Tag:Alexei Kovalev
Posted on: August 25, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 2:27 pm
 

Alexei Kovalev stays firm on Ottawa media stance

By Brian Stubits

You have to give Alexei Kovalev this: he is sticking to his word.

In an era when 99 times out of 100 that a player says something controversial or in any way offensive he apologizes, it is nice to see when players won't retract, stand by the words they clearly meant to say. That's what we have Kovalev.

Last month he had some critical comments about the media, particularly the members in Ottawa. Remember Kovalev saying this?

"There are different journalists. My opinion of Ottawa journalists is that they don't watch hockey at all. When they fly with the team and go through the [metal detector] at an airport, their bags are filled with beer. You realize right away what these people do when they write about the NHL.

"I am annoyed when people write [nonsense]. Figuratively speaking, to earn half a hundred dollars they are ready to make up some garbage. But they show that they're doing their job."

Well Kovalev recently discussed those comments again with sports.ru in Russia. Thankfully Dmitry Chesnokov at the Puck Daddy blog was able to translate what Kovalev had to say.

"It means I was right. Otherwise they wouldn't have reacted the way they did. The Montreal media is more experienced [than Ottawa]; hockey has been there longer, people there understand hockey ... If they criticize, they do it for cause. And it Ottawa they criticize regardless of how you play."

Not entirely sure I follow the logic leap from being angry at insulting comments to showing the comments were true, but nonetheless he's holding his ground. Of course, it probably helps he's sniping from another continent, but still. Baby steps.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 11, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 10:54 am
 

Daily Skate: Kovalev's burden, U.S. Juniors lose

By Brian Stubits

TOO GOOD FOR HIS OWN GOOD: Since Alexei Kovalev left the NHL to go to Russia's KHL, he fired some shots at Ottawa and then took plenty of shots in return. That's all on top of the criticism he's heard throughout his career. You know them: He doesn't play every game, he's hockey's Randy Moss, all talent and no heart, etc. Scott Cullen of TSN penned a column about Kovalev suffering the curse of being supremely talented and thus having expectations through the roof.

USA JUNIORS DROP: As the Junior camp rolls on in Lake Placid for Team USA and they try to whittle down the roster to the final 22, the Americans are playing some exhibition games. On Wednesday they squared off with the Swedes and fell 4-1. The only score of the U.S. came from Florida Panthers draftee Vincent Trocheck. The USA has two more games remaining at the camp, one rematch with Sweden and one against Finland.

SMASHING TICKET SALES: The Predators haven't had the best offseason on record, but it's not stopping them from selling tickets (Ticketnews.com). The numbers are up across the board for season ticket sales in Nashville, and in a rare site an NHL team is actually outperforming an NFL team (the Tennessee Titans). The team's first playoff series victory seems to be helping, as does the slight rebranding to further align themselves with Nashville's rich music history.

BIG RED BIRD III: The Detroit Red Wings showed off their new airplane on Wednesday that they will use this season, named Red Bird III. Take a look at these pictures (Hockey Town Blog). There are a multitude of reasons players want to go play for the Wings, but comfort in the sky like this will only hope give another reason.

DESERT SIGNING: The Phoenix Coyotes made a small move yesterday, re-signing forward Viktor Tikhonov to a one-year, two-way contract. In the AHL last season, he had 10 goals and 23 assists for the San Antonio Rampage. AZ Vibe says the deal contains a "European Assignment Clause" meaning if he isn't playing with the Coyotes, he can play in the KHL.

HOCKEY MEETS SOCCER: Perhaps soccer is just on the brain after Jurgen Klinsmann made his U.S. coaching debut last night and the announcement that NBC and the network formerly known as Versus will be showing MLS games. But check out these hockey-meets-soccer jerseys that were mocked up by majupra.imgur.com. Can't figure out why, but I find myself liking the nauseating Canadiens stripes (and red jersey).

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 12:58 pm
 

Alex Kovalev rips former Sens coach, Ottawa media

By Brian Stubits

One of the best parts about breakups in professional sports is the possibility of parting shots. Now that Alexei Kovalev has left not only the Ottawa Senators (he did that at the trade deadline when he was shipped to the Penguins) but the NHL, he's letting his feelings be known on one of his old stomping grounds.

After signing a two-year contract with Atlant of the KHL (where he will join Nikolay Zherdev), Kovalev said he did have offers from two teams in the NHL, but he was hoping to find a contract beyond one season, which he received in the KHL.

But first, the not-so-fond farewells to those around the Sens (stick tap to Puck Daddy for translation).

"In two seasons I still couldn't understand the ideas of our coach Cory Clouston," Kovalev said.

I guess the good news for Ottawa fans is that the team has a new coach to clearly direct the team. And give the NHL one ridiculously awesome mustache. George Parros, you have company.

Perhaps he saved his most scathing shots for those in the Ottawa media.

"And the fact I am criticized ... There are different journalists. My opinion of Ottawa journalists is that they don't watch hockey at all. When they fly with the team and go through the [metal detector] at an airport, their bags are filled with beer. You realize right away what these people do when they write about the NHL." (Note to self: Ask boss for relocation to Ottawa.)

"I am annoyed when people write [nonsense]. Figuratively speaking, to earn half a hundred dollars they are ready to make up some garbage. But they show that they're doing their job."

Gee, Alexei, how do you really feel?

But we might not have seen the last of Kovalev in North America. He says he would still like to finish his career in the NHL since that's where he began. Count me among those who would like to see that and would be glued to his return to Ottawa.

Photo: US Presswire

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:24 am
 

Daily Skate: Latvia picks Nolan; Zherdev to KHL

By Brian Stubits

NOT KEEN ON KEENAN: Last week we told you that former NHL coach Mike Keenan was one of two finalists for head coach of Team Latvia. Turns out he was No. 2. Latvia announced Wednesday that it is hiring another Canadian and former NHL coach, tabbing ex-Sabres and Islanders boss Ted Nolan to lead the team.

