Tag:Ilya Kovalchuk
Posted on: March 1, 2010 5:10 pm

Odds & Ends: March 1

Less than 48 hours to go before the trade deadline...

  • The Minnesota Wild have not yet given up trying to re-sign defenseman Marek Zidlicky. "Our preference is for him to sign a deal and stay in Minnesota," Wild GM Chuck Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "They've been realistic in their demands, and I think we've been fair in our offer. I don't think there's any deal breakers at this point." If Zidlicky is not signed before Wednesday, he will be traded. [Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
  • Predators goalie Dan Ellis has not given up on the idea of playing in Nashville next season, but is not convinced it is a likely scenario. "Unless our ownership chooses to go much higher [on a contract offer] than they usually have, I don't see [re-signing] as a possibility," Ellis told The Tennessean. "But I won't really close the door on that either." [Source: The Tennessean]
  • The Buffalo Sabres could be looking to add a puck-moving, veteran defenseman or a scoring winger before the deadline. A couple players who may fit the bill include: Carolina's Joe Corvo and Florida's Nathan Horton. [Source: Buffalo News]
  • Phoenix GM Don Maloney wouldn't mind adding a piece for a playoff run, but isn't ready to sacrifice the team's future for a rental. "We think we're good enough, and we like the group. If we can find a way to be better, we'll do it." Malone said. The Coyotes are looking to add defensive depth. A scorer who can improve the power play is a secondary need. [Source: Arizona Republic]
  • Raffi Torres is another player on the block. The winger met with Columbus GM Scott Howson during the Olympic break and the two were unable to agree on a new contract. The Philadelphia Flyers are would like to land Torres, but they don't have the second-round pick the Blue Jackets are looking for in return. Another Columbus player attracting interest is defenseman Milan Jurcina. [Source: Columbus Dispatch]
  • The Boston Bruins are looking for a puck-moving defenseman and a scoring winger. They have inquired about the availability of Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne, who is expected to retire at the end of the season. [Source: Boston Globe]
  • A defenseman is at the top of the Ottawa Senators needs, but GM Bryan Murray is worried about tinkering with the team's chemistry. [Source: Ottawa Citizen]
  • KHL president Alexander Medvedev confirmed the league intends to aggressively court New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk when his NHL contract expires. [ESPN]
Posted on: February 4, 2010 8:05 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2010 9:00 pm

Kovalchuk traded to New Jersey

The Atlanta Thrashers have traded Ilya Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils.

The Thrashers, who also sent defenseman Anssi Salmela to New Jersey, will receive winger Niclas Bergfors , defenseman Johnny Oduya , troubled prospect Patrice Cormier and a first-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The teams will also swap second-round picks in 2010.

"You're getting one of the best goal-scorers in the league for many years," Devils forward Patrik Elias told the Newark Star-Ledger . "He can win a lot of hockey games . He's a threat every time he's on the ice."

Thrashers GM Don Waddell released a statement Thursday afternoon stating the team reached an impasse with Kovalchuk on a contract extension. Atlanta offered the first overall pick in 2001 a 12-year deal worth $101 million. It would have been the second-largest contract in NHL history. Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin inked a 13-year, $124 million contract in 2008.
Posted on: February 4, 2010 3:15 pm

Waddell issues statement regarding Kovalchuk

Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell issued a statement Thursday afternoon regarding Ilya Kovalchuk:

Our goal from the start of this negotiating process was to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a long-term contract. During the process, Kovy affirmed his desire to be a Thrasher for life. We've spent several months exploring scenarios with Kovy and his agent to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and offered many lucrative packages in an attempt to meet his financial objectives. Unfortunately, we've reached an impasse and at this point he has declined all of our proposals and we can't reasonably go any higher.

Ultimately, we offered Kovy more than $101 million over 12 years, which would have been the highest contract signed by an impending unrestricted free agent in the history of the league. If accepted, this contract would have been the second highest offer ever to any NHL player.  We also met his desire to be the highest paid player based on average annual salary with a separate offer of 7 years at $10M per year ($70M).  This offer is $0.5M higher per year than any other player.

If we went beyond these offers, we would not be able to retain the young players on our roster when it came time to sign them, or invest in other top tier players needed to assemble a truly competitive team.  Therefore, we are aggressively exploring all of our options as we move forward.

