Friday, June 11, 2010

Ben Roethlisberger Speaks Out, Ilya Kovalchuk to Russia?

For the first time since the incident, Ben Roethlisberger agreed to sit down for interviews with some of the local media. The interviews were merely the first step in what will be a long and difficult image rehabilitation. One of the interviews was with local television reporter Sally Wiggin. Before even seeing the Roethlisberger interview, Wiggin was on the radio discussing her time with Ben. She said that he seemed genuinely distraught at the harm he has caused his teammates, family and Steeler fans.

Go to WTAE to watch the interview with Ben.

Only time will tell whether or not Roethlisberger is sincere or not. The one thing that was made apparent to me throughout the interview is that Ben knows that his every move will be analyzed and scrutinized. Were he to have one more incident, he would be off of the Steelers and perhaps out of the NFL entirely. Roethlisberger could learn from how Michael Vick has conducted himself upon his return to the NFL (Good lord, did I just say that?). Vick has worked hard to repair not only his image, but his life in general. Ben will certainly have to do the same if he truly cares about playing for this team.

Word is now coming out that New Jersey Devils star winger Ilya Kovalchuk wants to play in Russia next year. It’s difficult to say whether or not this is a ploy to get a significant offer from an NHL squad, but I would have to believe he is serious. The KHL pays tax-free and heartily. Were Kovalchuk to depart to Russia, it sets a very significant precedent for Russian players leaving the NHL. Most that go from the NHL to the KHL are either older or young, unproven players that didn’t want to play in the US. Someone in his prime, with the star power that Kovalchuk has would continue to legitimize the KHL as a true rival of the NHL.

Definitely more on both of these stories as events warrant.

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