People want to guesstimate what it will take to acquire Ilya Kovalchuk, with proposals ranging from Andrew Ference and Steve Begin to Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard if you get what I mean. Let’s break down the deals that sent top tier talent from one team to another.
Jaromir Jagr and Frantisek Kucera traded to the Capitals by the Penguins for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk and future considerations. Jagr was only 28 and coming off a 121 point season, but there was some issues with the Penguins. Beech was the 7th overall pick from the year before, and was the centerpiece of the deal. Beech never did much with the Penguins and the other players never even played a full season in the NHL. Bad return
Jagr traded to the Rangers by the Capitals for Anson Carter. Carter wasn’t anything special, and this was a pure salary dump. Bad return
Joe Thornton traded to the Sharks by the Bruins for Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau and Marco Sturm. Thornton was 26 and hitting his prime and under contract for three years. Stuart and Sturm were solid players, but nothing special and Primeau was just a grinder. Overall, not an impressive return for the league MVP. Bad return
Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and a 6th round pick traded to the Canucks by the Panthers for Alex Auld, Todd Bertuzzi and Bryan Allen. Luongo was 26 and hitting his prime, but Florida was concerned with the lack of a contract Luongo had. Luongo was a top 5 goalie in the league at the time was only getting better. Auld was a decent goalie but nothing special. Bertuzzi was over the hill and ended up doing nothing for Florida. Allen was a slightly above average defenseman. Once again, not an impressive return. Bad return
Dany Heatley and Greg de Vries traded to the Thrashers by the Senators for Marian Hossa. Heatley was the better player in the deal and younger, but Hossa was entering his prime and both guys signed new deals. Atlanta had to deal Heatley because of the Snyder crash. Overall, it was a fair return for Heatley. Fair return
Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis traded to the Penguins by the Thrashers for Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito and a 1st round pick. Christensen was a stiff, Armstrong was decent but nothing special, Esposito was a talented but raw prospect who got derailed by injuries and the pick was a late 1st rounder. Not a great return for the best rental on the market. Bad return
Dany Heatley and a 5th round pick traded to the Sharks by the Senators for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and a 2nd round pick. Heatley requested a trade, and had 5 years left on his megadeal. Michalek was a solid young winger with 30 goal potential. Cheechoo was continuing to suck since his 50 goal year many seasons ago, and the 2nd rounder is what it is. A good, but not great return for a top 5 sniper in the league. Decent return
Brad Richards and a Johan Holmqvist traded to the Stars by the Lightning for Mike Smith, Jeff Halpern, Jussi Jokinen and a 4th round pick. The Bolts needed to trade Richards in order to re-sign Boyle, and the Stars came calling. Smith a good young goalie, but hasn’t panned out. Halpern was a solid 3rd line/2nd liner. Jokinen sucked and was waived. For a 90 point guy, not a good return. Bad return
Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich traded to the Sharks by the Lightning for Ty Wishart, Matt Carle, a 1st and 4th round pick. Boyle was the Sharks best dman and a great offensive guy. Carle was a decent offensive defenseman who was young, but had been regressing. He sucked in Tampa and was traded, Wishart has been a bust and the picks are just picks. Bad return
Brian Campbell traded to the Sharks by the Sabres for Steve Bernier and a 1st round pick. Campbell was a trade deadline prize and went for a late first and decent young guy…who was traded the subsequent offseason for a 2nd and 3rd round pick. Overall, not the best reward for a top defenseman. Bad return
Overall, when looking at these megadeals, majority of the time, the prospects never pan out, and the team who got the best player wins. These trades are also 20 cents on the dollar. So for the Bruins to acquire Kovalchuk, and impending UFA, you are looking along the lines of Mark Stuart, Vladimir Sobotka, 1st round pick and Hamill/Colbourne. If people want to include Blake Wheeler, I suppose, but he has proven a lot more than any of these young forwards had when they were traded in the above deals.
At the end of the day, this is why you make the deal for Kovalchuk. Chances are whatever you give up is easily replaceable, while a player like Kovalchuk doesn’t come around very often, especially in his prime.