Too great a cost? Why the Bruins' pursuit of Kovalchuk has stalled

“How many players are really worth $7 million, let alone what a guy like Kovalchuk is going to demand?” said a league GM. “If you’re going to be in that stratosphere, you not only have to be great player, you have to be a leader and you have to make other players around you better. You can’t have any maintenance.”

So what happens if the Bruins can’t land Kovalchuk? Here are a few other players who may be on the trading block and could possibly be a good fit for the Bruins. They may not be an impact player like Kovalchuk, but they also may not command as steep a price.

Paul Kariya – St. Louis

It would certainly be interesting to see how Kariya would mesh skating with Marc Savard. He would add team speed to the Bruins and provide a nice counter-attack off the rush.

Kariya was not thrilled to play under Mike Bab*****’s defensive system during the Ducks’ run to the Cup Finals in 2003, so there could be an issue as to whether he’d adjust to the Bruins’ defensive structure. But he also could be given some free reign to make use of his offensive skills in the manner afforded Phil Kessel.
Raffi Torres – Columbus

The 28-year-old winger brings decent size (6-0, 223) along with a competitive nature. Torres can also put the puck in the net. He has 16 goals, which may not sound earth shattering, but that actually would make him the goal-scoring leader on the Bruins.

Lubomir Visnovsky – Edmonton

The Bruins are in dire need of a puck-moving defenseman who can provide some pop on the power play. Visnovsky is one of the best skaters in the league, he can lug the puck and has 15 power play points, including four goals.
The 33-year old does come with an expensive annual salary cap hit of $5.6 million, probably a bit pricy for the Bruins, but generating offense often involves spending a few bucks.

Ray Whitney – Carolina

No shortage of offensive talent here. The 37-year-old leads the Hurricanes in scoring (16 goals, 23 assists) and has been a skilled contributor during each of his 18 NHL seasons.
It’s been reported that Whitney has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he would need to weigh the Bruins’ playoff possibilities against that of other suitors, which may not help the odds of him landing in Boston.

Alexei Ponikarovsky – Toronto

A nice combination of size (6-4, 220) and goal-scoring ability. Again, Ponikarovsky’s 16 goals this season does not rank among the league’s elite, but it’s more than anyone has generated on the Bruins.

Also perhaps more amazing, despite playing for the woeful Maple Leafs, Ponikarovsky has a plus-3 rating this season. He seemingly understands the need to play solid defense.

8 Responses to Too great a cost? Why the Bruins' pursuit of Kovalchuk has stalled

  1. Tachmo says:

    Boston has some puck moving defenceman already. They have Wideman and Morris. Yes I know Wideman has had an off year, but he can really skate and move the puck. Same with Morris. Even Chara can move the puck. I don't think they need a puck moving defenceman.  The PP sucks cause Savard has been injured most of the year and every has forgotten how to score.

  2. number15 says:


    – 1st rounder (Boston)
    – 2nd rounder (Toronto)
    – Blake Wheeler


    – Tomas Kaberle
    – Alexi Ponikerovski
    – Jamal Mayers


    Boston gets a puck moving all-star defenceman (Kaberle), a smart play  forward (Ponikerovski) and a depth tough guy (Jamal Mayers)  who is unhappy in Toronto….  Boston would still have tones for draft picks left

    Toronto gets a first rounder (Boston), and im sure theres noway Boston gives Torontos first so forget that. Also a high 2nd rounder (Toronto), a young prospect proven at the NHL level (Wheeler)…… oh and lose a headache in Jamal Mayers who want out of Toronto


  3. 8camfan8 says:

    Cant see this working as the B's are tight to the cap and this would certaintly push them over.

    Also seems to be a steep price as this still doesnt truly give them a legitamate scorer and just give them another 2nd or 3rd line guy in ponikarovsky who even with a player like savard can give you 20 goals/ season.

    While getting kaberle would be a great addition i cant see it happening. Wideman still young showed his potential last year. so with a resonably friendly contract they wouldnt want to part with him. the player they need to move is morris, has an expiring contract and is just simply aweful! im a season ticket holder and ive seen game in and game out he makes bad passes  that lead to big goals and loses games!

    MISSING A TRUE SCORER ……………….kessel anyone? thanks PC, hurts almost as bad as the thornton trade……

    Ide love to see kovalchuck but dont blame them about not wanting to trade the future for a rental. wish ATl would let them talk to his agent about contract.

  4. reinjosh says:

    with a player like Savard he could get 30 plus
    he gets 20 plus by himself on the leafs

  5. rynoisgod says:

    "MISSING A TRUE SCORER ……………….kessel anyone? thanks PC, hurts almost as bad as the thornton trade…… "

    First of all, NOTHING hurts as bad as the Thornton trade.  NOTHING!!

    Second of all, Kessel is not the second coming of Mike Bossy or Jari Kurri.  Come on people.  He is an over-hyped, under-talented winger who doesn't even know how to spell defense, let alone play it.  That trade was mind-blastingly good for the Bruins.  We r@ped the Leafs.  Two first round picks from a team that will not make the playoffs until 2013 at the earliest?  Sounds good to me.  Great trade Peter.  The loss of Kessel is not the problem with this team this year.  Our man games lost to injury is the only thing holding us back.  If we had a 100% healthy squad for the last two months of the season, we'd be sitting pretty.

  6. 8camfan8 says:

    maybe he could, but i just hope they arent interested in another winger that wont fix the true problem scoring. was watching nesn today bruins have scored a pathetic 10 goals in the last 8 games. just hoping they get a more dynamic player is all.

  7. 8camfan8 says:

    Phil kessel is a young dynamic winger. lacks any knowledge of defense i agree but you cant win unless you score! Also agree that the man games that were lost to injuries were a big part of this seasons woes.

    Kessel if healthy has many years within the division to be a thorn in the b's side. Huge upside

    Not saying hes even in the league of sid or ovechkin but his 17 goals  33 points would lead the bruins. and where did i say he was the second comming of anyone?

    Burke just made PC look silly as next years first round pick no longer projects to be top 5 as the leafs have been very active ugrading there roster and the deadline is still a ways off

    Just sick of having the ryders of the league who cost too much and dont contribute enough.

    so again My opinion is we lack a true goal scorer. dont believe me? go look at interviews from the globe of savard saying that he needs help on the wing!

  8. Tachmo says:

    I couldn't agree more with 8camfan8. I have been saying the exact same thing that Boston is struggling cause they have lost the dynamic, sniper, speed demon in Kessel. I admit he is not the best defensively and takes some nights off, but man he scored some big goals last year. Also remember he has scored gigantic goals in the playoffs against Montreal. Without Kessel, Boston doesn't even come close to strethcing that series two years ago to 7 games, and last year without Kessel that series wouldn't have been a sweep for Boston and could have gone either way.

    I do think Boston has gotten great value in return for Kessel, but it was just a weird trade. It has stunted Boston's growth as a cup contender. I like PC and he has been a god in Boston compared to years past, but why would he sign Derek "i've been overpaid and over rated my whole career" MORRIS. Why not use the 4 million they paid him to put towards signing Kessel.

    Bring in Kovalchuk as a rental and hope to somehow resign him. 12 years 100 million. He has proven to be a sure bet. Every year it's 50 goals and 40-50 assists. Try and get this done without giving up the (tor) pick next year.

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