In what has become a regular occurence for us here at this point during the NHL season, trade talk is surely starting to heat up! What does that mean?... Well, we're probably going to be disappointed since 2% of these proposed trade rumo(u)rs will actually gain some steam, and then 2% of those rumo(u)rs will actually maybe possibly kind of happen in shades of gray.
The big name on the market is Mr. I.L.oathe.Y.ou.Atlanta Kovalchuk, and there have been plenty of rumo(u)rs that have him moving to every single city throughout the world before the end of the season. Trash GM Mother Waddell is going to lose big time in this situation either way unless he finds a way to trade his superstar for a similar superstar, which is not going to happen. This is usually the story with pending-UFA superstars as is, but Atlanta knows this story all too well. In what could be our fourth installment of "Better Than" is Colby Armstrong better than Marian Hossa? Millions say no, all of Southeast Michigan says yes.
The rumour that has gained that necessary early steam is a deal that has Kovalthorpe heading to the Saddledome in exchange for Phaneuf. Surely Atlanta would probably warrant a 1st round pick and a higher-level prospect as well, but this deal does not make sense for them. While this would give ATL one of the more solid defensive units, they can't put in all their goals from the point. A more realistic option for Atlanta would be to acquire Olli Jokinen and perhaps another forward such as sniper Nigel Dawes or 2nd-line center Dustin Boyd...
Okay, I'm just gonna stop there and say that Calgary and Atlanta will not be making a deal involving Kovalchuk. While both have assets that could be beneficial to either club, trading such assets away would leave big holes in important spots on the roster. Nix this deal; next bidder!
Chicago has also been rumoured to be interested in Kovy. They definitely have the assests to give up without leaving themselves vulnerable (Barker, Versteeg, Bolland, Byfuglien, Seabrook, Ben Eager!) and placing Kovalchuk in the mix with Kane, Toews, Hossa, Sharp and Keith makes Chicago one ridiculously talented club that's more than geared up for the playoffs. Sadly though, I can't seem them making this move, either. Chicago has the arsenal for a deep playoff run as they are and adding Kovalchuk would be an unnecessary, although delicious, move to make. They spent the last decade developing this cast into a premature powerhourse and adding a rental player only hinders their chances for future success. As a long-time fan of the Hawks, I really wouldn't appreciate only a couple years of great hockey from this team when they could be Cup contenders for at least the next five years and more. Nix this deal; next bidder!
Washington... wait, what? How the fuck is that possible!? They already have two ridiculous Russian left wingers, there's no need for a third one. For the sake of the team and their future, Washington better just keep dreaming. Nix this deal; next bidder!
Hmm... The Boston Bruins. I don't have an initial argument as to why they can't acquire Kovalchuk, so let's look into it. Boston's struggling without a true goal-scorer this season, and Kovalchuk and Savard have played together at TSX before, so chemistry could easily be rekindled. Boston's trade bait could include Marco Sturm, one of David Krejci or Milan Lucic, Dennis Wideman and Matt Hunwick. Add Boston's 1st round pick into what's available (as they still have a chance to win the Taylor Hall award with Toronto's pick) and they can put together an appealing package for Atlanta.
Marco Sturm, Milan Lucic, Boston's 2010 1st round pick, Tampa Bay's 2010 2nd round pick (acquired with Mark Recchi) and an autographed picture of Sergei Samsonov holding the Calder Trophy in exchange for Ilya Kovalchuk. Let's make it happen!