Chicago could be Kovalchuk’s kind of town

The Blackhawks’ richest assets are on the blue line, where Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Brian Campbell retrieve pucks and trigger breakouts with their fleet feet and tape-to-tape passes.

But up front, where they already boast firepower in Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp, it’s conceivable that they could become even more dangerous.

With Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and looking for a maximum contract (20 percent of the cap), the Thrashers may have to deal the 26-year-old sharpshooter prior to the March 3 deadline.

Chicago could enter the bidding with the notion of killing two birds with one stone: adding a top-five player to their roster for a Stanley Cup run while clearing cap space for next season.

According to a league source, the Blackhawks could use defenseman Cam Barker and ex-Bruin Kris Versteeg as the centerpieces of a Kovalchuk trade. Atlanta would most likely ask for a draft pick or two as well.

Two years ago, Thrashers general manager Don Waddell traded Hossa to Pittsburgh for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito, and a first-round pick. The source said that if Waddell puts Kovalchuk (25-22 -47 in 37 games) in play, he will be looking for far more than he received for Hossa.

The Blackhawks would add a dynamic left wing and power-play specialist in Kovalchuk, who could play on the same line as Hossa. And if they don’t re-sign Kovalchuk, they would also clear salary in Barker and Versteeg (each player makes slightly more than $3 million) for 2010-11, when the extensions of Toews ($6.3 million), Kane ($6.3 million), and Keith ($5.5 million) kick in.

24 Responses to Chicago could be Kovalchuk’s kind of town

  1. the_word says:

    Campbell, Sharp and two 1sts for Kovelchuk pending that that Kovelchuk signs an extension.

    Altanta gets players to remain competitive while they'd have a hard time finding talent on the UFA market.

    Chicago gives up a couple late 1st round picks and enough cap relief to absorb Kolvelchuk.


     How about a 3 way trade like this.

    to Chicago=Kovalchuck

    to Carolina= Campbell and 1st

    to Atlanta=Ruutu, Boychuck and 2010 first rounder.

  3. dumbassdoorman says:

    I don't think the Thrashers make that trade. More would have to come there way for sure. Plus Campbell would not lift his NTC to go to either carolina or Atlanta IMO.

  4. dumbassdoorman says:

    I think they would have to give more up than tha,t as those firsts are more like early 2nds. However It would be based on Kovy resigning, and Barker over Campbell I think. Campbell I don't think would lift his NTC to go play in Atlanta.

  5. mojo19 says:

    This is a great deal for everyone except Carolina. The Thrashers would definitely move Kovalchuck if it meant getting the Hurricanes 1st pick, likely to be 1st overall.

    But the Hurricanes would be moving the 1st overall pick (potentially), Ruutu, and Boychuck for a late first round pick and Brian Campbell. I don't think so!

  6. KingCanada says:

    I really dont think any CHI-ATL trade can involve Campbell…at all.

    If Atlanta cant afford Kovalchuk at 10 million why would they want Campbell at 7+??  Doesnt make sense financially for a struggling team.

    Kovalchuk is twice the player Campbell is, maybe more.  If Atlanta is trading Kovalchuk with the reasoning they cant afford to sign him then they definatly want cheaper assets coming back.  (like Barker, Sharp and Versteeg)

    The only way this deal makes sense is ATL can still afford him but Kovalchuk simply doesnt want to sign in Atlanta.  However I doubt it is the second scenario since the Thrashers have been bleeding money for a while.

  7. KingCanada says:

    The only winner there is Chicago lol.  They get rid of cap problems and get the best available player for the minimum??

    Atlanta gets less of a return then the Hossa deal so thats an automatic fail.  And Carolina gets a huge cap problem (decent player but not worth it) plus a 1st for Ruutu and Boychuk??  Thats a horrible deal for them.  They trade 2 youths for a cap problem and an even younger potential player (the draft pick).

  8. KingCanada says:

    Atlanta will NOT let itself get swindled if they decide to unload Kolvalchuk.  Don Waddell also is fully aware of Chicago's cap problems as the rest of the league is so he is not just going to solve their problem willingly by handing them his best player.  So IMO Chicago pays BIGTIME for Kovalchuk and the trade looks similar to this:

    To Chicago: Ilya Kolvachuk
    To Atlanta: Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker, Kyle Beach, Jack Skille, 1st round pick 2010

    Two young players giving the Thrashers immediate help, one high end prospect, one medium prospect and of course the draft pick.

    Atlanta builds a solid necleus of young players.  They add Barker and Versteeg to Enstrom, Kane, Bogosian, Little, Pavalec, Armstrong ect and replenish the prospect pool which is becoming quite deep
    The Thrashers have the likes of Esposito, Mechanec, Leveille, Holzapel, Valabik, O'Dell, Morin, Klingberg, Salmela….with this many medium to good prospects you are BOUND to have a few that turn into solid NHLers to say the least.  Add Beach and Skille to that and they are laughing.

  9. number15 says:

    Why is everyone suggesting Brian Campbel to Atlanta?

    Campbel gets paid 7 million per season and he is locked up long term…… if ur gonna spend 7 million on him, then why not lock of ur franchise player instead?

    seriously, Thrashers are better off letting Kovalchuk walk, rather than lock into Campbels huge deal.

