The Bird is on its' Way Out of the Nest…Soon…

Dejan Kovacevic, of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports the penguins are “working aggressively to trade right winger Alexei Kovalev…”Each hockey player in this league, invaribly goes through slumps during a typical season–full of ups and downs.

Alexei Kovalev, who ended an 11 game scoring streak when he scored against the Tampa Bay Lightening on Friday night, was hoping his season would be on the up after the Pittsburgh Penguins found themselves 3-0 (before last night’s loss at Florida) on what has become their most successful road trip in recent memory.

Instead, in what may be an interesting reason why Kovalev has continued to slump of late, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has learned the Penguins are actively attempting to trade the All-Star right winger.

Apparently “two sources, one close to the team and another close to Kovalev, confirmed that there are active talks between General Manager Craig Patrick and as many as five teams- the Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Toronto Maple Leafs- in an attempt to bet a deal done, possibly before the All-Star break begins Feb. 1.”

When asked about an impending deal, Patrick, as always declined comment on personnel matters. “People call us about our players. But that’s all…People call all the time , but they have for a long time. People are calling, for sure.”

Kovalev, the third leading scorer in the NHL this season, “is making $4.6 million in the final year of a two-year contract and can become an restricted free agent in July. He is also arbitration eligible and likely to be awarded a salary of $7 million or more next season. In July 2004 he can become an unrestricted free agent and offer his services to the highest bidder.”

The Penguins player payroll currently stands at a little more than $31 million, which ranks 22nd of the league’s 30 teams.

“Those close to the current situation believe that the Penguins are not seeking prospects or cash for Kovalev, but rather an established player or players. THe organization’s most glaring need at the major league-level is for defensemen, particuarly those adept at handling and moving the puck.”

In other news from the Post Gazette…

** The LA Kings are another team that could follow the Senators and Sabres into bankruptcy if the “financial structure” of the NHL is not improved. Tim Leiweke, team president, said that, despite having what appears to be the league’s dream senario, the franchise has lost more than $100 million since billionaire Philip Anschutz bought the team in 1995.”

(guins note–Ahhem…still think we don’t need a hard cap??)

**Luc Robitaille was scratched for the first time in his career on Thursday.

** The coyotes have lost a league high 269 man games to injury.

**Lastly, with the increase attention being paid to the neutral zone infractions and clutching and grabbing this year, the goals per game total has only increased from 5.2-5.3.

Please respond to what you think the Pens may get from whomever in a deal for Kovie…now is the time to sound off!! I’d appreciate your views.

99 Responses to The Bird is on its' Way Out of the Nest…Soon…

  1. guinsfan4life says:

    Thanks matrix. Haven’t talked with you at all, but looking forward. If I was gonna rate where Kovie would go, I’d have to put the Leafs towards the bottom of the list because they have the least of what the pens are looking for.

  2. guinsfan4life says:

    Aucoin, Hamerlik also possibilities. Put them with Isbister and the pens may make a move.

    TO Isles: Kovalev, Laukkanen (or another d-man)

    TO Pens: Cairns or Hamerlik or Aucoin and Isbister.

  3. guinsfan4life says:

    Is there a record on this site for how many times you can respond to your own article–in a row??

    Ehem…anyway..I will rank the teams in order that I think will get kovie.

    1. Islanders-

    2. Rangers

    3. Stars

    4. Flyers

    5. Maple Leafs

    (You just can’t offer Tucker and McAuley and think that will be adequate. YOu need to actually give SOMETHING up–something good).

  4. matrix2003 says:

    Alright maybe I was a bit to harsh, but i see all of these negative comments about the Leafs yet the team must be doing something right to be in fifth place, right? Anyhow about the physical play, i was leaning more towards hitting, he is strong though i agree with you on that, the plus minus is so bad in part do to powerplay points acculated by him, but he is below average defensively, you do have to agree on that. Overall he is a top 5 forward.

  5. matrix2003 says:

    I somewhat agree, the Pens i heard are looking for cheap young players that are in the NHL, Antropov is one of those, and pretty much the only, but the Pens want a D-Man, the Leafs have Kaberle but he is making a bit a money, that the Pens may not need or want. I have know idea where he could go, but i think he will, it would be bad, he looked good with Mario, hopefully they can get good return.

  6. matrix2003 says:

    Too many people hate the Leafs so much that there hatred blinds them that they can’t see any good of them, yet the Leafs have been one of the best teams for years now. Ever since the Cliff Fletcher era people have been poking fun of and ridiculing, what is now one of the best teams year in year out.

