Posted on: February 4, 2010 11:34 am
Edited on: February 4, 2010 3:17 pm
Less than 24 hours after the Atlanta Thrashers announced Ilya Kovalchuk is on the trading block, the potential suitors have been whittled down to three: the Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers.
Kovalchuk spoke with the media Thursday and said he has not ruled out re-signing with Atlanta. When asked if he thought there was still a chance to get a deal done, Kovalchuk responded, "Yeah, why not? You never know." [audio, 10:17]
"It should be a good deal for everyone, not just for one side," Kovalchuk said. "I play hockey, but I've got a family and three kids, too. ... I like everything here. It's a great city, the organization did everything for me."
Waddell issued a statement Thursday afternoon recapping his negotiations with Kovalchuk, utimately stating, "we are aggressively exploring all of our options as we move forward."
ESPN's Pierre Lebrun reports Atlanta Associate GM Rick Dudley attended Wednesday night's AHL matchup between the the Devils' farm team, the Lowell Devils, and the Rangers', the Hartford Wolfpack.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post said via Twitter the Rangers would be expected to part with either Ryan Callahan or Brandon Dubinsky, with the rest of the package determined by who is the main player. If it is Callahan, New York would have to also give up Marc Staal or Michael Del Zotto. If it is Dubinsky, the Rangers would have to surrender one of the following: a first-round pick, Evgeny Grachev, Chris Kreider or Derek Stepan. Rangers GM Glen Sather is not prepared to do either.
Reports from Lebrun and Kings Insider suggest Los Angeles is definitely in the mix, but may be waiting for the Thrashers to lower their asking price. The Sporting News' Craig Custance, a former Atlanta beat writer, noted if the Kings are serious about acquiring Kovalchuk, they may have to part with Wayne Simmonds, whose game the Thrashers "like and respect."
CBC's Elliott Friedman says its Simmonds who may be the player Los Angeles is not ready to part with to make this deal happen. The Kings' offer is believed to include Alexander Frolov and Jack Johnson.
According to the Ottawa Sun, Atlanta GM Don Waddell received one deal "he can stomach," but is holding out for more since the Thrashers are still vying for the playoffs.
Initial reports indicated the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers were among those looking to land Kovalchuk. Also mentioned were the Vancouver Canucks, who momentarily joined the fray and left it as quickly.
The Bruins are still interested in Kovalchuk, although their pitch to Atlanta is not considered one of the more aggressive ones, says the Boston Globe.
"It's not a done deal yet and thus far Boston really hasn't been in the thick of it," an anonymous source told the Globe. They're in it, with 7-8 other teams, but their offer hasn't been near the top."
TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Tuesday the Flames not in the mix for Kovalchuk. Custance said the Blackhawks are not interested, either. The media in Calgary and Chicago, however, has been rather silent in the wake of the Kovalchuk news, so it is hard to determine whether the Flames and Hawks are truly out of the running.
Lebrun reported the Flyers were still in the mix as of last night. Reports out of Philadelphia suggest otherwise. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, team sources said there is no interest in Kovalchuk. Philadelphia has the kind of players and prospects Atlanta would probably want in return, but the Flyers would need to make significant changes to its salary cap-strapped roster. That is not something GM Paul Holmgren has indicated he is willing to do.
Last night, the Camden Courier Post reported any deal would probably involve Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux and/or James vanRimesdyk. Friedman reports it is Scott Hartnell who has been mentioned in proposals, as Holmgren will not trade Carter.
Custance speculates the San Jose Sharks could be a "mystery team" involved in the bidding for Kovalchuk. He notes GM Doug Wilson's history of pulling off big deals to get star players (Joe Thornton, Brian Campbell, Dany Heatley) and the Sharks' focus on the Stanley Cup after past postseason letdowns.
Be sure to keep checking back throughout the day. We're staying on top of any news that breaks. Looking for the rundown of Kovalchuk's contract situation and how he ended up on the trading block? Check out Wednesday's post.
