That's why I say, maybe after two years I'll be back again. It definitely would be nice to retire here. We couldn’t get any better offer from anybody else. Ottawa was kind of the last choice for us. If we didn’t sign, we were going to end up someplace else for one year. - Alexei Kovalev
In case you hadn't heard, Alex Kovalev told reporters today that he wouldn't mind returning to Montreal at the end of his two-year contract to retire a Hab. Strange. More from Garrioch on it here.
On one hand, he is back in Montreal at a golf tournament talking about his disappointment at not being re-signed. Anybody that developed a passion for playing in one city would be initially upset about losing your spot to someone else. His comments could be part of a language issue and all he was saying that he enjoyed his time in the bleu, blanc, et rouge.
On the other hand, can people rub more salt on our wounds this summer? Outside of the Coyotes, we're having a somewhat embarassing summer when our top scorer asks for a trade, turns one down, and then doesn't garner another offer. Whether you agree or not, there is a valid argument that can be made that Ottawa is not a desirable place for free agents anymore. We're not a playoff team (last year), we've had our share of off-ice issues (McGrattan, Emery), numerous players have asked for trades (Schaefer, Corvo, Nikulin, Nicholat, and I know those last two hardly count), and now the Kovalev comments.
If he just said he was disappointed he couldn't stay in Montreal, I'd get over it. I mean, the dude has been signed for a month and needs to start thinking about his season in Ottawa, not the missed opportunity in Montreal. But he went much further and talked almost like he's counting down the days of his contract so Gainey (or his replacement) can offer him a contract and, learning his lesson from this summer, he'll sign immediately, no hesitation, so he can retire in Montreal.
I had very mixed feelings when AK27 was signed because his attitude just strike my fancy. This fuels my skepticism. There are some that will say I'm overreacting, but I find his comments just too strange. We must remember this guy has a very rocky track record with consistency and performance. It won't be any different in Ottawa and now he'll just have one more thing on his mind when he's taking a night off on the ice - how much he misses the steamed hot dogs and poutine of La Belle Province.
DOES ANYBODY WANT TO BE IN OTTAWA?!?!?!