To Kovalchuk Or Not To Kovalchuk, That Is The Question

Each NHL season, as January comes to a close the trade rumors start flying around like snowflakes in a snow squall as the early March trade deadline approaches.  However, this season there is two deadlines because of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver as there will be a roster freeze that is in effect February 12th at midnight until February 28th at midnight.  A lot of NHL experts are saying that February 11th and the actual March 3rd trade deadline could be equally exciting in terms of “last minute deals.”

At any rate, this year’s coveted player is Ilya Kovalchuk, a player that has proven himself as one of the elite scorers in the game as we speak.  A winger who can change the complexion of game with his lightning quick snap shot, blazing slap shot, and speed that would make Usain Bolt jealous without relying on the system or anyone else around him.  Ilya is 26 (almost 27) and in NHL terms, he is just hitting his prime.  He is tied 4th in the entire league in goals (30) with his old linemate Dany Heatley.  He also has 26 helpers on a line with Nik Antropov and Bryan Little.  Those guys are no slouches by any stretch of the imagination but they certainly wouldn’t make an All-Star roster (if there was one this year).   Kovalchuk has also had a hand in 53% of the teams 36 powerplay goals (the Thrashers are 18th in the league in PP points).  Lastly, as of January 26th, Ilya has 173 shots on goal (13th in the entire league) and has a scoring percentage of .173, only three players over 100 SOG are ahead of him in that category.  My point is: this guy is getting it done in spades on a team that is consistently out of playoff contention every year.

With that all said, the Boston Bruins enter January 27th having lost 8 of their last 9 and only collecting 1 point in the last 5 losses, a game where they lead Los Angeles by two goals heading into the 3rd period and lost in a shootout.  This Bruins squad is struggling to not only score goals but, to find any kind of spark with their offense.  This season, the Bruins are 30th in goals, second to last in scoring percentage, and the team is 20th in the league in powerplay percentage.  Thank god they are 6th in the league goals against average or who knows what dumpster this team would be in.

The bottom line is that the Bruins are one of the top rumored suitors to get the expiring contract of Ilya Kovalchuk and the Bruins need a prolific goal scorer like this like there is no tomorrow.  Getting the winger in Boston and getting him resigned to play on a line with Marc Savard for many years would make this team a contender year in and year out.

So what is it going to take?  Many in the know are saying a 1st round pick, a top prospect, and a current roster player that can help impact the Thrashers now.  I think I need to lean toward who is off limits before we dive into possible pieces of a deal.


2010 1st Rnd pick (from TOR, potential top 5 pick)

Marc Savard

Patrice Bergeron

Milan Lucic

Zdeno Chara

Tuukka Rask

Joe Colburne (University of Denver)

Tim Thomas

This is your untouchables list.  There’s one guy you might be thinking that I am leaving off but, yes, I did leave David Krejci off of this list.  Do not get me wrong, I love this guy here but Vladimir Sobotka could easily fill that void.  Here’s my offer:

To Boston:

Ilya Kovalchuk

To Atlanta:

David Krejci, 2010 1st Rnd pick (not TOR’s), Zach Hamill (2007 8th overall pick) and Brad Marchand (Prov).

I’ve also considered Michael Ryder going the other way as well on top of that or replacing one of the prospects.  Either way, that’s the base of the deal above.  Remember, if this is just a rental (aka Kovalchuk goes to free agency this summer) then the return to Atlanta won’t be as much.

The Bruins desperately need Kovalchuk and adding another piece to the puzzle (Jordan Leopold on defense ) would not hurt either.  The Bruins have not had a guy who has scored 50 goals in Boston (Kovi has done it twice and on pace to do it again this year) since Cam Neely did it in 1993-1994.  This is their chance to get this guy in town and still use a defensive system that has the opportunity to put goals on the scoreboard and win games without relying on their opponent’s mistakes to score goals.  The Bruins need to start creating their chances and they start with Savard feeding Kovalchuk.

Do you make this deal?


4 Responses

  1. I want Kovalchuk, but I disagree giving away Krejci. I also disagree that Lucic is untouchable. He is a hot topic within the entire NHL, while at home he has proven not to amount to the offesnive threat they hoped for, and he is injury prone, not to say Krejci isn’t. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ryder go, but I just don’t think we have enough of an appeal to attract Kovalchuk anyway. I would love to strengthen the defense however. Leopold is on the market? TRADE WIDEMAN!

  2. make the trade…but my trade would look like this

    Bruins 1st round pick (not the Leafs’)
    and Hamil



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