February 04 2010 04:21PM
These guys would not have turned down $101 million.
Now that the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes are well underway (and who knows maybe they'll be over by the time this gets posted) every team in the NHL has to be at least contemplating adding him to their lineup. Who wouldn't want to add a 27 year old superstar who's scored well over 300 goals in just over 7 and a half seasons.
Well, I don't.
The reasons why are twofold. First there's the whole mathematics of trying to fit a guy like that into your salary structure. I don't think it's tenable to even try try to ice a well rounded team if your paying Kovalchuk between $9 and $10 million a season (rumours abound that he's already rejected a 12 year $101 million offer from Atlanta). Is he on the same level as Ovechkin or Crosby? Hell, based on this year, is he even on Henrik or Daniel's level.
Now I'm sure you're screaming at your computer that he could just be a rental player. That, maybe, just maybe, the Canucks are one dynamic player away from winning it all. Shouldn't we go for it?
How much would we have to give up to get him? Even as a rental, the Thrashers are demanding a prospect, draft picks and a couple of roster players. Specifically a top 4 defenseman and a top 6 forward. I geuss we could give up Cory Schneider as the prospect, with Luongos' contract running till the end of time, we might be set in goal for a while. Draft picks? Sure, who cares? Go for it. But, what about when it comes to giving about Ryan Kesler or Alex Burrows. Or both. Still eager?
Now I going to take of my analytical hat (always a hit with ladies) and put on my fan hat (which in all honesty is more of a toque). I like this team. Not just because I think they're good and they could go all the way. They're just easy to like. It feels great cheering for these bunch of guys. I know that after 40 years Canuck fans just want a Stanley Cup, but wouldn't it be sweeter to win one with "These Guys, This Team", rather than a collection of players that has no connection to the city.
I've followed the Canucks pretty consistently since the mid 80's and there's been three eras that resonate. Just think of it like the girlfriends you've had in life. The Linden/Bure/McLean/Adams era (I included Greg Adams because it`s one of my missions to have him not be forgotten) is like your first love. They`ll always be important and in some ways they`ll always be number one in our hearts. Then we`ve got the West Coast Express era with all that promise that ultimately went unfulfilled. Kind of like that ex-girlfriend that you spend too much time thinking about, would like one more shot at her, but deep down you know you`re better off having moved on. Of course the third one, has to be today`s team and it really does feel like the honeymoon period and I don`t want to do anything to screw it up, even if it means missing out on Kovalchuk.
In an effort to run my analogy right into the ground, I`ll say the Messier era would best be described as the girlfriend who maxed out you credit card, got drunk at your cousin`s wedding, threw up on your Dad and finally went back to her old boyfriend.
Keep in mind, I`ll completely flip flop if we get get Kovalchuk tomorrow. You can`t expect me to be rational, I`ve still got my fan hat on.