There's a post at Russian-language hockey forum All Hockey.Ru that reports Ilya Kovalchuk either has or is about to sign a DW-authored contract that will see him paid $11.35 million a year.
At first I suspected this was just a rumor, but I decided to look into it. All Hockey.Ru isn't a professional news site, so I scoured actual Russian news services like Russia Today, which covers Kovalchuk and all things Russian hockey in detail, and couldn't find anything.
BUT THEN I Googled the phrase ""Атланта" собирается подписать многолетний контракт с Ильёй Ковальчуком. При этом ежегодная зарплата форварда составит $11,36 млн. в год - максимум, возможный в НХЛ." on Google.ru and several things popped up; it looks like Sports Daily Russia, a reliable source, has picked up the exact same story. BUT WHAT WIRE REPORT IS THIS COMING FROM?
Most bizarre of all, this report specifically references the AJC as its source. WHAT THE FUCK?
Oh yes. The other day Jeff Schultz wrote on his blog: "Kovalchuk has a year left on his contract at $7.5 million. Theoretically, his new deal could pay him up to $11.2 million per season (20 percent of the NHL salary cap of $56 million). The bigger issue is term: The NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement has no cap on length of contract."
Through either bad translation (these days usually left up to Google and Babelfish robots) or very poor reading skills, some Russian reporter took Schultz's brain-wave for an empirical fact and set off a firestorm of false reports in the Russian sports press and spread confusion among Thrashers fans.
False alarm, ha ha, GO BACK TO BED. What a terrifying night it's been, though, full of endlessly circling M.C. Escher-like mirror games that plan to eat you.