Last week when the Devils signed Ilya Kovalchuk were reported to have signed Ilya Kovalchuk, the hockey blogging world was sent into a frenzy. The New York Post broke the story, and we were all left asking our Devil-fan friends what they thought of the deal. The majority, I found, were not too pleased with the signing.
Twitter was going crazy with Kovalchuk Tweets and blog posts were being written by the hundred. All this within the first ten minutes. The power of the Internet truly is amazing.
Then came the first “Uh-oh” of the morning. The Post retracted their story of the about-to-be signing, and changed it to “Devils Have the Inside Track”. Here, a signing was not imminent, but the Devils were the front-runner to land the star Russian winger.
I am kicking myself this very morning that I did not save the many anger-driven Tweets by some of the foremost hockey writers on the Blogosphere, including many from TSN and Hockey Night in Canada insiders. I even had to go in and re-edit a piece I wrote shortly after the announcement.
Then, just about an hour later, the article title would be changed yet again to, “Kovalchuk Decision Expected Soon; Devils Still Favorites”. So in just about an hour, the news went from Kovalchuk signing, to Kovalchuk almost signing, to Kovalchuk is still a candidate to sign.
I read the New York Post daily, and I am shocked at how they handled this story.
And speaking of the decision that was expected to come “shortly”, six days later, and we are no closer to a deal with any team than we were last week.
In getting to the title of this little write-up, why should we hockey bloggers be grateful for all of this?
The answer is simple, and that is, what else would we be writing about?
We are nearly two weeks into what could be called the most brutally boring off-season in a while, and Kovalchuk allows us to speculate, and write about him daily. When the announcement was made that he signed with the Devils, I was not upset because he went to my cross-river rivals, but that fact that I wouldn’t be able to write about him anymore; save for an article or two bashing Lamoriello for handing out a ridiculous deal, especially the reported 17-year contract that came to light yesterday.
On just this small blog alone, I have found myself writing five articles about Kovalchuk just this past week:
If it were not for Ilya, we would all still be blogging about how bad of a contract Derek Boogaard got, ignoring the fact that Manny Malhotra got a $7.5 million contract, and reading Eklund blogging about how Mats Sundin will sign with the Rangers by training camp.
Let’s face it, we would be bored out of our minds, and the blogosphere would be quiet. Instead, we have all experienced a boost in visitors coming to our sites (just ask the Post about that), and we have all benefited, and kept glued to the computer screen.
So I wanted to thank you Ilya, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.
Now go sign with the Rangers somebody!