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Kovalev retires


flyercanuck
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 Alexei Kovalev, one of the most talented hockey players I've ever seen, announced his retirement after putting up over 1000 points and playing in over 1300 NHL games. He hadn't actually played in a year. I don't know if you could say he was a waste of talent, given the career he had, but I will anyway. If ever there was a guy who left you wanting more, this was him. The whole package, but not much heart. A true enigma. The fact he put up those numbers without seeming to care shows how gifted he truly was. One of the best stickhandlers the game has ever seen.

 

 Some memorable Kovy moments for me, faking injury in a playoff game while the Bruins go down the ice and score...running over Darcy Tucker after a cheapshot, his 7 minute shift with Keenan coaching. You?

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 Alexei Kovalev, one of the most talented hockey players I've ever seen, announced his retirement after putting up over 1000 points and playing in over 1300 NHL games. He hadn't actually played in a year. I don't know if you could say he was a waste of talent, given the career he had, but I will anyway. If ever there was a guy who left you wanting more, this was him. The whole package, but not much heart. A true enigma. The fact he put up those numbers without seeming to care shows how gifted he truly was. One of the best stickhandlers the game has ever seen.

 

 Some memorable Kovy moments for me, faking injury in a playoff game while the Bruins go down the ice and score...running over Darcy Tucker after a cheapshot, his 7 minute shift with Keenan coaching. You?

Kovalev was so much fun to watch when he was on his game. I remember I was at a Canadiens-Islanders game at Nassau a few years ago. Kovalev scored twice in a dramatic 5-4 Habs victory. It was the first NHL game I had ever gone to see. Yes, he had a tendency to disappear at inopportune times, but Kovy was an electrifying player. So much fun to watch on breakaways and on the powerplay. It might be a long shot,but I'd love to see him in the hall of fame. He will be missed

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Ahh, the ORIGINAL 'dipsy doodler'.

Well, at least from my recollection in getting interested in the sport in the mid 90's.

 

I remember broadcast announcers saying things like, "Kovalev with the puck...dipsy doodling his way across the red line...gains the blue line....goes behind the net..."

 

I also understood that, along with driving his coaches nuts (I believe Iron Mike Keenan was one, with the Rangers), it absolutely befuddled defensemen as they were never quite sure whether he was going to keep skating, dish off the puck, etc.....

His coaches, I am sure, would have preferred he not confuse his OWN linemates as well (putting them offsides with his convoluted movements and puck handling) and having them wonder where they should be to receive a possible pass that may or may not come. ;)

 

But like @flyercanuck said...it spoke to his uncanny ability to move, skate and do all sorts of things with that puck....and all with seemingly, minimal effort.

 

During his day, you had other Russian players who brought a variety of things to their teams: Igor Lirianov with his superb passing and playmaking ability, Darius Kasperitis who brought a hard hitting, nasty, many would say dirty, brand of hockey to the rink, and Sergei Federov who was a goal scoring machine with speed to burn...just to name a few.

Then you had Alexei Kovalev. The guy who many said had the qualities of some of those guys I mentioned, but never could quite put it together to be considered a 'super star' in the league...yet, he was always sought after by teams, probably, for no other reason than they believed that "this would be the time in his career he becomes top-of-the-line elite".

 

One could only wonder what this man could have accomplished statistically had his drive matched his talent.

 

Haven't looked it up at the time of this posting, and I could have some of my facts mixed up, but I believe his name is on the Cup ionce, with the NYR in 1994 and he spent the rest of his NHL career in Pittsburgh, Montreal and Ottawa during times when those teams were not really considered Stanley Cup contenders...though he was looked upon to help move them towards that.

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Kovalev was a world class generational talent without the motivation to match. He could play solo keep away and dance through an entire team without once losing the puck. I loved watching his time with the Pens when he was trying to win. The problem was it wasn't every game, let alone every shift. A truly frustrating situation.

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@TropicalFruitGirl26 He is on the cup with the Rags in '94, where he was one of the first Russians to hold the cup (Alexander Karpovtsev, Sergei Zubov and Sergei Nemchinov were also on the team in '94). Kovalev had one real chance for a cup after the '94 run and that came in 2007-2008, as he scored 80 points for the Habs and lead them to the best record in the Eastern Conference. The team would get beat in the second round, but the potential was there

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Guy had it all.   He should have been an MVP. 

 

I watched him in preseason.  Had a chance to really study him.  Geez, he was good. 

 

Dunno why he didn't dominate.   Impossible to gauge what guys are thinking. 

 

But, he got rich playing hockey.  Maybe that was good enough for him. 

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It might be a long shot,but I'd love to see him in the hall of fame. He will be missed

 

1000 points in 1300 games is HOF worthy. The issue will be his disappearing. It could have been 1500 points in 1300 games. If I was a votee, I would be on the fence. 

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 Alexei Kovalev, one of the most talented hockey players I've ever seen, announced his retirement after putting up over 1000 points and playing in over 1300 NHL games. He hadn't actually played in a year. I don't know if you could say he was a waste of talent, given the career he had, but I will anyway. If ever there was a guy who left you wanting more, this was him. The whole package, but not much heart. A true enigma. The fact he put up those numbers without seeming to care shows how gifted he truly was. One of the best stickhandlers the game has ever seen.

 

 Some memorable Kovy moments for me, faking injury in a playoff game while the Bruins go down the ice and score...running over Darcy Tucker after a cheapshot, his 7 minute shift with Keenan coaching. You?

He had the Hockey sense of a rock. That was his biggest lack next to Heart. The man could skate, stickhandle, snipe, pass perfectly.

 

But more often than not, you would see him dangle waaaaay longer than he should have, not making passes or shooting when he should. The running joke was, he would stickhandle past everyone, including the goalie, into the first row behind the goalie.

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