Posted in Sports

Kovalchuk!

Don’t suppose you can say that like Seinfeld used to hiss “Newman” on his old show.

Illya Kovalchuk is a talented hockey player and the New Jersey Devils since settling in the swamps have been one of the better organizations in the National Hockey League, but somebody is slipping something into their water cooler. A 17 year contract? for a guy who thinks defense is that thing in his yard by degarden. That isn’t getting evading the rules I suppose, but it is giving them a stern talking too.

It was harsh to look at the lockout a few years ago, but it appears nobody learned anything, except the fans. It is a graphic reminder that we are looking at a business first and foremost, and everything else second. I’m a died-in-the-wool Sabres fan, still got lineups I cut out of the paper as a kid. The thing that catches me most is just how badly the organization reacts to changes around the league. I’m not anti-Darcy Regier. I believe he does know his stuff, but I don’t think he has a free a hand to operate. I mean he did have the wherewithal to get people like Doug Gilmour, J.P. Dumont, Joe Juneau, and two guys named Briere and Drury to come to Buffalo.

Could have kept Drury, Briere, Campbell & McKee here for the inflated rates that Connolly, Vanek, Roy and Hecht are now receiving and they all would have been cheaper. But hindsight is a beautiful thing. Just makes the whole building a winner rhetoric ring a little hollow.

Now, deals like Kovalchuk’s or the one Marion Hossa got from Chicago are kind of dumb and I am glad to see the Sabres sitting that silliness out, because the salary cap will dictate some dealing. The role guys that have been picked up have been good ones, but this fan would like them to take an aggressive step, go out on that limb and get serious about a Tomas Kaberle.

The 17, 15, 10 year deals do seem weird for guys who will never fulfill them, but it does make the Sabres (i.e. LQ) seem a little petty for going no longer than 2 or 3 for a guy who could help. Going to a fourth might have kept Campbell here at a reasonable rate.

But alas, it’s not the blue and gold were bad, it’s just that with a little less muddled thought process, they could have been better.

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