My Stance on a Kovalchuk Trade and Why It Needs to Happen

“Lucic bangs Markov in the corner, the pucks bounces to Savard. Savard looks, passes, SCORE! Kovalchuk with a beautiful snipe!” Oh my how good would that sound?

Let’s start out by talking about who Ilya Kovalchuk is.  The former 2001 first overall pick is the current captain of the Atlanta Thrashers and one of the top 5 pure goal scorers in the game, up there with the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Dany Heatley, and Jarome Iginla.  Kovalchuk is a left winger, but could easily slide over to the right wing.  He has tremendous speed, a wicked shot and a booming slapper.  Kovalchuk has scored 38 or more goals since his 2nd season in the league, and has scored 50 goals twice.  In 2005-06, Kovalchuk had 52 goals and 98 points in 78 games with current Bruin pivot Marc Savard as his center.  On the powerplay, Kovalchuk is a roamer who plays the point with his powerful slap shot.  Did I mention Kovalchuk is only 26 and hitting his prime?

The Boston Bruins are an organization who have yet to find a franchise forward since Cam Neely was here.  Adam Oates was the man for a while, but he was only here a few seasons.  Joe Thornton was supposed be that guy, but playoff chokes caused him to be traded to San Joe at the ripe age of 26.  This is an organization who cannot find a guy who can consistently put up a lot of goals for the past decade.  Bill Guerin was here for a season, and Glen Murray’s run lasted two years.  Phil Kessel was developing into a legit goal scorer, but he was a prima donna and was sent packing for high draft picks at the age of 21.

This fan base deserves a prize like Kovalchuk.  Since the days of Neely, Bourque and Oates, when has this team ever made a move for a superstar player?  Pre-lockout, this team refused to pay top dollar for elite free agents.  We were always toyed with names like Jeremy Roenick, but never paid up to sign them, it was just a lowball offer to satisfy the fans.  We saw guys like Adam Oates, Joe Thornton, Ray Bourque, and Jason Allison traded away, but we rarely got a great player in return.  Once we acquired Bill Guerin, only to see him walk away a season later to a mega deal with the Dallas Stars.  The biggest move I can recall is the blockbuster trade the deadline before the lockout, in which the Bruins acquired Sergei Gonchar and Michael Nylander from the Washington Capitals.  It sucked to see them both leave along with Brian Rolston and Mike Knuble because we thought we could replace them with cheaper players, like Brian Leetch, Alexei Zhamnov and Dave Scatchard.  Mike O’Connell attempted to acquire Chris Pronger from the St. Louis Blues for Nick Boynton plus, only to see him send to the Oilers for Eric Brewer and spare parts.  That season turned out well for the B’s.

Other franchises have been aggressive, such as the Detroit Red Wings, who have always brought in elite talent year after year.  The San Jose Sharks have been involved in every mega deal the past few years, acquiring Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle, and Dany Heatley to revamp their franchise, as well as adding pieces like Craig Rivet, Bill Guerin and Brian Campbell during trade deadlines.  While they haven’t won a cup yet, they have been a top 3 team in the league for a few years now.  The Pittsburgh Penguins gambled on Marian Hossa and it almost won them a cup.  They could have re-signed him to if it weren’t for them already having two franchise forwards in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  This organization has refused to be aggressive. Last year, a team that was playing well above expectations, could have made a move for Chris Pronger.  Instead, they played it conservative and ended up with Steve Montador as their defensive addition.  The Bruins lost two OT games to the ‘Canes in an eventual 7 game series loss, maybe Pronger could have helped win that series, especially with Zdeno Chara already being on the team.  Anaheim won a cup with a decent offense, great goaltending and Niedermayer and Pronger.  Sounds similar to us that season.

Not only is Kovalchuk exactly what this team needs, he is the perfect player.  This team can’t piss away chances at being cup contenders as guys like Tim Thomas, Marc Savard and Zdeno Chara age.  This team has the chance to be REALLY good as seen last season.  They have a strong defense, and great goaltending.  If we could just score 3 goals more often, we’d be a top the East right now.  Kovalchuk adds that presence.  He also played with Marc Savard before, so there is instant chemistry, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being on the same line with the guy who he had a career year with.

People want to make the argument that keeping you’re assets instead of dealing them for Kovalchuk would be better.  Wrong.  Guys like Kovalchuk become available maybe once in a decade.  You need to be aggressive and get what you want.  You have to look at it this way.  Is it easier to replace what I traded than what I am trading for?  In other words, I can easily replace a Wheeler or Stuart via free agency, but a Kovalchuk is almost impossible to get.

People also want to make the argument that he is just a rental and we can’t let him walk.  If you acquire Kovalchuk, you can re-sign him.  Boston is an attractive market for player, believe it or not.  He can easily fit under this teams cap, with money coming off the books soon from buyouts and such.  Ryder and Sturm are also free agents in two seasons, while one or both would likely be included in a deal anyways.  Not to mention, Chara will likely sign an extension at a lower cap hit than 7.5 million ala Chris Pronger’s deal in Philadelphia.  You can also sign Kovalchuk to a long term deal stretching 15 years to lower the cap hit to something more reasonable than 10 million.

