If you listened to the Team 1040 AM stream like I did, you would know new rumors around Ilya Kovalchuk continue to spread like wildfire.
The newest and latest rumors discussed are the Washington Capitals as front runners in the Kovalchuk sweepstakes. Interestingly enough, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period says as much as Kovalchuk loves Atlanta, there are bigger issues there in hindsight.
Going back to the 1040 AM discussion, Washington as an organization boasts numerous movable assets. Since the permanent Michael Nylander demotion, a fair amount of open cap space opened up for the club so perhaps they have both the room and assets necessary to acquire the services of Kovalchuk.
Naturally the centerpeice would have to be either Alexander Semin or Nicklas Backstrom along with another player like Eric Fehr. Kovalchuk should claim a bounty larger than that of former teammate Marian Hossa, so there would need to be work on both sides.
According to the CBA, there is no out clause for a team that might possibly re-locate. So although Ilya loves Atlanta, he may not love Winnipeg or Hamilton. If the 27-year-old signs for 10 years or more, and the team did relocate, the Russian would be bound to his contract playing in an unknown location.
This thought could be one of the biggest issues surrounding the “snag” in the contract talks.
The other issue lies with team’s the owners, and if they are seriously willing to spend over 100 million on their franchise player. Kovalchuk represents the Thrashers as their captain and go-to player. This team assembled by GM Don Waddell features a fine supporting cast built specifically to play around Kovalchuk while building a solid and exciting foundation of youth.
The pieces are in place to get a deal done, but the unavoidable situations from the brass make Kovalchuk the most enticing name to possibly hit the market this summer.
How scary would it be for Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin to play on the same team or even the same line? I for one would not want to be a team in the South East Division or in the Eastern Conference for that matter. The powerplay alone with Backstrom, Ovechkin, Mike Knuble, Kovalchuk and Mike Green would be insanity.
Still this deal is merely a rumor and should be regarded as nothing more. A deal of this nature surely would be the blockbuster of the decade!
We hope you enjoyed our latest feature here at the NHL Hot Stove. You can help NHLHS stay alive by visiting our sponsors to the left.