  7. Tradedude says:

    hoglund is a good 15+ goal scorer WITHOUT Sundin centering him, Tucker speaks for itself, 20 goal scorer, adds physical play, play-off grit and determination, i’m almost certain i wouldn’t want to give him up.

  8. Tradedude says:

    if we trade kaberle, i wouldn’t be a leaf fan.

  9. mikster says:

    Right, and he’d be dumb to do that for Kovalev.

    Your point???? 🙂

  10. mikster says:

    He did request York as well.

  11. mikster says:

    No way, cross out the Rangers.

    I’d say:






  12. The_Coach says:

    My point is that you said that Quinn would be dumb enough to deal away prospects, when that is just not true.

    I am not the biggest fan of Quinn’s but I think that he is doing the right thing by not trading his good young prospects for soon to UFA’s. I just thought that maybe you could have given him a little more respect.

  13. Freeze says:

    I could see maybe Dandenault, Jason Williams, and a #2 draft pick. I don’t think Robitaille has any trade value – not at 37 with a $4 million per year salary and in the midst of a huge scoring slump.

  14. chaz13 says:

    First, Dallas would have Selanne for a few years. Young, Dahlen and Lemiuex don’t have a few years left. At least not at high level play.

    Second, they could still have afforded Lemiuex since Phoenix is basically paying the bulk of his salary anyway.

    So, Young, Dahlen, Lemieux..or..Selanne, Lemieux?

    Not too hard to decide on that one.

  15. chaz13 says:

    Pull the Stars off the list. They are already at $55 mil and Turco, Hatcher and Matvichuk ar UFA’s. Add Kovalev to that and you’d be looking at $70 mil next season. Not going to happen with Hicks trying to sell the team. Not to mention, I doubt Dallas will give up the D-men Pitt wants and they don’t have much in the farm system after Steve Ott.

  16. big_booty says:

    Pittsburgh needs young quality defense. That has been their achilles heel all season long. They also might want to look into getting a goalie prospect, I don’t think they’re fully sold on Hedberg.

    Toronto: Highly doubtful that Kovalev will end up there. Craig Patrick is not stupid, he knows that Pat Quinn will waffle endlessly until a percieved deal is dead. Patrick won’t want Hoglund, Lumme, Reichel, or any other dead weight that the Leafs have an excess of. Quinn will have to pony up Brad Boyes or Carlo Coliacovo, along with maybe Matt Stajan.

    Rangers: Also doubtful. This team doesn’t have the kind of affordable talent that Pittsburgh would want. Their most tradeable commodity right now is Tom Poti, and it’s doubtful that Glen Sather would send him packing. Patrick would have to ask Sather for the likes of Jamie Lundmark or Fedor Tjutin, along with maybe Lefebvre.

    Flyers: Would stand a pretty good chance if it was the right deal. Justin Williams just tore his knee up, so the need for a scoring winger is obvious. Brendl would be the obvious candidate, but he is playing really well on a line with Primeau and Recchi, so perhaps they don’t quite give up on him yet. Bruno St. Jacques is a possibility, he has disappointed but still has lots of promise. Bob Clarke has tons of draft picks, they could come into play again.

    Avalanche: Don’t really need a Kovalev, they are in desperate need of defensive help. However, if they do go after him it would cost them Hejduk/Tanguay and prospects, and their farm system isn’t as deep as season’s past.

    Dallas: Don’t really see them making another deal after getting a clutch player in Claude Lemieux. That move alone has boosted their post-season chances.

    Islanders: Mike Milbury is starting to act like Quinn in Toronto – he has potential deals all around, and just can’t seem to make up his mind. It seems like only a matter of time before the likes of DiPietro, Isbister, Scatchard, and Torres put on new sweaters. Which ones they put on is anybody’s guess. Kovalev would look good on Yashin’s wing, it remains to be seen if Mad Mike is willing (again) to spend to do it.

    Boston: Could Kyle McLaren finally be moved? I think he would be a good fit on the ice in Pittsburgh. Having an authority figure like Lemieux around all the time could be the kick in the ass that he needs. Patrick isn’t going to take Lapointe, though.

  17. bossman says:

    I have been a die-hard Leafs fan for a long time now but I agree that the Leafs have almost no chance of getting Kovalev.

    If they do, they would have to give up Colaiacovo. The Pens want a good, young D-man and he is that guy. The Leafs would also have to include Antropov AND McCauley to have the deal go down. I wouldn’t want to trade Antropov (and I don’t think Quinn does either) so that ends any discussions between the two teams.

