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Lost in translation: Flyers made no offer to Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk, Tobias Enstrom

FILE - In this April 6, 2010, file photo, New Jersey Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) skates against the Atlanta Thrashers during the first period of an NHL hockey game at Philips Arena in Atlanta. NHL free agent shoppers won’t find anyone on the open market to compare to LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. This year’s class doesn’t even stack up to the star quality of last year, but with players such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Nabokov available to the highest bidder, there could be quite a bit of movement around the league. (AP Photo/Gregory Smith, File)


Earlier today, we shared with you a report about how the Flyers and Avalanche were surprise bidders for the services of Ilya Kovalchuk. As it turns out, at least half of that report from Russian tabloid Life Sport was just mistakenly translated. Tom Gulitti from Fire & Ice clears up the mess for us.

On the website Kovalchuk’s Russia-based agent, Yury Nikolaev, denied he said that the Philadlephia Flyers put in a bid for Kovalchuk.

“I never said this,” Nikolaev is quoted as saying in the in the translated English version of

In fact, Nikolaev said he is not involved at all in Kovalchuk’s contract negotiations in North America. “This is the task (of) my Western associates,” Nikolaev said,

Nikolaev does represent Kovalchuk in Russia and is talking to the Kontinental Hockey League on his behalf. He would not predict whether Kovalchuk will sign in the NHL or Russia.

This helps clear up a lot of things about that initial report that began making its way around both about Kovalchuk’s interest and other team’s interest in him as well as about who, exactly, is handling things with him. Safe to say, that unless we’re hearing something from Kovalchuk’s agent in North America, Jay Grossman, we can probably toss it aside as idle and potentially erroneous speculation.

With Adrian Dater of the Denver Post having shot down the supposed interest by the Avalanche in Kovalchuk, it’s perhaps safe to say we’re back to just three known interested in teams for the services of Ilya Kovalchuk. In the meantime, perhaps the Fourth of July weekend should give us a bit of respite from wild rumors. Maybe.