Rumos from the Edmonton Journal

Kovalchuk trade bait?

Whitney could move
Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal

Kovalchuk trade bait?

Is Ilya Kovalchuk, who has 323 goals but is minus-86 in his Atlanta career, a better trade rental than Marian Hossa was in 2008 when Pittsburgh got him and got to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final? I don’t think so. I may be in the minority, but I think Hossa is a better player (he actually can check) and, in his prime all he fetched was centre Erik Christensen, winger Colby Armstrong, suspect draft pick Angelo Esposito and a 2008 first-round draft pick -stocking stuffers really, although Hossa was 29, and Kovalchuk is only 26, so maybe he’d be worth more.

I still think the Boston Bruins are the short-term destination, although they don’t have long-term cap room, because Marc Savard and Kovalchuk have a history from Atlanta, and the Bruins can give up Blake Wheeler, their first-round pick (not the one they got from Toronto for Phil Kessel) and, say, centre Joe Colborne, who is a sophomore at University of Denver.

Kovalchuk, who isn’t in Alex Ovechkin’s league as a guy who scores, hits and leads, wants more from the Thrashers than Ovechkin’s $9.5-million cap hit. If the Thrasher pay him $10 million to $10.5 million over 10 years, he’s happy, but Atlanta has no inclination to be anywhere near a cap ceiling team as Washington is, so how can they build around him if they have no money left? Answer: They can’t.

Whitney could move

I’d be willing to bet $20 that Carolina Hurricanes winger Ray Whitney, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, will wind up in Pittsburgh, playing with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, at the deadline. In 2006, the Penguins sent Mark Recchi to Carolina for two prospects and a second-round draft when he was 38, and he helped the Hurricanes win a Cup. Maybe there could be some reciprocity?

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Hockey+World/2451716/story.html


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