So what would it take?  Who cares as long as it does not include Tuukka Rask, Chara, Savard, Bergeron, Krejci or Toronto’s 2010 first round pick.  I’m sure something could be done.  Christ, Pittsburgh won a bidding war for Hossa with an offer of Christensen, Armstrong, Esposito and a 1st round pick.  Nothing great there.  A lot of times, the return for a superstar is less than super.

This team needs a franchise forward going forward.  The old philosophy that two 20 goals scorers is as good as a 40 is crap, as we have seen ourselves.  When those two 20 goal scorers go ice cold for 15 games and your team struggles to score 2 goals a game, you would like to have a guy who scores at a every other game pace.

For those who don’t want to make this deal, think about the day when you actually have a sniper, but the team around him sucks, there is no defense or goaltending.  It’s kind of like being a Thrahsers fan.  This team can’t keep wasting away chances of being something special because they lack in one department.  Ilya Kovalchuk could be the Bruins answer.  The Bruins need him, and the fans deserve him.

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38 Responses to My Stance on a Kovalchuk Trade and Why It Needs to Happen

  1. Mat Allen says:

    Well put… almost exactly what I was thinking.

  2. minutefan says:

    I agree. The team needs to look for pure goal scorers. He is a perfect fit. He plays great on the defensive end as well and will make everyone around him better. I think some of the young guys on the team such as Wheeler, Krejci, Sobotka, and maybe even Bitz can really up their game and have somebody to lead by example. All the guys on the bruins played excellent last season with kessel on the team. Imagine somebody twice as good to lead the way with goals. I dont care who we trade for him. As long as its not Rask! Great post!

  3. bigbadbruins1 says:

    i was saying that from the start thats who we need see whooper

  4. goosegoose35 says:

    yes but not going to happen

  5. mattg says:

    Great article, you should email it to PC.

  6. da wreck says:

    no Savvy, no Bergie, no Kraych. awesome.

  7. Pearson says:

    Wow. Convincing. Im sold.

  8. WARDOFTHERINGS says:

    Why the hell is whitfield on the fucking powerplay

  9. goosegoose35 says:

    how the fuck did we just beat san jose

  10. Birdman2403 says:

    Credit where credit is due. I have been hard on him but…WOW !! Timmy was awesome tonight, hopefully that Timmy hangs around.

    What was with Whitfield playing about 10 minutes in 3rd, including 2 P.P.’S, while Lucic and Sturm are on the bench ??? This guy is an AHL plugger ?? Sending a message maybe ??

    Huge win !!!

  11. psands says:

    very proud of the bruins tonight.

    this was a great win for this team.

  12. bigbadbruins1 says:

    wow didn’t see that one coming timmey put my foot in my mouth he played really good hope he keeps it up and holy shit put widmen in net what a save to keep it one one they still cant score though

  13. Bruins says:

    we just beat arguably the best team in the league in their own building with an injury depleted line up. turning point? i think so. and id like to hear the timmy haters now. the guy just stood on his head.

    joe thornton – 1, shawn thornton – 1. just saying.

  14. ELWOPPO says:

    Fuck all u bloody Hypercrits! First you say Timmy is shit now he’s God? Leave the poor basterd alone he won the fucken Vezna, I think he knows a thing or two when it comes to keeping the puck out of the net!!!!!!!!!!

  15. bigbadbruins1 says:

    hey elwoppo up yours go bsssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  16. BosBrn77 says:

    I’m at a loss for words. I’m not getting AS down on the Bruins as some of us on here are. But I DO understand why you guys are. We are an injury riddled team, and a slump is to be expected. But to go in to San Jose without our top THREE centers and come out with a victory is just awesome. Way to go Thomas!!

    It is obvious the Bruins need a sniper. Do they start looking now and consider trading the farm for the person, or do they continue to rebuild from within?

    The names of Kovalchuk, Penner, Selanne and Horton have all come up….. mostly on here, but what will those players cost to get? Obviously a Selanne would be cheaper then the other three.

    I hope if the Bruins are struggling still, come the deadline, they do not throw caution to the wind and make a trade. Hoping it will work out for the best, and that player ends up leaving as a rental!

    Those picks the Bruins have from Toronto would look a lot better on our table come draft day, then another teams.

    Without going on and on, I just hope the Bs do not make a trade to improve a club that has no chance of winning THIS year. Especially if it costs them the Toronto picks or Colburne and/or Hamill.

    • BosBrn77 says:

      With that being said, if they could get Kovalchuk for Ryder (or Wideman), Sobotka, Marchand, the Bruins 1st this year and another later pick… that would rock.

  17. Whopperfoo says:

    From article:

    “Since the days of Neely, Bourque and Oates, when has this team ever made a move for a superstar player? Pre-lockout, this team refused to pay top dollar for elite free agents.”

    I’d say savard and chara refute that statement pretty well.