    The Penguins are basically demanding younger players who are or already have played in the NHL. That eliminates the Rangers and Devils.

    If the Stars were dumb enough to give up a package including Niko Kapanen, then the Pens should bite.

    The Avs need to give more than Skoula and Tanguay for Kovalev. They would need to add a high draft pick or a prospect.

    Forget the Wings. They have nothing to deal and the Pens don’t want Lucky Luc.

    I think the Flyers and Islanders have the best shot. Usually trading inside the division is considered crazy but the Pens won’t make the playoffs anyway (in my opinion). Why not get a deal from either of these teams for good young NHL-ready players.

    Here’s two possible scenarios:

    To Flyers: Kovalev

    To Pens: Williams, Brendl, 1st rounder


    To Islanders: Kovalev, Ference

    To Pens: Isbister, Martinek, DiPietro

    Any thoughts?

  18. sportside24 says:

    Most teams that would go after him really do not have very much to offer either, like philly why would they trade gagne or williams and throw in brendl like come on, throw away that much talent to rent a player? Most teams that can afford to resign him are depleted of yound talent that is in the NHL now or cannot do without these players.. So it will be mostly drafts picks being traded..

  19. sportside24 says:

    The only teams that should trade for him are that teams that will most likely win the cup like detroit or Dallas .. But most likely see him in detroit and maybe that will help in resigning fedorov..

  20. sportside24 says:

    Leafs would be stupid to trade the propects they need to develope fot the future, this team will not win the cup until these players are developed and playing in the nhl..Toronto is just staying competitive until they can bring up a bunch of young talent, then they will trade away these older players ans start fresh.. Then maybe they can play like Ottawa..Give toronto 2 years!!

  21. mikster says:

    Any team would ask more from the Rangers than other teams.

    Look at the Jagr story. Patrick wanted double the value from the Rangers than what he got from Washington.

    Same with the Coyotes and Khabibulin. They wanted more than Johnsson and i think Nedved, i forget though. In the end, they got Paul Mara who…is ok? Would rather have Johnsson instead.

    I was looking at the Sporting News Hockey Register, and good God….Neil $mith got the Rangers a Cup, but the trades he made….i am surprised nobody talks about them.

  22. Aetherial says:

    I believe he WILL get 6 mil. The Canucks do have to save the money for that and they should.

  23. Leaf_Expert says:

    Let Me set something straight:

    The Leafs haven’t called/ have any trade talks with the Pens, *at all*.

    But they have made it known that they are interested….

    In other news, Bill Watters has had discussions with GM Gorge McPhee.

  24. jxo136 says:

    I keep hearing this rumor:

    Keith Primeau, a mid range pick and a d’man (of low status, maybe Chris McAllister) for Kovalev.

    Primeau would give the Penguins a good two-way center that is good for 20 goals/season and would give Mario the luxury of moving to wing, giving the top line a new look (gritty and defensively responsible) once Morozov gets back.

    Kovalev would give Philly a good scoring winger.

  25. OldTimeHockey_28 says:

    I think what Mikster was trying to say is that if he was dumb enough he’d do it. Not saying he would do it. Just saying that is what it would take.

  26. guinsfan4life says:

    Thanks for the info. Didn’t know the Stars were buckling so much financially. Sounds like they, too, like the rest of the league is loosing money.

  27. guinsfan4life says:

    The article didn’t comment on the avs.

  28. guinsfan4life says:

    Don’t think the Flyers senario would happen. Maybe the Islander one though. MOre likely them taking Laukkanen than Ference though, he makes more money.

  29. TrojanMan says:

    the trades he made GOT them the cup back then. If he doesnt make them sure, they may have won 2-3 in a row by now but its new york, look at the pressure he was under.

  30. TrojanMan says:

    How does a team with Blake, Foote, and Morris with a supporting cast of DeVries and Skoula need defensive help??? The Avs wont give Hejduk for Kovalev, theyd be stupid to do so. The Isbister and Aucoin or Hamrlik deal looks good or what I mentioned earlier about Caroliba for Kapanen, Battaglia and Tanabe would be sweet. None of the players you mentioned from the Flyers aside from Williams is worth spit to the PENS. McLaren and say Rolston for Kovy wouldnt be bad either.

  31. MapleLeafs says:

    The Four Period reports that the Penguins GM Craig Patrick does not what prospects, but rather a mobile defenseman.The Leafs have that McCabe,Kaberle.But which one to give up McCabe or Kaberle.In my opinion they should be adding on defence not taking away but if they get Kovalev the Leafs will be the highest scoring team in the NHL.


