Around the NHL – Hannan, Wideman, Kovalchuk

Scott Hannan
By Tdhsteacher at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Scott Hannan decided to hang up the skates after 16 seasons in the NHL; the player announced on Wednesday. He played over 1,000 games in a career and represented the Sharks, Predators, Flames, Capitals, and Avalanche.

“I was extremely fortunate to play in the NHL with five great organizations,” Hannan said in a statement. “I’d like to thank all of my teammates and coaches over the years who have contributed so much to my career. It’s also very gratifying to end my NHL career where it started – with the San Jose Sharks.”

Hannan was known as a strong, physical defenseman, and his best season was in 2004 when he appeared in NHL All-Star game for the first and only time. The same year, Hannan also won the gold at the World Cup with Canada. He never won the Stanley Cup; the closest he was in 2004, but Calgary Flames beat the Sharks in the Western Conference finals.

A 37-year-old skater recorded 39 goals and 199 assists in the NHL.

 

Chris Wideman
By Pat Bell – Warmups 701, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46003322

Chris Wideman signed a new contract with Ottawa Senators worth $1.6 million. A 26-year-old defenseman was picked in 2009 by the Sens but didn’t play in the NHL until this season. Wideman spent most of his professional career in Ottawa’s AHL affiliate Binghamton and earned the Eddie Shore Award for top AHL defenseman. He also recorded 130 points in three years in the AHL, making him one of the most prolific defensive players in the league. This season, Wideman scored five goals and collected nine points in 44 games this season.

 

Ilya Kovalchuk’s return to the NHL could be on the cards after a dispute between him and SKA Saint Petersburg. The club announced that Kovalchuk will train on an individual training programme. They said it was a coach’s decision, and that was the only explanation SKA released.

Ilya Kovalchuk
By John Julian from Atlanta GA, USA – Ilya Kovalchuk, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2590140

After the first game that Kovalchuk missed, probably due to poor performance, he expected to get back into the lineup, but the reports are saying he will not feature in the next two games in the series against Locomotive. The former New Jersey Devil threatened his current team if he doesn’t appear in the lineup for the next two days, he will head back to the NHL. However, his potential return will not be an easy process. Kovalchuk needs to sit out this year and get the approval of all 30 teams. He would be a free agent and return to New Jersey could be a possibility.

Kovalchuk played 11 seasons in the NHL from 2001 to 2013. He retired in 2013 to move back home and now it looks like he’s not happy in Russia, so another stint in North America isn’t excluded. A 32-year-old right winger was a 1st overall pick back in 2001. He played for Atlanta Thrashers until 2009 when moved to the Devils. Kovalchuk won two World Cups and scored 816 points in 816 NHL games.