Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trading Kovalchuk is not a hypothetical

For months now, chatterers have brought up the idea of trading Ilya Kovalchuk. Well, we didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning.

Bruce Garrioch writes that the chatter among the NHL execs is that the Thrashers are shopping him.

Multiple NHL sources told Sun Media yesterday that Thrashers GM Don Waddell has held serious talks with several teams about the possibility of moving the high-scoring winger, who makes $7.5 million (all terms US) and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2009-10 season.

Trading the 25-year-old Kovalchuk would be a difficult move for Waddell to make, but with the Thrashers sitting dead last in the NHL, there's no doubt Atlanta would be able to acquire a package of players and draft picks that would help the team get back on track.

The logic of the last sentence needs to be spelled out though. Garrioch seems to think that trading Kovalchuk would help the Thrashers this year, but in reality any team that wants to pay the high price to get him isn't going to want to give up important roster players. So you likely take back prospects and picks in return. That should be the way forward anyway, because it's not very likely that the Thrashers turn it around and get into the playoffs this year. Mathematically possible, sure, but in reality not likely.


Anonymous said...

"there's no doubt Atlanta would be able to acquire a package of players and draft picks that would help the team get back on track." - yes, there is doubt. With current upper management and ownership, there is serious doubt that the right players would be acquired via the trade and/or draft. Serious doubt.


Werewolverine said...

It would be tantamount to admitting we've had no direction, nor even any clue as to what we should have been doing over the last seven years.

Kovalchuk may not be that once-in-a-generation talent like Crosby or Ovechkin, but he's certainly one of the finest forwards of his generation. There are PLENTY of NHL teams that have come into the league since the '90's expansion craze which have never had a player of his talent (and yet they manage to make the Stanley Cup playoffs far more regularly). He's a gift the Thrashers have failed completely to take advantage of...and I would count on Don WaddAHL to mismanage a trade involcing Kovalchuk just as badly as he did the Hossa trade last year.