    -Go Leafs Go-

  32. TrojanMan says:

    Kovalev was on NOBODY’s line last year and he still put up 76pts in 70 or so games. If he had been healthy the first 11 games or so he coulda had a shot at the Art Ross with Iginla and Naslund. So LOOK beyond the numbers people.

  33. big_booty says:

    The Wings don’t really need Kovalev, and he would only add to their already enormous payroll. He would likely cost Ken Holland either one of Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg – doubtful that he wants to part with them.

    It’s very doubtful that bringing in Kovalev would help the Federov situation, as they will both be UFA’s at season’s end. That would be a double headache, something that Holland doesn’t want or need.

    The Wings, if anything, need to get younger. The old guard isn’t going to be around forever. Giving up their young talent for a rental player at this point doesn’t make any sense.

  34. Leaf_Expert says:

    The Fyers on the other hand have held discussions with the Pens….

    Its unlikely the Penguins will trade with a team in their division. But the Flyers could make an offer the Pens can’t refuse…(unlikely)

  35. Leaf_Expert says:

    The Fourth Period is correct on that report.

    The Leafs have a *plan* which would prepare them to make any deal with a team regarding a high status quo player.

    That plan does not include Bryan McCabe….

  36. big_booty says:

    Colorado does need help on D.

    Blake is over-rated, he’s no good to his team in his own zone. He coughs up the puck in the corners so much, it’s absolutely amazing that he gets paid what he does. He’s a great PP quarterback, but that’s it. Plus-16 last year, even this year – that should tell you he’s on the way down.

    Morris? He is nowhere near living up to the expectations placed upon him. Again, he’s a nice quarterback, but does little on to help prevent goals. Minus-4 last year in Calgary is somewhat admirable, but minus-3 this year in the Rockies is poor.

    I love Adam Foote, he’s the best pure defender on the Avs roster. But they need more like him.

    De Vries is OK, he’s having an off-year, but he’s not a top four defenseman. Skoula doesn’t scare anyone, his minus-5 rating in last year’s playoffs is evidence of that.

    Pierre Lacroix would be stupid NOT to trade Hejduk for Kovalev. Kovalev is a stud, and at this point you don’t know which version of Milan Hejduk you’re going to get from night to night.

    Colorado still hasn’t replaced the blueline presence they had in Ray Bourque, and they will desperately miss Chris Drury come springtime.

    BTW, none of the players that the PENS got from the Caps for Jagr mean spit to them now.

  37. Leaf_Expert says:

    I am almost certain that Kovalev will b traded to the Avs.

    Unless GM Pierre Lacroix can get someone of roughly same value for a cheaper price…

  38. Sands says:

    if you remember Jagr was traded for the worst prospects in the league….. another dumb prospect trade for kovalev by the pen’s.

  39. Sands says:

    if you remember Jagr was traded for the worst prospects in the league….. another dumb prospect trade for kovalev by the pen’s.

  40. Drugstone says:

    Before say the trade Jagr for dump prospect, wait another 2 year, in case you don’t know, Sivec play in the Nhl right now, and he won’t be sent down because of is agressive play, and the other two play some game and didn’t look out of place

  41. mikster says:

    I know, but they’re involved as well 😉

  42. mikster says:

    He won’t be sent down because the Pens have no one else to use.

  43. Lint07 says:

    Then why don’t you trade us Alexander Mogilny for Oleg Petrov and Chad Kilger?? We’ll even add Patrick Traverse, Karl Dykhuis and a 9th round draft pick.

    Funny how your stupid Leafs trades works only one-side…

  44. Lint07 says:

    You know nothing about hockey.

  45. sportside24 says:

    How do you know which teams have called, Do you work for pens??

  46. Leaf_Expert says:

    No, but I asked Bill Watters when I met him…

  47. guinsfan4life says:

    Sivek is playing awesome!!!

  48. bossman says:

    Yeah, especially now that Justin Williams’ season is over. The Islanders deal (with Laukkanen instead of Ference) makes the most sense, although who knows what will happen. Knowing the total randomness of the NHL, Kovalev will be dealt to the Sabres. (LOL)

  49. slapshot1975 says:

    I agree….the Avs have had scouts at the last 2 or 3 Pens games. Lacroix has been suspiciously quiet so far with his team playing subpar hockey….it would be just like him to come in at the last minute with a better offer and steal Kovalev from the “front-runners”. Plus, we don’t want to see him go to Dallas…that would make them pretty much unstoppable. A line of Hejduk-Forsberg-Kovalev would be SO nice to see.

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