NHL Free Agency: Why Is LA Passing on Ilya Kovalchuk? One Word, “Chicago”

July 9th, 2010 by Matt Hutter Leave a reply »
Back when the LA Kings were still in on the Kovalchuk Sweepstakes (well, the second time at least), a friend and I were emailing back and forth on the possible scenarios that could result in Kovalchuk actually becoming a Los Angeles King.

Like any Kings fan, my friend wants Kovy bad. However, the way he summed up his final opinion on the matter was very curious.

"I don't want us to be Chicago."

Now, on the face of it, that's a pretty bizarre statement for a hockey fan to make.

So, you don't want to win a Stanley Cup, you don't want to be a perennial contender, you don't want to be counted among the top franchises in the league?

But, after giving it some thought, I understood the sentiment from another angle.

No, you don't want to dismantle a Stanley Cup winning roster, you don't want to be saddled with bad contracts, and you don't want to wave goodbye to players you developed and nurtured, simply because you can no longer pay their salaries.

Looking at things in this way, one finds that the Chicago Blackhawks are perhaps the best and worst example of how to build and run an NHL team.

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