game night either eating nachos or getting turned into a pylon by Crosby or Malkin. Let’s take this a step further. The next time you want to bitch about the $9 million in cap room the Pens spent on Zybnek Michalek and Paul Martin, consider that Paul Holmgren greenlighted $7 million in cap space on Andrej Meszaros, Matt Walker and Sean O’Donnell.

Holmgren could’ve just saved the $7 million, stolen three PennDot barrels off the highway and thrown Flyers jerseys over them. On second thought, you don’t even need the jerseys.

Who the hell let Derian Hatcher back on the ice?

This why Flyers fans can’t have nice stuff, Paul Holmgren. Makes you wonder what kind of grabass Holmgren and Bobby Clarke are playing this summer over there at One Flyer Place or whatever it’s called. My guess is something like this.


Everyone remembers the infamous “Malkin to the Kings” rumors that were flying around a couple of seasons ago. But another rumor du jour amongst portions of the Pens fanbase and media involved shipping Jordan Staal to Los Angeles in exchange for a winger just coming off a 35-goal, 71-point campaign in 2006-07. Who was that player?

Alexander Frolov.

Why bring this up?

Because Dmitri Chesnokov of Puck Daddy revealed today via Twitter that Frolov has begun negotiations on a new contract. With Salavat Yulaef of the KHL.

Probably a good thing the fanbase and media don’t run the team.