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Former Canadiens winger admits to being greedy, having regrets about how it all ended in Montreal


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Mike Armenti
September 8, 2023  (10:28)
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NHL alumnus Alexei Kovalev accomplished plenty during his decorated NHL career. He has his name etched on the Stanley Cup Champion, he is a former three-time NHL All-Star, and All-Star MVP, and he racked up more than 1300 games in the NHL during his career.

Kovalev recently took part in an interview with Radio Canada, admitting that he has a few regrets, including a big one that came about during his time in Montreal with the Canadiens.
Over four seasons in Montreal, Kovalev established himself as a top-line player while also becoming a Canadiens fan favourite. When it came time to negotiate a new contract ahead of free agency in 2009, however, Kovalev decided to leave Montreal to sign with the Ottawa Senators for a modest raise. To this day, he views the move as a huge mistake.
"I made a mistake and became a little too greedy. On the other hand, I wanted to be shown respect, which I didn't get. I wasn't asking for much more, just a small raise."

Kovalev had earned $4.5 million per season during his time with the Canadiens. He wanted a raise to $5 million. Ottawa offered it when the Habs did not.
"If I had to do it all over again, I would have accepted the Canadiens' offer rather than the Senators in the summer of 2009. There would have been a bit of bitterness, because I wanted to be recognized for what I'd accomplished for the team, but I think it would have been much better for my career. I'd probably say: OK, I'll take it even if they disrespect me a bit, but it's more important for me and my family."

"I felt good in Montreal with the organization, with the fans. I think it's thanks to them that I was so successful."

During the interview Kovalev was also asked whether he believes he's worthy of a HHOF induction at some point in the future. He was not the least bit shy with his answer.
"I think I deserve to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. If you compare me to some of the players who have been inducted, I've accomplished more. But it's not my decision.

I deserve it because of everything I've achieved as a Russian player, both internationally and in the National League. In this day and age, it's going to be even harder for some players to get in, because of everything that's going on in the world."

Source: Radio Canada
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Former Canadiens winger admits to being greedy, having regrets about how it all ended in Montreal

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