  10. the_word says:

    I see it more as Kovalchuk wanting nothing to do with the Atlanta.  Atlanta will have around 10 million free when Kovalchuk walks. 

    Cambpell is a good player with a bad contract, the kind of guy that gets shipped to play in the dead markets of the SE division (ala Bryan McCabe).  Thrown in Sharp and two firsts, its a fair deal.

  11. reinjosh says:

    This is a dumb rumor.
    Chicago has no need for another winger. They already have Hossa and Kane as star wingers and Versteeg as a second tier guy. Why mess with chemistry and trade for guy who might walk at the end of the season and would probably cost to much to keep anyways.
    Getting Kovy wouldn't solve anything. It would likely hurt chemistry, and they would be giving away good young players for a guy they couldnt even afford to get.
    Atlanta has no need for defenders. They have Hainsey, Enstrom (who some suggest could be a Norris candidate), Bogosian, Kubina (who would likely resign), Valabik, Salmela. They don't need any large contracts for overpaid players (like Campbell). If anything it would be defensive prospects.
    Its just a stupid rumor by an idiot who has no idea what they are talking about.
    Even if Barker and Versteeg and Chicago's first went to Atlanta, they would be giving away two players for 3 months of service from Kovy. Their is no chance in hell they would be able to afford Kovy and resign him. And seeing as they wouldn't trade away one lowsy 2nd or 3rd rounder to get rid of Sopel, I don't see them giving up a 1st and two good young players for cap space and one chance at a cup.

  12. reinjosh says:

    not a chance it happens though
    Campbell has a NTC first of all. I just can't see him wanting to move their.
    Atlanta doesn't need him. They have Enstrom, Bogosian, Hainsey, Valabik and Salmela signed through next season with Kubina likely to resign. Why would they want Campbell, especially when he is overpaid. Its just completely unnecesary.
    And say they move Kovy for a good forward and picks and other pieces. They already have the defense and goaltending in place. All they need is a 4th or 5th guy on defense, and a big forward.
    Say Kubina and Pavelec and Hedberg along with Armstrong and Little resign. They take up 15 million tops. Thats 40 million for 16 guys. That leaves 15 million for 5 guys. 3 million for 3 guys to flesh out the roster and be decent. 12 million to overpay for a good top 6 forward and a good top 4 defender.
    They would be set
    If Atlanta is smart they could build a really good team that could compete and be somewhat attractive to fans and players.
    Plus they would have a good amount of picks and prospects from dealing Lehtonen and Kovy.

  13. reinjosh says:

    Plus i didnt even include the forward they would be getting back.
    so 3 – 4 million for a number 4 defender (likely have to overpay) and 5 – 8 million for a top 3 forward (again overpay and the money would depend on who they get in a Kovy deal)

  14. pezzz123 says:

    Hum. It's actually a very credible rumor.

    Versteeg and Barker are both gonna be moved this summer anyway. So why not trade them for someone who could win you the Cup why himself?

    I'd do it in a heartbeat.

  15. the_word says:

    Wait, the trade I made up off the top of my head this morning isn't going to actually happen???

  16. reinjosh says:

    i wasn't trying to shoot your trade down
    just suggesting that the article was sort of stupid and i didnt think any trade between atlanta and chicago would work
    no offense

  17. reinjosh says:

    they are already first in the west with the team they have
    why not hold on to the players that are already doing that and try to win with them (they did go the conference final last year) and then get something for them in the offseason
    why mess with good chemistry
    the rumor makes no sense

  18. pezzz123 says:

    Kovalchuk would put them over the top. It also gives them a real guy to play the point on the PP with Campbell. Barker isn't playing well. Even San Jose couldn't match Chicago's firepower.

  19. Kramer says:

    This supports my idea of starting a hockey league for lesbians.  The "all new" LHL (Lesbain Hockey League).,17033,8746_5840601,00.html

  20. reinjosh says:

    difference of opinion i guess
    i dont think they need it
    you do
    they already are scoring more than chicago
    and only the capitals are scoring more than them
    they dont need another guy at the expense of hurting chemistry

  21. the_word says:

    None taken, just making light of the trade, these ideas should be taken with a bucket of salt.

  22. Kramer says:

    I got nothing to do today. There should be more hockey in the afternoon.

  23. broc says:

    Patrick Sharp and two 1sts (which are likely to be 27th-30th overall) aren't near worth enough a long term signed Kovalchuk.

    The reason I didn't say Campbell is because, he's not an asset.
    His contract is an expensive, long-term hinderance. If Sharp and 2 of the lowest 1st rounders isn't enough, adding Campbell sure as heck isn't helping. Especially to a franchise that is loathe to spend money.

    Sharp, 2 of the lowest first rounders and the worst contract in the league is not realistic or close to a fair deal for signed Kovie.

  24. the_word says:

    What would be an adequate package for Kolvelchuk? Two firsts, a pp quaterback (contract aside Campbell can flat out play, Atlanta is hard pressed to land UFAs) and a legitimate top six winger for a player who is going to walk.

    Do you think he's going to Carolina for two potential top five picks?

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