Kovalev takes parting shots at Clouston

Alex Kovalev, who spent the last two NHL seasons with the Senators, had some choice words for the...

Alex Kovalev, who spent the last two NHL seasons with the Senators, had some choice words for the team and former coach Cory Clouston. (ERROL MCGIHON/QMI Agency file photo)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:16 PM ET

TORONTO - Neither Alex Kovalev or Cory Clouston are in the NHL anymore, but Kovalev went out the door highly critical of his old Ottawa Senators coach.

Kovalev, who has signed with Atlant Mytischi of the KHL, told the Russian website Sovsport that he “could not understand the ideas advocated by our coach.”

Kovalev suggested Clouston, who was fired April 9, didn’t treat players professionally.

“If you send someone to the reserve (bench a player), you should explain why,” Kovalev said. “It is the role of a coach.

When a hockey player remains on the bench and he does not understand what is happening, he becomes lost.”

Kovalev was not the most loved Senators player in his two years there, falling to the fourth line prior to a late-season trade to Pittsburgh, which didn’t keep him, either.

“Everything was fine (in Pittsburgh),” Kovalev insisted. “But my style does not come under the (game plan of) coach Dan Bylsma.”

The $6 million Cup project

Will a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup by the time an ambitious new artwork commemorating the creation of the trophy is completed?

The 20th anniversary of the Montreal’s Cup win — the last by a Canadian team — will be in 2013, when the estimated $5-$6 million project in Ottawa should be well underway.

Earlier this summer, the National Capital Commission and the City Of Ottawa reached agreement on a desired site, the intersection of Rideau St., Sussex Dr., and Colonel By Dr. It’s right on the traditional ceremonial route, near the place where Lord Stanley of Preston announced his famous donation in 1892.

Now that the location is determined, the non-profit Lord Stanley Memorial Monument Inc., will soon send out invites for a nation-wide design contest.

“The definition for the artists is the donation of the Cup by Lord Stanley (to the Dominion of Canada hockey champions). After that, it will be up to the design teams to interpret that in an imaginative and aesthetic way,” said Paul Kitchen, an Ottawa resident and hockey historian, who is heading up the project. “We want the finished work to be ledgeable, without people scratching their heads about what it is.”

Kitchen envisions five finalists, with a blue ribbon panel making the final judgement. It’s hoped that it won’t be a stand-alone statue, but rather a landscaped parkette that will become a favourite with tourists.

“We’re hoping that private funding will eventually cover most of the costs,” Kitchen said.

Patching up the Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to avoid being added to the list of NHL charity cases. The club has lost an estimated $53 million the past three seasons, through lack of on-ice success, but also a very unfavourable lease agreement at Nationwide Arena.

The Columbus Post Dispatch reports that taxes from a successful local casino will likely be channeled towards the team in the near future. Local politicians have no firm dollar figure in place, but are keen not to lose the club.

Ice chips

The Anaheim Ducks have extended coach Randy Carlyle’s contract for three years. His teams have made the playoffs all but one year since 2005-06 ... Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings has won the Valeri Kharlamov Trophy for best Russian NHLer as voted by his countrymen in the league. It broke a five-year run by Alex Ovechkin. While accepting the award in Moscow, Yahoo Sports asked him about Detroit’s long-standing wish to re-join the Eastern Conference. “We have changed so many time zones over the years, traveled so many miles, that we should soon be getting our pilot’s licenses,” quipped Datsyuk ... Pittsburgh is the favourite city to host the 2012 NHL draft. ... Mike Comrie’s career is on hold after last season’s hip surgery. In a release through the NHLPA, Comrie said he pushed his return too quickly ... Kevin Lotscher, the Swiss national team player who suffered severe multiple injuries in May after being accidentally run down by an intoxicated friend, is making a slow recovery. After emerging from an artificial coma, the 23-year-old is fighting memory loss from brain trauma ... The Islanders have signed forward Sean Backman to a one-year, two-way contract. He is the brother-in-law of teammate Matt Moulson.

lance.hornby@sunmedia.ca


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