Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Would you do it again? Part 1 - Alex Kovalev

Boredom, sadness, anger. These are the continued emotions I have at dealing with the Sens loss and watching players like Heatley, Crosby, Thornton, etc having success in this year's playoffs. So I'm going to keep busy with a new series that gives us a chance to play hockey's version of armchair quarterback.

First - the Alex Kovalev signing.

It is a very safe argument that when Kovalev was on his game this year, he helped Mike Fisher have his best season as a Senator. He also saw time with Regin and Shannon and helped their play. He commands attention on the ice, clearing room for his centre to find open ice in the slot for one timers and rebounds. His hands are still strong and he knows how to skate and conserve energy by being in the right place at the right time.

But he was given a two year deal and he was given a lot of money. He had two points after the Olympics. He is 37 years old and just had major knee surgery (not his fault, of course). Let's think back to summer 2009 - do you think Kovalev could have been acquired on a one-year deal instead of two? Montreal had already made up their mind to move on and so it would have come down to us and whoever else pursued him. I'd like to think that Kovie would have gone for a one year deal near his beloved Montreal. Do you think that Kovalev could have been signed for $4M a year instead of $5M? Again, his bargaining power had dropped and I don't think he was a very highly sought free agent. Did we have to spend the full $5M and make him our second highest paid player?

There is also the consideration of other eligible players that we passed up. I don't want this to turn into a "we should have signed Mikael Samuelsson" thing, but did we pass up on something more important? Our hole was on defence, especially when we didn't know what we'd get from Karlsson to start the year. Could the money have been better served on a lesser forward and another defenceman, thus pushing someone like Campoli a bit harder?

Let us know - if you could do it all over again, would you still sign Alex Kovalev and would you sign him to that contract? Why?