Let’s begin with the wild and wacky news of the day, and that is the New York Post shedding some light on what Lou Lamoriello and the New Jersey Devils have offered free agent star Ilya Kovalchuk. According to them, and other outlets, the deal is 17 years at a total of around $100 million, with the $100 million front loaded in the first 10 years of the contract.
This has gotten people speculating that the offer is more than that amount of money, and is actually around $102 million. Either way, this is very strange, because if $100 million is distributed throughout the first ten years, that means Kovalchuk will only be receiving $2 million for the last seven years, an amount equaling only approximately $286,000 per season, which is almost half of league minimum.
I try not to curse on here, but if this story is true, then Lou Lamoriello is officially bat-shit insane.
Something is just not right all around here. Lamoriello seems like the last GM on the planet who would offer something as groundbreaking and egregious as a seventeen year contract, not to mention the announced method of how the money would be given out.
Perhaps the New York Post has gotten their information wrong again, because it was just this past Sunday when they had the hockey world buzzing when they announced that the Devils were moments away from inking Kovalchuk. Ten minutes, and about a million visitors later, they then changed the headline to “Devils Have the Inside Track”. By the end of the day, it was revealed the two sides were not even heavy in talks that day.
Something strange is definitely brewing in the Kovalchuk saga. Perhaps he needs a prime-time television special of his own to help move things along.
Now to the Blueshirts, who dealt away forward Aaron Voros (who they waived three times in the last two seasons) and prospect Ryan Hillier to Anaheim for defenseman Steve Eminger. This move is an even deal for both sides, although I feel bad for Ducks fans for having to get a player as pointless as Voros is.
Dubbed the “People’s Champ” by fans, I am still trying to figure out who he is the champ of. He can’t score, can’t fight, can’t back-check, and can’t throw a body check. Oh wait, that must mean he was perfect for the Rangers.
Meanwhile, the Rangers receive a former first round pick that never panned out, Steve Eminger, who was selected by the Washington Capitals in 2002. If you want an example of a journeyman player, he is the one. In seven seasons, he has played a total of 346 games with five teams, including three in just 2008/09 alone.
He does not excel in any particular area, nor it he extremely deficient in any, except taking lazy penalties, from what I hear. 301 career penalty minutes is an awful lot to have with only five fighting majors. But even so, Eminger is a cheap option for a seventh defenseman, whose contract runs 0ut after this season, like Voros.
Do not expect anything miraculous out of him; just let him play the forty or so games that he was brought here for, and if he scores, consider it a bonus.
However, there is talk that this is just the first in a series of moves by Glen Sather that will culminate with the waiving of Wade Redden at the end of training camp.
We shall have to wait and see! (Man, I’ve been saying that a lot lately.)