A Rare Move

Ilya Kovalchuck announced his retirement from the NHL today. A retiring NHL player isn’t a big deal, but this is amazing because he is leaving $77-million on the table! Kovalchuck has decided to forgo that money and instead head back to Russia to be with his family.

Yes, Kovalchuck could still play hockey in the Russian league and earn some of that money and he has earned over $50 million in his career, but this has to be unprecedented. Kovalchuck’s contract calls for him to be paid $11,300,000 this year and next, $11,600,000 in ’15-16 and 11,800,000 in ’16-’17 before decreasing for the remaining 8 years. Instead, he is walking away from an awful lot of money.

I am racking my brain and trying to think of an athlete who has done anything like this voluntarily. I know some players have walked away from big contract extensions to retire, but this seems unprecedented. Hopefully A-Rod is paying attention!

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  • blmeanie  On July 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    agreed it is uncommon. For a one-way player I enjoyed Kovy when he was in Atlanta. Great hands and a pretty fast skater in the day.

  • blmeanie  On July 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    You live in Brooklyn and yet we wait for your reaction to the acquisition of,KG and PP

  • blmeanie  On July 14, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Might be more exciting than the Knicks this year. 🙂

    • nysportsfanatic  On July 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Ok, I’ll bite. I think Danny Ainge is making a huge bet and that bet is that the Celtics will be a lottery team in 2014 and the two Harrisons heading to Kentucky and Wiggins, heading to Kansas, will be one and done in college. If the Celtics tank this year and end up with one of those guys, they made a great trade.

      If not, they may regret this trade because they didn’t get much back. Maybe the first round picks amount to something, but you really never can tell. Player-wise, they got fleeced.

      But BL, a question for you. I keep hearing how the Celtics should retire Pierce and Garnett’s numbers together and I shake my head. Pierce was an all-time great Celtic and clearly deserves it. Garnett was a great player and will probably be in the HOF, but as a Celtic how can six seasons and only one title equal a number in the rafters? And even if it does, I can’t see honoring the two of them together, Pierce deserves his own night.

  • blmeanie  On July 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Pierce numberretired for length of stay and accomplishments. Check.
    KG could get number retired, separately, later, based on six years. There likely is a retired number up there for a great player that was six years or less. Good question though.

    Pierce is not revered by the masses as much if KG never walks through that door. Pierce is Nomar if KG never wears the green. He changed the entire climate and the title is more because of him even though Pierce got the MVP etc.

    As for the trade, I’m just glad that they rolled the dice. Better than a 42 win season with lots of injuries to make people believe they have a shot if healthy. Why not try the big reload while Lebron is peaking?

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