Kovalchuk tells Russian paper he has not spoken to the Rangers

Kovalchuk (KHL)

While many in the hockey world feel that Ilya Kovalchuk in a Rangers sweater is all but certain (myself included), the winger told Sports.ru that he has not spoken with them. Matter of fact, he hasn’t spoken to any team.

Hold Your Horses

Kovalchuk had to tell friends who called to congratulate him that he has no deal in place. He joked that’s how the Russian press works. Ultimately, he says there’s lots of time and family to consider before making a decision.

He did state that he spoke with several teams last summer, 3 of which did not make the playoffs. We know, for certain that one team was the Rangers. While there is mutual interest, there is a long road before a deal can be reached.

I’m still confident in Kovalchuk on Broadway.


  • They’re not allowed to talk to him before Sunday. Even if they have, he would be an idiot to admit it and get the Rangers in trouble with the league.

  • If, in fact there are 3 teams that haven’t made the playoffs that he has spoken to,
    I REALLY, REALLY hope that one of the other two decide to take him!!!
    Let some other team deal with his issues!
    I believe he will be TOXIC to any NHL team, especially the Rangers, with all their young kids on the roster!

    • matthewsorkin19@gmail.com

      Didn’t people say the same thing about Phil Kessel and look what happened when he got traded to Pitt

  • Agree. Brodeur said he was a great teammate. He was the leader of the gold medal team that just won the Olympics. We have few (any?) snipers on wing. And the young Russians (that we are very invested in now) all see him as an icon and leader. Sounds like a saavy move if he is interested in coming here.

    • This is a team that has huge holes defensively. Shattenkirk coming back healthy does zero to help that issue out. Skjei needs to step up his game from last year. Pionk is prob the only dman from the group that was called up at the end of the season who is pretty much a luck to have a roster spot. Staal is atrocious and that leaves 2-3 spots left. So how does signing Kovalchuk help this team’s biggest issue heading into next season?

      Kovalchuk has never been a sound player in his own zone and isn’t known to be a great backchecker. Everyone hear is talking about how great of a leader he is. Yet they disregard the fact he was stripped of his captaincy and told to not even train with his team during the playoffs. This is a player who stated he wanted to go to a Stanley Cup contender so he could win the Cup. Can someone explain to me how he choose the Rangers? This team even if they cloned Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Howe and Richard aren’t going to contend until they solve there defensive problems. Yes Marty said he was a great teammate, that doesn’t translate to being a leader. Everything you hear and read about Marc Staal is that to a man he is loved in the locker room and is one of the most liked players. Did that make him a great leader in that room? Obviously not since this team’s other big issue is leadership. So let’s go out and sign a selfish player who has been stripped of his leadership to be a leader for this team. Yeah that only makes sense in NY.

      With each passing day this rebuild that was sold to the fans is turning into junk bonds and fools gold. Once again this franchise doesn’t have a direction. February the team threw out the white flag while 3 points out of a playoff spot. They traded valuable assets and generally got a very good return on them for the future. We aren’t even a full 2 months away and we are being told Kovalchuk will be a Ranger and that the Rangers will be going on a spending spree. Once again the Rangers answers to their problems is to throw big money around because that’s all the Rangers ever did. This dog and pony show to tell season ticket holders and fans about a rebuild was only put out there to soften the blow of a Ryan McDonagh trade. Because the actions they are taking make no sense of this team truly wants to rebuild. So since the Rangers and some of their fans believe the Ranger ma need Kovalchuk to help the young Russians is Jagr next so Chytil could have a Czech around too? See how rediculous that is!

      This team will not start turning it around until they start legitimately taking care of the backline. Until then this team will continue to bleed out with all the prime A scoring chances it gives up. Things will not magically disappear just because AV is gone. The Rangers have missed the boat on defense for years. Even under Torts they had to resort to blocking an obscene amount of shots to help Hank out. He has been blitzed with pucks for over 10 years. They as a franchise have rarely drafted a good prospect and allowed him to grow into a player. Their player personnel is downright brutal when it comes to developing their prospects. Their needs to be a build up from the ground floor to the penthouse to get this franchise pointing in the right direction. But the make it rain mentality on older free agents who are past their prime is still in full effect.

      I am really interested in hearing those fans who wanted the younger players like Buch, Vesey and Chytil get more minutes say when Kovalchuk is playing a majority of the power play and getting close to 20 minutes of ice time. If you believe he will take a back seat to Buch or any other Ranger forward you are just kidding yourself s. For those fans who were too young to remember the last two years of the 1990’s and early 2000’s this team is heading in that direction. They could develope a draft pick to save themselves and through money at Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros, Valerie Kamensky, Bobby Holik, Theo Fleury, Kevin Stevens,Sandis Ozolinsh and others turning this team into an embarrassment and a laughing stock. But hey the Rangers had star players but they had blown knees, multiple concussions, drink problems, crack cocaine addictions and couldn’t care less other than cashing their paychecks. For those who lived through that dark era, it was embarrassing to see the product and to read the back pages. You would have thought this would never happen again. Those years led Slats to build a team through the draft, guys like Kreider, Stepan, Lundqvist, Skjei and smart deals like Gomez for a trio that included a throw in named Ryan McDonagh brought this team out of the dark ages. That run is over but it looks like we are headed to making the same mistakes.

  • Good! Keep his ass out of the garden

  • Well said once again Mike. The times of the 90’s is exactly what I think of when I hear things like we may sign Kovalchuk. I feel like we went from a true contender a few years ago to a soap opera. There’s all kinds of drama all year revolving around a coach that’s had some real good success here and a bunch of fans crying about every move he makes right down to how much gum he chews. Yet our D stinks for years now and we’ve watched Gorton trade key guys that helped us become the true contender we were. Now he could make up for that this year with the options he has but it’s getting hard to be optimistic about a good fast young skilled team when I hear stuff like Kovalchuk coming to town. On a side note, I wonder how Tampa fans feel about their coach after not winning the cup with that team. Are they talking about his gum chewing too? I just read a phrase about AV being a smug face gum chewing so n so. They should take a look at Cooper in Tampa cause he looks like he fits that phrase perfectly. They probably don’t have the same idiot fan we have up here though.

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