Tags: Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Brandon Dubinsky, Brian Campbell, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Chris Kreider, Claude Giroux, Dany Heatley, Derek Stepan, Doug Wilson, Evgeny Grachev, Glen Sather, Ilya Kovalchuk, James vanRimesdyk, Jeff Carter, Joe Thornton, Los Angeles Kings, Marc Staal, Michael Del Zotto, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Rick Dudley, Ryan Callahan, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Wayne Simmonds
Posted on: February 3, 2010 3:48 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2010 6:35 pm
Ilya Kovalchuk's days in Atlanta are done.
Thrashers GM Don Waddell met with Kovalchuk Wednesday and informed him to expect a trade within the next few hours or days, TSN reports.
"It certainly appears to be the direction the club is moving in," Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Ilya's disappointed. But we appreciate the fact they've been honest about what their plans are."
TSN's Bob McKenzie says about six teams are in the mix for Kovalchuk and that a deal may take a couple days to sort itself out.
Waddell has been busy scouting players in recent days, the Canadian Press and Journal-Constitution report.
The Canadian Press said Waddell scouted the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday during their trip to New Jersey, and took in an New York Islanders-Philadelphia Flyers game last week in Philadelphia. The Journal-Constitution confirms the latter.
The Kings are frequently linked to Kovalchuk talks due to their wealth of cap space and young prospects. The Islanders are in a similar situation, but GM Garth Snow has said he does not want to break up his team's core.
Sources within the Flyers organization told Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia they are "all but out" of the bidding for Kovalchuk. A previous report in the Camden Courier Post suggested a deal would have to involve Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux and/or James vanRimesdyk.
According to Canadian network RDS, Waddell says the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers are among the teams after Kovalchuk.
Blogger and former Islanders VP of Communications Chris Botta says the Bruins have made a legitimage pitch to Atlanta. Sun Media's Bruce Garrioch also notes Boston GM Peter Chiarelli stepped up his efforts to land Kovalchuk. Boston Globe beat writer Kevin Paul Dupont, however, reports the Bruins are not considered one of the serious bidders.
The Chicago Blackhawks have also been mentioned as possible suitors for the five-time 40-goal scorer. Former Thrashers beat writer Craig Custance reports this is not the case. TSN's McKenzie says the Calgary Flames, also mentioned as an interested party, are out of the mix, too.
The teams that try to acquire Kovalchuk will have to do it somewhat blindly in regards to a contract extension. Waddell will not allow other teams to negotiate a new deal for the forward prior to any trade.
Another report in the Journal-Contitution, citing local sports radio host John Kincade, says Atlanta offered their captain a long-term deal that would have paid $10 million a season. The paper notes it would have been the largest contract ever offered to an unrestricted free agent.
Journal-Constitution sports columnist Jeff Schultz, also a former Thrashers beat writer, reports Kovalchuk wanted the maximum salary allowed under the collective bargaining agreement -- 20 percent of Atlanta's payroll or $11.3 million. The captain also sought a deal in the 10-to-12 year range. Atlanta's last offer was $101 million for 12 years, which breaks down to a little more than $8.4 million a season.
Posted on: December 16, 2009 11:59 am
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak has informed GM Bob Gainey he would like more playing time, in Montreal or somewhere else, several media outlets report.
Posted on: December 14, 2009 12:27 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2009 12:33 pm
There's talk the Philadelphia Flyers are looking for help up front and in net, and teams are beginning to take notice.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, sixteen scouts attended Thursday's Flyers-Senators contest.
The Tampa Bay Lightning reportedly offered Philadelphia underachieving goalie Mike Smith for either Claude Giroux or James van Rimesdyk. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren declined.
The Inquirer speculates Holmgren could try to swing a deal for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan -- a nearby Cherry Hill, N.J. native -- for Jeff Carter and a first-round pick. It is a move that does not seem impossible, especially since the Ducks are reportedly struggling to get Ryan signed to a contract extension.
According to Sun Media, the Flyers are keeping an eye on Dallas' Marty Turco. The netminder is an unrestricted free agent at season's end, but the Stars are barely hanging onto a playoff spot and trading the veteran at this time may derail their season.
But Dallas could still work with Philadelphia on filling a need for a top-six forward. Sun Media mentions Carter and Daniel Briere as candidates. Briere, however, has a no-movement clause.