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Author: Pavel Lysenkov (Soviet Sport Newspaper)
Translated By: Alexei Belousenko
Date: 08/16/2005
Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers): Super League? Maybe...

Written By: Pavel Lysenkov (Soviet Sport)
Translated By: Alexei Belousenko (RusHockey.com and RussianProspects.com

The best goal scorer of the last NHL season Ilya Kovalchuk talked to the Soviet Sport correspondent Pavel Lysenkov. Ilya commented the rumors about his contract situation and told his opinion on Russian refusal to sign the IIHF-NHL agreement.

ILYA WORKS TWICE AS HARD

This summer is very difficult for Kovalchuk. The tragedy touched his family: Ilya’s father died recently. Valeri wasn’t just a close person to Ilya, also, he was a first trainer, who prepared the practices’ schedules prior to each season. Fortunately, Kovalchuk didn’t fall in the depression because he knows that his father always wanted the son to become a real sportsman. Therefore, Ilya doesn’t have a right to lose everything that he awarded through last years.

I. Kovalchuk: So far I haven’t skate on the ice yet, I’m only jogging twice a day. One day I work out in the gym at the Sport Complex " Luzhniki" , the following day I run in the sand. It’s very useful for the muscles of legs to switch the practicing pavement. Moreover, I throw cobblestones from the chest, work out with free weights. I do everything that my personal coach Alexander Troshin says.

How many hours a day do you practice?
I. Kovalchuk
: At least four hours.

When are you planning to come on the ice?
I. Kovalchuk
: Around August 20-22. Actually, I’m not sure where exactly I’m going to skate. I’ll think of it after I’m done training off the ice.

DON’T TRUST THE RUMORS

How are you doing with your NHL contract?
I. Kovalchuk
: This is my agent’s business. I have a constant contact with him, but I haven’t heard about any numbers, so I can’t really say anything.

There was " breaking news" in one of the newspapers that if Atlanta doesn’t sign up Danny Heatley, than you’d play in Russia. What can you say on that?
I. Kovalchuk
: It’s a big time trash! A couple of days ago one correspondent called me up and asked me: is it true that Heatley has some problems with his contract? I answered him that Danny is a great player, and I’d like to see him in the Atlanta’s lineup. That’s all! After that, this correspondent made it up that Atlanta wouldn’t sign me up before they take care of Danny, and even more, I can go to another team after him for company. Telling you again: this is fiction. Don’t trust the rumors.

Is your agent going to negotiate the deal looking at the contracts that recently Rick Nash ($5.5 million/year) and Jerome Iginla ($7 million/year) signed with their teams? They were the best goal scorers of the last NHL season like you, and all of you guys have similar stats.
I. Kovalchuk
: This is my agent’s job. I don’t have any doubts in his qualification and completely trust him. After all, he earns money for that. I hope, he won’t propose me a bad contract.

Well, Jay Grossman’s agency already made a super contract for Nikolai Khabibulin that became the most high-paid goaltender in the world ($6.75 million/year), also, good contracts for Alexei Zhamnov, Sergei Zubov

Related Player Profiles: . I.Kovalchuk
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