Posted on: February 4, 2010 11:34 am
Edited on: February 4, 2010 3:17 pm

Three remain in Kovalchuk bidding war

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 GrachevChris 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 CarterClaude 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.
Posted on: February 3, 2010 3:48 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2010 6:35 pm

Waddell to Kovalchuk: Pack your bags

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: February 2, 2010 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2010 3:21 pm

Odds & Ends: Feb. 2

  • As of now, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle is not going anywhere. "Nothing has changed on this side," Kaberle said. "I want to remain a Leaf." Toronto GM Brian Burke indicated the only way he would move Kaberle, who has a no-trade clause, is if the defenseman approached him and requested to be moved. [Source: Toronto Sun]
  • Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is looking to improve his team up front and is reportedly targeting St. Louis Blues forward and Boston-area native Keith Tkachuk. [Source: NESN]
  • The Minnesota Wild could receive calls before the deadline about Marek Zidlicky, Kim Johnsson, Owen Nolan and Eric Belanger -- all free agents this summer. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is hesistant to move any of them since his team is still battling for a playoff spot.
  • In the midst of the shakeups in Toronto and Calgary, members of the last-place Edmonton Oilers are aware changes are coming soon. It is possible all players will be available for the taking at the trade deadline. "When the results are what they are, there's going to be changes," Sam Gagner said. "You have to expect it." [Sources: Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun]
  • Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray expects re-sign restricted free agent Bobby Ryan during the summer and does not plan to trade him before the March 3 deadline. "Unequivocally I have not talked to anybody about trading him," Murray said. "Anybody I talk to I gave a list of people I am not going to trade, and he's one of them." [Source: Los Angeles Times]
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets have not discussed a contract extension with Raffi Torres, meaning the winger will probably be traded before the deadline for prospects or draft picks. [Source: Columbus Dispatch]
Posted on: January 29, 2010 4:01 pm

Kovalchuk on Kings' rental radar?

This trade deadline, the Stars may be aligned in Hollywood.

Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi says trading for a "rental" player is a real possibility, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"I think we can safely say we are actively trying to improve this team," Lombardi told the Times.

The Kings have loads of young talent at all levels to trade and nearly $7 million in salary cap space to work with. It is a rare combination in the NHL these days which would allow Los Angeles to be busy on or before March 3.

At the top of the list could be Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk, an unrestricted free agent this summer and one of the top targets for the upcoming trade deadline. Previous reports suggest the Thrashers would need more than picks in return should they decide to ship Kovalchuk elsewhere.

If the bidding war for the 50-goal scorer becomes too intense, Lombardi could shift his focus to the last-place Carolina Hurricanes and forwards Ray Whitney and Matt Cullen. Like Kovalchuk, both are unrestricted free agents at season's end.
Posted on: January 26, 2010 3:40 pm

Odds & Ends: Jan. 26

With the trade deadline five weeks away, the rumor mill is starting to churn. Time for some six degrees of separation to make sense of the news and hearsay coming out of the NHL...
  • GMs looking to swing a deal with the Boston Bruins can forget asking about the pick they acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel trade. GM Peter Chiarelli is keen on the idea of landing a top prospect. The Maple Leafs currently have the third-worst record in the NHL, and lottery rules state they can draft no worse than fourth overall. [Source: Boston Globe]
  • Speaking of Kovalchuk... should Atlanta decide to trade him, the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks are the most likely suitors. The Thrashers are expected to demand a No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, established NHLers and prospects in return for Kovalchuk. [Sources: Boston Globe, Ottawa Sun
  • With Jonas Gustavsson slated to start most of Toronto's remaining games, the Maple Leafs may look to part with Vesa Toskala. One possible destination for the netminder is Calgary, where he'd be reunited with Flames GM Darryl Sutter, who coached the Finn in San Jose. [Source: Toronto Sun]
  • Speaking of Gustavsson... if the rookie can't handle the workload in the upcoming weeks, Toronto may look elsewhere for a steady netminder. That could end up being Florida's Tomas Vokoun. Should the Panthers falter before the trade deadline, GM Randy Sexton would look to unload Vokoun and his $5.7 million cap hit. The goaltender, who has one year left on his contract, registered shutouts in three of his last eight games and is 5-1-2 in that span. Other goalies who could land on the radar of Leafs GM Brian Burke include: Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere, San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov, Nashville's Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis, Dallas' Marty Turco, St. Louis' Chris Mason and the New York Islanders' Martin Biron. [Source: Globe & Mail]
  • After stating they would "never" trade Scott Niedermayer, the Ducks may be looking into the possibility of trading the veteran defenseman. New Jersey is the most likely suitor for Niedermayer, who won three Stanley Cups with the Devils. Such a deal would also reunite him with his brother, Rob. New Jersey may also be interested in Ducks center Saku Koivu. [Source: New York Post]
  • Teams have been scouting Florida heavily in recent weeks as they believe the Panthers may be willing to make deals in coming weeks. Whether they are buyers or sellers depend on their success during the run up to the Olympic break. If Florida is in the playoff mix or a couple points out, expect them to look to improve their offense.  [Source: Miami Herald]
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com