Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Got him, want him, Trade him? Ilya Kovalchuk

Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk seems to be the early and most likely candidate to be changing hockey sweaters in the near future, despite the proclamations otherwise by Thrasher's GM Don Waddell.

Kovalchuk has un-restrictred free agency on the horizon at the end of the season and thus far the two sides have not found common ground on the variety of proposals that have been bounced around.

Waddell for his part says that trading the Thrasher's star is not his first desire, but with the prospect of losing him completely at season's end the lure of the deal to be might be hard to resist.

The NHL trading deadline is March 3rd this year, plus for added mystery there will be two week moratorium on trades during the Vancouver Olympics which get underway on February 14th.

That leaves about one month to finish off the fishing expeditions and make the decision to reel in a deal or cut some bait. Making the next month the showcase period before the Olympic games a good number of GM's may wish to get things sorted out prior to the Vancouver break, which would only leave three days to cobble together a deal on deadline day.

The Bruins, Kings and Canucks seem to be gaining the most buzz as potential new employers, all three seem to be one player short at the moment of making a lengthy drive into the playoff rounds, adding the scoring touch of Kovalchuk could very well be the one addition to help them have a long term playoff schedule this spring.

There are of course many other teams that could no doubt use his talents, but the key question for GM's is whether they are willing to pay the price to acquire him and if they have enough depth in their line up to make the addition a worthwhile venture this season.

Atlanta Journal Constitution-- Waddell: Trading Kovalchuk is option, not first choice
Atlanta Journal Constitution-- Is the Kovalchuk era in Thrasherville nearing an end?
New York Times-- Will the Thrashers Trade Kovalchuk?
National Post-- Bruins, Kings among teams that could make a run at Kovalchuk
CBC Sports-- Thrashers approach teams about Kovalchuk: Hotstove
Globe and Mail-- Expect Kovalchuk to be on the move

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