Friday, August 13, 2010

One Dream Crushed...Another Lives On...Sorta

Teemu Selanne will be back at least one more season with the Ducks and he's still trying to lure Kariya to Anaheim.  Kariya doesn't owe anything to those fans in the O.C but I think the thought of reuniting with Teemu intrigues him especially after their disappointing reunion in Colorado.  I think Kariya is a Duck by the end of the week.  I think both guys stay healthy and terrorize the Kings.  Both Kariya and Selanne have been Kings Killers their entire careers (check out the career numbers versus L.A.).

Kariya: 63 GP, 34G, 38A, 72 PTS, +13, 26 PPP, 5 GWG
Selanne: 86 GP, 47G, 57A, 104 PTS, +26, 40 PPP, 9 GWG

So the dream of having Kariya and Selanne reunite in Los Angeles is dead.  The dreams of Kariya finishing out his career in a Kings uni are most likely dead.  I'm clinging to Willie Mitchell right now.  The Selanne/Kariya story was a bigger deal to me than the arbitrator ruling in favor of the NHL in the Ilya Kovalchuk case but here's a quick take.

The 17-year $102 million contract that Ilya Kovalchuk signed with the New Jersey Devils pushed the envelope further than it had ever been pushed.  The contract was so heavily front-loaded that he would have made 97% of his total salary by Year 11 with six more years left on the deal.  The NHL had to draw the line.  It's really as simple as that.

I'm a little surprised so many seem so surprised at Bloch ruling on Kovalchuk. I just figured there was a chance for following reasons: Kovalchuk contract pushed envelope further than it had ever been pushed. 17 years? Unprecedented. Age 44. Unprecedented. 6 big dropoff years at end? Unprecedented. I'm no lawyer but if it was 15 yrs, age 42 and 4 dropoff years, it's a lot more defensible, IMO.
So Kovalchuk is currently an unrestricted free-agent again but all signs pointing to him returning to New Jersey and the Kings staying out of it.  Hopefully, Kovalchuk signs soon in NJ so the Kings can finally hold that Alexei Ponikarovsky press conference we've all been waiting for.

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