Flyers Listening to Deal for Kovalchuk
By Tim Panaccio
CALGARY, Alberta — Dion Phaneuf is off the market. Ilya Kovalchuk is still there.
And the Flyers are listening to what Atlanta has to say about the Russian sniper.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren was on his cell phone Monday morning at the Pengrowth Saddledome, conceivably looking for a trade partner.
“We might want to still do something on defense and forward, but not in goal,” Holmgren said.
One NHL executive said that the Flyers have had intermittent talks with Atlanta over Kovalchuk.
Atlanta General manager Don Waddell met with Holmgren at last week’s game and discussed matters. Waddell scouted the Flyers himself on Saturday during the Isles game but did not meet with Holmgren, the source said.
“Find one winger, one defenseman that adds up to what Kovalchuk makes and the Flyers could do this deal,” the source said.
The Flyers think Kovalchuk will want between $9 and $9.5 million on a re-signing and because of that salary, they couldn’t afford Kovalchuk long-term.
The Rangers, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and the Flyers are in the mix, but the source said the Flyers don’t think they can make a Kovalchuk deal any more than they could have done a deal for Phaneuf.