NIKKI SKIPS: Earlier this week, colleague Adam Gretz addressed the issue of where would Nikolay Zherdev play next season, speculating it could be Winnipeg or possibly a jump to the KHL. Turns out it's the latter. The former Flyers forward will play next season with Atlant Mytishchi of the KHL, joining Alexei Kovalev on the team.

TOUGH WEEK: It hasn't been a kind few days to the Islanders. The future of the franchise was made cloudy with the resounding no vote on a new arena for the team. So when the team announced very early Wednesday morning they had re-signed forward Jon Sim, it shouldn't be bad, right? Not until the Isles tweet this a short while later: "Jon Sim has not been resigned. A glitch in Bridgeport's email sent a press release from last summer. We apologize for any confusion." Oops.

PERRON STILL OUT: From the department of news you never want to see, Blues forward David Perron isn't going to start training camp with his teammates as he is still dealing with concussion symptoms. He is expected to play at some point next season, Andy Strickland says the two sides just agreed Perron needs more time.

NUMBERS GAME: It's a very awkward situation with the Jets as far as the history of the franchise ... is the team playing under Thrashers history or Jets, who are now the Coyotes? Evander Kane already asked Bobby Hull about wearing his retired No. 9 Jets jersey and Bryan Little has run into the same issue with Dale Hawerchuk's No. 10. But instead of asking to wear it (Hawerchuk said it was no big deal) Little is just going to change numbers himself. (Via Puck Daddy)

BUFFALO ADDS TO STAFF: The Sabres added a coach to Lindy Ruff's bench, announcing the hire of Kevyn Adams as an assistant coach. He joined the staff in 2009 in a player development role.

PITTSBURGH SIGNS TOP PICK: The Penguins took care of some house cleaning by getting their top pick in this year's draft in the fold, signing defenseman Joseph Morrow to a three-year entry-level contract.

Avalanche OF CONFIDENCE: Erik Johnson is expecting a big season in Colorado (Via Denver Post). The defenseman is changing up his workout, trying to prepare for a great year. And he's talking the talk about it too, sending a message to Capitals fans. "It's not going to be a [high] pick [to the Caps in exchange for Semyon Varlamov]. It's going to end up being a great trade for us. People are saying we got the short end of the trade and they're happy because they think we're going to finish at the bottom of the league -- and we're not going to do that this year."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 23, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Vinny Prospal signs with Columbus

By Adam Gretz

When the Columbus Blue Jackets lost Kristian Huselius for four-to-six months after an injury he suffered while lifting weights, it was pretty much assumed that general manager Scott Howson would be bringing in another forward to help replace him. On Saturday, Howson announced -- via his own Twitter feed -- that the club had signed free agent Vinny Prospal to help fill a top-six spot in the lineup.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports it's a one-year deal worth $1.75 million (plus bonuses).

There weren't many strong forward options remaining on the free agent market, but Prospal is probably among the best of the bunch. In 29 games last season with the New York Rangers, the 36-year-old winger scored nine goals to go with 14 assists after missing the first half of the season with a knee injury. He is just one year removed from a 20-goal, 58-point effort.

He's not likely to completely replace Huselius from an offensive standpoint at this point in his career, but for one year and that cap hit it should be a solid addition to a Columbus lineup that's already seen a boost thanks to the offseason additions of Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski.

For his career, Prospal has scored 227 goals in 978 games with six different teams (Ottawa, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Tampa Bay, New York and Florida).

If you remove Teemu Selanne from the list (he's either going to play for Anaheim or retire), the free-agent forwards still available ranked by point total from last season are Sergei Samsonov, Cory Stillman, Alexei Kovalev, Rob Schremp and John Madden.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 13, 2011 8:32 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 10:36 am
 

Blue Jackets' Huselius could miss 4-6 months

HuseliusBy: Adam Gretz

The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up what should be a huge upgrade to their offense earlier this summer by acquiring Jeff Carter from the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately, due to some bad luck over the weekend, they lost another player that should have been one of their other top six forwards when Kristian Huselius tore a pectoral muscle while lifting weights in Sweden, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.

General manager Scott Howson said, via Portzline's Puck Rakers blog, that Huselius is expected to miss four to six months, which could keep him out of the Blue Jackets lineup until January.

Huselius is entering the final year of a four-year contract -- that pays him $4.75 million per year -- that he signed prior to the 2008-09 season. He was limited to just 39 games last season due to injury, scoring 14 goals.

Now that that Columbus has another hole on its top lines for a large chunk of the season, the search now turns to the remaining free agent market and anybody that could potentially step in. The options are not promising. Looking at the forwards still available, and ranking them by goals scored in 2010-11, the top 10 players are as follows: Teemu Selanne (31), Antti Miettinen (16), Alexei Kovalev (16), Nikolai Zherdev (16), Sergei Samsonov (13), Rob Schremp (13), Cory Stillman (12), John Madden (10), J.P. Dumont (10) and Brad Winchester (10). Yikes.

Selanne, even at age 41, can obviously still play at a high level as shown by his 31 goals last season, but he is not an option (Selanne is either playing for Anaheim or he's retiring). Madden doesn't really fit seeing as how he's a checking line center as opposed to a goal-scoring winger, and the Jackets have already been through the Nikolai Zherdev experience.

Stillman is a reliable veteran that has been on a pair of Stanley Cup winning teams, while players like Samsonov and Schremp might offer the faint hope of a boom-or-bust signing.

There's never a good time to lose one of your top offensive players -- especially when it's two weeks into the free agent signing period in what was already a weak group -- when all of the best players have already been picked over.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com