Perhaps it was frustration over the lack of progress in CBA negotiations, or the NHL's refusal to guarantee the contracts of the players it has signed recently, but Ilya Kovalchuk didn't sound like someone eager to get back to the swamps of Jersey anytime soon,
“Basically, I don’t rule out staying in Russia in the case of a reduction of our salaries in the NHL,” Kovalchuk told Sportbox.ru (via RT.com). “I just don’t understand why they needed to sign such contracts. Or they were just hoping to cut the percentage later? I believe that the contracts must be respected and this is a fundamental question. There’s no way the head of the [NHL Players’] Association and the hockey players will agree on the wage reduction.”
Man has a point, and perhaps that will become more of the discussion as time moves on here, namely were NHL clubs signing players to contracts the clubs knew would be reduced in payment and years by a new collective bargaining agreement.
Obviously, much will happen before Kovalchuk would decide to say adios to the Devils, especially since the NHL and the KHL have an agreement where they are to respect one another's contracts. But it will be interesting should a couple big fish like Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin opt to stay home at the end of the owner' lockout.
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Hockey, Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey, New Jersey Devils, NHL