Zach Parise is gone. That hurts.
That hurts because Zach Parise's two way game will be missed. Try to remember his engagement on the forecheck. Man, yeah... That really hurts ! Zach Parise is no more here but I'm glad Kovy still is. Indeed, it would've been good for us, at least short-term, to re-sign Zach Parise. But if someone has to go...
So, thank you Lou !
Yes, I would take the selfish-lazy-prima-donna over Zach Parise every day of the week. Kovy's the right choice long-term because I personally think he maybe not hit his prime. Kovy will not regress yet.
Ilya Valerevich Kovalchuk is pure talent. Skills are there, definitely. Trust Ken Hitchcock, the person who coached many times Team Canada against Kovy's Team Russia in International tournaments:
The highest skillset of any player in the National Hockey League.
The combination between Kovy's absolute exceptional conditioning and his strong desire to always improve his game will make Ilya a terrific player around 35. He's already a different player since Feb.2010, different from under Lemaire too and even different since the start of last season. He's just not that one dimensional Russian sniper but a complete offensive maestro. Talking about a playmaker, an ice-vision, brutally underrated in Altanta, we all know this now. 2011-2012 was probably the best NHL season he ever had. He might get better.
Seeing Kovalchuk at a 1 point per game pace during most of his playoffs campaign is destabilizing. What if Ilya's still would be on a learning curve ? This guy is for real. The Russian played against tough opposition, playoffs games. And he was falling on the ice even more often than Air Clarkson himself. That was depressing to watch at times. But how many players usually relying that much on their physical game could still be productive with below average speed, power and skating abilities ? Gabori....? Wait a second !
No one around the league will take more benefices than Kovalchuk from aging. Wiseness, maturity is the only thing that separate Kovalchuk from an elite player. With a $6.6 millions cap-hit. He will cut dramatically down his only true and unique weakness: Reckless turnovers in his own zone. Ilya's a smart guy, I'm confident.
In conclusion I would like to present my apologies to everyone. I don't remember the other guy I was talking about previously. Truth is, I don't want to do it neither... But I'm sure about one thing :