Ilya Kovalchuk… An Islander?ShareThis
My apologies on not getting a blog up this morning – I opted to cover the Frenz Frenzgency Frenerama in column form, and that takes an idiot like me a little longer.
My take on the possibility of Ilya Kovalchuk signing with the New York Islanders:
It’s interesting, in the wake of my week-long defense of Ilya Kovalchuk, that he might become the co-centerpiece of my favourite team (ahhh, in reality, Tavares is still the real cornerstone, even with the Ilyaddition. ‘member when Rick DiPietro was supposed to be that guy?).
The first thing the detractors will say is that the Isles overpaid for him. Of course.
I’ve been thinking this for weeks, and this is finally the right time to talk about it: if a team doesn’t have cap issues, and isn’t anywhere near the ceiling (and nor do they intend to get anywhere near it)…. why do fans care about how a team operates it’s payroll? Why be worried about running the books for Snow and Wang, or any other team with muchos space? As fans, we’re supposed to enjoy the product on the ice, not the accounting front office part (y’know, until one kills the other *coughHawkscough*, then it’s relevant).
Okay, he wouldn’t be a bargain, but neither is a Bentley. But people still buy Bentley’s, because they’re awesome, and those people can afford them. (Of course, there are teams like - again – the Blackhawks, who had a garage full of beautiful cars when they picked up the Bentley Hossa, and had to get rid of other cars to make room for that one. Again, THEN as a fan you’re justified for tuning in)
The simple reality, if it were to happen, would be this:
Here was their roster. *shows without Ilya
Here’s their roster now. *shows with Ilya
The second one is better, and they can afford him. Who could be unhappy with that?
Young Islander fans could have someone exciting to go watch, and have reason to attach themselves to the team again. I swear to god there’s people in Nassau Coliseum who think Sean Bergenheim is an enjoyable player to watch. Entertainment value would go up (along with jersey sales, and even ticket sales to some extent).
Hypocrite paragraph: I do worry about the length of the deal. You really get murdered when you pay a fortune for a mid-career guy who’s success relies heavily on his quickness. When he loses half a step at 33, and a whole one at 35, his massive paycheck could be a definite hinderence, so I’m praying there’s a nice tail on the end of whatever deal he signs (there won’t be much of one, I would bet).
But, again, that’s all business talk, and I just railed about not needing it until problems arise. So hockey talk:
I DON’T think that Ilya Kovalchuk is going to suddenly make the Islanders a premier team. The d-corps is still too weak, and the forwards depth is still too shallow. But I DO think he probably adds four or five wins to the Islanders total, which could be what they need to get back into the playoffs. It helps just having a guy on the team who can draw attention, finish his opportunities, and create space for others by making D back off him when he’s attacking.
I haven’t even had time to really think about the whole thing, but I just wanted to get some thoughts down tonight.
What do you think? “Weeeeee!”, right?