NHL Buzz: Kovalchuk Decision Day

Todd CordellCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2010

Today is the final day for the NHL to review Ilya Kovalchuk's new contract. The NHL has until 5 PM ET to make its decision on Kovalchuk. All signs seem to be toward the NHL approving the contract; then again, we all thought Kovalchuk and the Devils would win the arbitration hearing.

My take: I personally think this contract will be approved. The main reason is that in the last two years of Ilya Kovalchuk's contract he earns $3 million and $4 million respectively. That is a significant upgrade from the $500,000 to $600,000 he would have earned in his last contract.

Joel Quenneville stated yesterday that he expects Marty Turco to start between 55-60 games this season. For all you fantasy owners out there who are desperate for a good backup goalie, Corey Crawford is your guy.

My take: That is exactly how many starts I expected from Marty Turco; though he can handle the puck much better than Crawford, I wouldn't be surprised if Crawford took over.

Talks between Niclas Bergfors and the Atlanta Thrashers have completely stalled. Though an offer sheet is unlikely, I wouldn't be shocked if a team jumped in and signed him to one.

My take: I think the Thrashers and Bergfors will eventually reach an agreement, but like I said above I wouldn't be shocked if a team jumped in with an offer sheet.

The Boston Bruins want to bring back Steve Begin; however, they don't have any cap space to bring him back so they would have to clear some cap.

My take: He would be a good piece to bring back, but it's not worth losing one of their better players to do so.

Antti Niemi is in talks with several teams; some reports suggest he could make his decision as early as today.

My take: Niemi would prefer to sign with a contender short-term than an average team long-term. Personally, I don't blame him because if he plays well this year he could land a contract extension or a nice contract from another team in free agency.

Bill Guerin wants to return to the NHL but only to a contender.

My take: I think he will be in the NHL this season as several contenders could use him and he still wants to play.

This concludes today's edition of NHL Buzz, enjoy.

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