The Jan Kovar saga isn’t over just yet for the New York Islanders. The former KHL player signed a PTO with the Providence Bruins. Clearly, the AHL wasn’t his issue. It was the Isles.
Over the summer the New York Islanders signed KHL free agent Jan Kovar to a single year $2 million deal. After failing to impress management during training camp Kovar was loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The Islanders liked who they had in the lineup at the center position, but they didn’t want to let go of Kovar just yet. They wanted to keep him around. They clearly figured he could acclimatize himself to the North American game at the AHL level.
Except, Jan Kovar seemingly had other ideas. He didn’t report to the AHL. It seemed clear at that point that Kovar wanted to play in the NHL and not the AHL. After giving him some time to figure out what he wanted to do next, the Islanders eventually waived Kovar in order to terminate his contract.
We all thought that might be the end. Kovar would likely skip back across the Atlantic and find a job in the KHL or somewhere else in Europe. But on Thursday it was reported that
of the AHL. What?
Confusing. So Confusing.
The situation between the New York Islanders and Jan Kovar is incredibly confusing.
The New York Islanders could have kept Jan Kovar on the NHL roster to start the 2018-19 season. Remember, the New York Islanders successfully waived Tanner Fritz and Tom Kuhnhackl at the start of the season. They could have sent either one of them down to the AHL instead of Kovar.
The Isles clearly felt Kovar would be better served to play at the AHL level rather than sitting on the scratch pad at the NHL level.
It seems like the Islanders were willing to give him the opportunity to play, just at the AHL. Unless you belive Allan Walsh, Kovar’s agent, who tweeted that with the Providence Bruins Kovar would actually play. Emphasis on the “play”.
Why did Jan Kovar give up a guaranteed $2 million from the New York Islanders who were clearly going to give him time to play in the AHL over an AHL PTO?
There’s certainly way more to this story than we’re being told. Either the New York Islanders weren’t clear with Kovar from the start. That the Islanders went against what they told Kovar and weren’t actually going to give him time in the AHL. (After all they did have the problem of too many vets on the team.) Or Kovar misunderstood what the Islanders were expecting of him. Or it was a mix of all three.
Either way, this story is incredibly confusing. There’s something missing from this story.
If, and it’s a big if, Jan Kovar can somehow work his way to the NHL through Boston’s system questions will be asked of Isles management.
Like how did this happen exactly?