Ilya Kovalchuk

Today's NHL is littered with players just like Ilya Kovalchuk - they take the money and deliver only points on a scoresheet in return (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

As an NHL general manager, if you are dipping into the unrestricted free-agent market of forwards, you basically have just one question to ask yourself: “Do I want a superstar…or do I want a player with character?” The New Jersey Devils just inked Ilya Kovalchuk for US$102M over seventeen years. Devils’ GM Lou Lamoriello had to ask himself this question before he signed Kovalchuk. Obviously, Lou decided he wanted a superstar. Because, when you’re scooping into the character bucket of centres, right wingers and left wingers, you are not going to come up with a Kovalchuk. Sadly, in today’s NHL, the terms ‘superstar’ and ‘character’ have become mutually exclusive. And that sucks. (more…)

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