Surly and I have been very supportive of Ilya Kovalchuk, even after he decided to stay in New Jersey.
We came up with reasonable justifications why Ilya was a healthy scratch back in 2010.
I even wrote an open letter to his agent, Jay Grossman, telling him Ilya will be making a huge mistake by not signing in L.A. I ended that letter with:
Wayne Gretzky said to Kings’ General Manager Dean Lombardi shortly after Dean accepted the position that when you win in Los Angeles, there is nothing that compares to it. Winning here is unlike winning anywhere else. The Los Angeles Kings are poised to ascend to the top of the NHL now. They are built to win. Ilya Kovalchuk is a generational talent but he cannot become a champion in this league by himself. He can and will be so in Los Angeles if he chooses us as we have chosen him. It is my hope that your client takes more than fiscal means to his intended end. Life rarely comes with second chances. Moments like these are defined by choices.
Call me Nostradamus, bitches.
And then I read this beauty early this morning:
He signed a 15 year, $100 million dollar contract…or was that the contract the NHL rejected? I think the one rejected was $102 million and 17 years. I can’t remember anymore. One of you guys look it up.
It was a contract the New Jersey could ill afford. They were already in serious financial trouble.
The New Jersey Devils lost a 1st round draft pick, a 3rd round pick and $3 million dollars as punishment for the cap circumventing contract.
Ilya didn’t do shit in the Stanley Cup Final against the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. He was garbage.
The Devils lost their true captain and franchise player, Zach Parise, which I predicted they would.
Isn’t it obvious what is going on?
Ilya feels terrible about all of this. It was never about the money, the schools or Greg Wyshynski’s head exploding from frustration. It was about doing the right thing. Ilya recognizes that he has not lived up to the contract and never will. He realizes that it is in everyone’s best interest for him to stay in Russia, never come back and, as a happy coincidence, earn the same amount of money as he would here, tax and escrow free. So there you go…a selfless act by a classy guy.
I find the notion offensive. Clearly the Royal Half Ass aka Royal Quarter is a hater.