    What happens if we decide to get kovy and can pull it off, then he decides to go play in russia? I’d love to have the guy but he’s asking for to much money for the risk of him leaving town. I suggest using picks and prospects to shore up the D and get a winger of sharp/horton calibur. Oh wait, chicago is looking to dump barker and sharp?

  18. Cebbie says:

    Great win last night – glad I did stay up and watch it. Even Wideman only fell down once and shot the puck high and wide instead of only wide. I figured it would be a massacre – I would of been happy with one point – 53 points for 5’th and 47 for 11’th. If they get points in LA and start to get bodies back soon thing should start to look positive.

  19. patrick says:

    hey you all know how much i hate the pens and cindy “sweet purple mouth” crosby right. well check this shit out. i knew bettman and the league in general like to make questionable calls go the pens way all day but this is fucking outrageous. the jumbotron even showed this in their own arena for fucks sake.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Report-NHL-investigating-Fox-Sports-Pittsburgh-?urn=nhl,212986

  20. mook says:

    welcome back, everyone.

  21. Vince_M says:

    alittle elbow room please 😉

  22. willisss says:

    Timmy played one good game after a none amazing game by rask. if playoffs start tomorrow, i still want tuukka. timmy consistancy is none existant.

    was it a great win for us? of course. but can we really beall up in arms over our 1 complete fluke goal? i try to not focas of the negative aspects but whitfield on the power play? recchi still on shoot outs? these are no brainers that are still happening. i dont get it.
    ELWOPPO you need to calm down man, do you rip lines before typing? everyone wants timmy to play well, you know, being BRUINS fans? what do you expect? Boston is a fiar weather town, i’m not saying ALL bruin fans are fair weather, but there are some that float around. some peoples feelings for the bruins are as consistant as tim thomas’s goaltending. who gets THAT pissed after saying ” he finaly played well”?

  23. psands says:

    i just hope we dont trade something stupid to get kovalchuk as a rental, pc should feal a little bit of pressure but not enough to do something dumb.

  24. gibbz says:

    THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN

    bruins get:
    Kovalchuk

    Thrashers get:
    Ryder
    sobotka
    whitfeild
    bruins 2010 first rd pick

    • psands says:

      that wont get it done, and i am at a loss for words in your reasoning as to why you think the thrashers would want whitfield, or why we would even give him away.

      he is a vet guy, who plays for the p-bruins, who gets a call up to fill in once in a while, it’s not like this guy makes a ton of money, and really hurts us.

      ryder
      hamill
      bos 1st
      tamp 2nd
      marchand

      that is more realistic, but still probably would not get it done. but i would not want to give up much more for a rental.

  25. Pete says:

    I agree that we need the big player. Not only can Ilya score goals he also draws so much attention on the ice that it opens up opportunities for the other players. We have skill and would get more goals from everyone with Kovalchuk on the ice.

    But this is the Bruins team that I’ve grown up with. I was 5 when we last won the Cup and watching games with my father at the old Garden. The Bruins are a middle of the road team that should make a good showing every year but not get the prize. That’s what the management is satisfied with and has been for a long time. Why should they change now? They’re making money and raising ticket prices.

  26. jimmy50 says:

    Huge 2 points out west against the Sharks. Quit fuckin talking about Kovalchuk! When healthy we will be fine.

  27. mook says:

    DENVERPOST.COM: Adrian Dater reports talks with several sources convinces him Avalanche forward Marek Svatos is on the trade block and could be had for a decent return. Svatos is a former 30-goal scorer who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and currently isn’t playing. Dater claims he’s heard Toronto, Ottawa and possible Boston may have made inquiries but believes Avs management could hold onto him until the trade deadline in case one of their scoring forwards is sidelined by injury.

    SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holding onto him until the deadline might also improve his market value as there could be more teams seeking offensive depth by that point. One way or the other this is probably Svatos’ final season with the Avalanche.

  28. Cebbie says:

    I think one thing we can all agree on – Boychuck has been playing awsome this year – he is a keeper – I would not be surprised he beats Chara in the hardest shot this year – The slap shot he took last night from his own blueline alomost took the sharks dickwad goalie’s head off –

  29. Gcole says:

    why the fuck were satan and recchi in the shootout??? why not sturm and wheeler? wheeler has been awesome with shootouts, and recchi sucks but he keeps getting chances?!

    • Whopperfoo says:

      Claude always goes with who has been doing the best at shootouts in practices leading up to the game.

      • Gcole says:

        well i dont think recchi has scored one at all this year has he? if i remember right hes 1 for 12 in his career… not very convincing. satan would have scored if he didnt miss it on the backhand, that was a sweet move

  30. TOPICKS4LIFE says:

    The idea of Kovy leaving for the KHL and not even considering resigning with us after a rental season this year is what scares me. And if he does stay in the NHL, there’s question to whether or not he’ll want to stay in Boston. IMO, I really like the sounds of Barker and Sharp. Two minor adjustments for now that will probably patch up our holes. Try our best this year, and then really go for it with that Top 5 Toronto player, Sharp, Barker and a couple other acquisitions NEXT year. I really like the direction our development is heading in. Dont want to see it wasted. Patience is a virtue.

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