Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kovalchuk finally signs

Finally, it has happened!

Ilya Kovalchuck, the biggest-name free agent on the market this year, has finally signed with a team.

And, man, this contract is a doozy. 17 years, $102 million to stay with the New Jersey Devils. This is another one of those "front-loaded contract" deals, where the player only ends up making league minimum for the last few years of the contract. Kovalchuk will be 44 years old when this contract expires.

It's hard to say how I feel about this. I think signing players for such a long time is almost always a stupid idea due to the prominence of injuries in the NHL. And, somehow, Kovalchuk's name doesn't readily come to mind when I think of players in the league I am certain will be consistent for almost two decades in the future. I mean, the guy's only won one playoff game.

I guess I think that, while Kovalchuk is a good player, he doesn't seem like the superstar that I think deserves the money-loaded long contracts (i.e. Sid Crosby or AO).

But, who knows, maybe he'll live up to his contract, now that he's not playing in Atlanta.

As for the Canes, they convinced Riley Nash to give a big "screw you" to Edmonton and forgo his playing career at Cornell to join the big leagues. (And to be honest, I wouldn't want to live in a place that cold either). The Canes also signed Brett Carson to a two-way deal, meaning that all the small parts are getting aligned for this next season.

Kovalchuk's signing will likely create some movement in the free agent market, and although the Canes are highly, highly unlikely to do anything, at least the summer won't be so boring for so long.

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