Making Kovy Happy a Byproduct- Not Motivation
I’m confused by Rory Boylen of The Hockey News. In his free agency preview on his blog he said the following about the Thrashers needs:
“To improve the roster – and fast – if they are to keep star Ilya Kovalchuk around longer than one more year. With a chunk of change available for free agents, GM Don Waddell must bring in one or two scorers to play with Kovalchuk and support him from the second line.”
That was on June 30. Nine days later he wrote the following:
“And now, because the GM has to impress his star player – Ilya Kovalchuk – to convince him to stick around, Waddell has spent $4 million on a flat-footed Nik Antropov and traded for a $5 million cap hit contract on Pavel Kubina, though the blueliner is only tied up there for one year. When those two are the “biggest acquisitions at this time of year” your team has ever made, as Waddell noted, and the main thing Antropov has going for him is that he is a “friend of Ilya’s” the formula being put together won’t prove to be a long-term success.”
First he said Waddell and hi staff should bring in help for Ilya, then he criticizes them for bringing in help for Ilya.
Boylen seems to think that by bringing in Kubina and Antropov something has been sacrificed, when in reality nothing has aside from ownership’s money. Both players make this team better and no young core players were traded to bring in either one of them. Antropov is still under 30 and Kubina has one year left on his contract, so even if he doesn’t work out for some reason we’re not saddled with a long-term contract. It’s a mistake to think that these moves were made purely for the sake of pleasing Ilya. they were made to make the team better, and anything that makes the team better should make Ilya happy. He, like every other player in the NHL, wants to play on a competitive team. Adding Kubina and Antropov makes the Thrashers more competitive, and that should be the standard by which all player acquisitions are judged.