The title says it all. This article will be no more than a comprehensive list of NHL (and some other players owned by NHL teams) players set to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Unfortunately this is not an actual news story but simply one man’s bold prediction. Before you blast me for the headline, lets look at the facts so you can see my thought process.
The latest from Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution states that the talks between the two are currently at a stand still. However, Kovalchuk went on record to state, “he would like to stay with the same team his whole career. However, he understands that hockey is a business.”
Yes Ilya, hockey is a business. You need to see that the business of the Atlanta Thrasher is Ilya Kovalchuk. This team lives and dies by the blade of his stick. The signings of Nik Antropov, Maxim Afinogenov as well as the acquisition of Pavel Kubina directly correlate to this team wanting to succeed with Kovalchuk.
So lets go over some facts. The consensus rumors cite Kovalchuk wanting the league maximum over a ten year span, a total he certainly deserves. By the CBA agreement, the maximum allows for 20 percent of the teams cap. As the cap currently stands at 56.8 million and looks to stay within that range with our booming economy, our Russian star stands to make at least 11.36 million a year.
By my calculations even if Kovalchuk does sign at this maximum contract at the maximum cap hit, the Thrashers boast over 20 million worth of cap dollars left on their budget. How many other teams can say they have this much room? Better yet, how many teams already have surrounded Kovy with teammates he thrives with due to both nationality and chemistry?
Here are some fantasy-relevant injured players around the league, and their most recent status:
- Bryan Little and Pavel Kubina return to practice, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Vivlamore believes both will be ready tonight against Boston. If there are any further updates, I will post them.
- Marc Savard skated with the team Tuesday, as did Milan Lucic per John Bishop’s Bish’s Blog. Lucic expects to be a game-time decision while Savard is not that too far behind. UPDATED 11/19/2009 @ 1:02 PM. Lucic expected to play – Fluto Shinzawa Boston Bruins Blog.
- Drew Stafford returned last night against the Panthers.
- Cam Ward set to return December 5th, News Observer’s Chip Alexander reports. Also mentioned in the entry is Joni Pitkanen, whose return is uncertain. Teammate Eric Staal may return next week.
- Marian Hossa expects to return on either the 25th or 27th meanwhile Kris Versteeg should play tonight against Calgary. Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune has the full report
- Jean-Michael Liles and T.J. Galiardi not set to return just yet, per Adrian Dater’s All Things Avs.
- Reigning Calder winner Steve Mason expected to start tonight against Dallas writes Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch, ending speculation on his back spasms. The same report lists Mike Commodore and Raffi Torres as likely to play tonight while Samuel Pahlsson still recovers from back spasms.