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27 октября 2002 года. 
Thrashers' brash star has mouth that roars - Mercury News

By Victor Chi

Another week and another distressing case of disrespect. And oh, what a surprise, it involves Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk.

Florida Coach Mike Keenan is the latest to praise Kovalchuk's spectacular skills but to pan the youngster's crass act.

To review: Keenan busted Kovalchuk for having an illegally curved stick in overtime on Oct. 12. On the subsequent power play, Olli Jokinen scored to give the Panthers the victory.

Nine days later, the Panthers and Thrashers met again. This time Kovalchuk scored in the first period. To celebrate, Kovalchuk skated in front of the Panthers' bench and wiped his blade to rub the goal in Florida's face.

The Panthers got the last laugh by winning 3-2, but Keenan wasn't chuckling.

``Excellent players in the league, such as Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Peter Forsberg, they don't do that,'' Keenan told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. ``They have a lot more respect for the game and for the people they're playing with and against.''

Kovalchuk didn't do any favors for teammate Jeff Odgers with his mocking routine. On the ensuing faceoff, Florida's Peter Worrell went after Odgers, who gives up seven inches and 35 pounds to the Panthers enforcer.

``I wish I'd seen what Ilya did,'' Odgers told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ``Then I would have known what was coming.''

In the larger context, perhaps Odgers shouldn't have been shocked because he saw Kovalchuk's ego in action last season against Edmonton when Oilers Coach Craig MacTavish nailed Kovalchuk for an illegal stick.

Edmonton didn't score on that power play, and when Kovalchuk got out of the box, he bagged a breakaway goal while using teammate Shean Donovan's stick. To celebrate, Kovalchuk skated in front of the Oilers' bench, pointed to Donovan's stick, then the scoreboard, and asked MacTavish: ``Is this stick good enough?''

Thrashers management fined Kovalchuk $500 on top of the automatic $200 league penalty for an illegal stick after his Oct. 12 infraction.

But Thrashers G.M. Don Waddell also defended Kovalchuk after his blade-wiping scene by saying, ``I didn't think it was that bad. Showmanship in Russia is very big.''

Really? When was the last time Igor Larionov earned notice by taunting? Or Sergei Fedorov?

Страничка Ильи Ковальчука на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"

ПРЕССА:

8 октября. Ковальчук и «Трэшерс» наконец-то договорились.

9 сентября. Kovalchuk may miss start of camp - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

9 сентября. Илья Ковальчук: "50 процентов за "Атланту", 50 - за "Химик" и "Нью-Йорк" - Спорт-Экспресс

25 августа. Илья Ковальчук: "До первого декабря я могу уехать из "Химика" - Спорт-Экспресс

25 августа. Форвард Илья Ковальчук: Я еду в «Химик» - Советский Спорт

18 августа. Форвард сборной России Илья Ковальчук: Суперлига? Если не позовут в «Атланту» - Советский Спорт

29 марта .Илья Ковальчук: "Это был ужасный сезон" - Спорт-Экспресс

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