I Keep Swaying on a Kovalchuk Deal

One day I’m all for him, the next I am on the fence.  I really think it has to with a combination of things.  First, he is such an incredible talent.  But then there is the fact that he isn’t under contract beyond this year.  But then there is the fact we could sign him as a UFA.  But what if another team gets his rights?  Or acquires him and signs him?

Deep down, I think you need to make this move and offer him a deal you know he cannot refuse.  My only worry is he walks, which is everyone’s worry.

When it’s all said and done, Ilya Kovalchuk is what this team needs.  A top 5 scorer in his prime.  I’m not saying we need Kovalchuk because he is good, we just literally need him.  If this team sucked and had no potential, I wouldn’t do it, but this team has pieces in place.  We have good goaltending, good defense, and are deep at center, something most teams can’t say.

My issue is that we have Savard locked up long term, and hopefully Chara soon, and even if that top 3 pick pans out, Savard and Chara are now old, and you are now looking for an elite center and possibly even a goalie if somehow Rask isn’t what we expect.  Most teams that need help need it in many ways.  The Bruins it’s simple.  Goal scorers.  People want to say how one player doesn’t make a difference, but it does.  Marian Gaborik has scored 29 of the Rangers 135 goals, a whopping 21.4% of their total goals.  Tell me he doesn’t make a difference.  Also, when you have an elite scorer, teams play you different.  Players are also able to play their game, versus trying to do too much.  Sturm, Ryder or Wheeler, whoever is left after a trade, will no longer be option A, but option B, C and D.  Adding a guy like Kovalchuk also makes players around him better.

You also have an elite scorer who you know for a FACT has chemistry with your center in Marc Savard.  Even if it takes a Krejci to get a Kovy you know signed, you do it.  We are deep down center and have Joe Colborne and Zach Hamill coming down the pipes.  You can’t risk another team getting him or signing him, you need to be aggressive.

For all the contract talk, Atlanta is afraid to overpay and won’t go long term.  For this team, all that matters is the cap hit.  Sign him 10 year, 100 million what he wants, tack on some BS years and it’s all good.  Cap hit +/- 7.5 million, done and done.  This is also crazy marketing chance for JJ and co.  No offense, Chara is the only marketable guy on this team on a national level, and even more, offense sells.  This team may not win the Cup this year with Kovalchuk, but look at Pittsburgh.  It’s an AHL team, good goaltending, few other solid pieces and two superstars.  At some point, you need talent to win.  Next year, everyone is another year older, sophomore slumps done, a potential Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin added to your roster with Kovalchuk and BAM!

This team has had trouble scoring for years, and they have a chance to do something about it.  50 goal scorers at the age of 26 don’t grow on trees.

6 Responses to I Keep Swaying on a Kovalchuk Deal

  1. mook says:

    it’s not happening…

  2. Gcole says:

    i would trade bergeron to them before krejci. nothing against bergeron, but he is pretty injury succeptable thanks to randy jones. i really think krejci is the next savard but younger and with more potential. But either way, the ONLY WAY we should trade a core player for him is in the offseason or when we know we can sign him to more than one year!

  3. goosegoose35 says:

    I would trade ryder and sturm before bergeron. He is the heart of the team. If they had to pick Krejci over bergeron id pick bergeron…but as a last resort

  4. Haus says:

    You people totally disregard what ATL would want. Remember, they deal from a position of strength with the marquee player of the deal plus bidding of multiple teams. They would have zero interest in Bergy cuz of his injury history, bad cap number, and the potential disaster on the horizon asking to take a pay cut next contract. Sturm and Ryder are both over 30, both making over 4mil, and both are unrestricted after next year. They will most definitely want someone young, and signed. Throw in colbourne or caron and our first and ATL does it.

  5. Haus says:

    young and signed, meaning looch, krech, or rask. I would hate to lose colbourne cuz i see him as a potential all-star that can do everything on the ice, power play, penalty kill, playmaker, and score goals. And hes got size and works his ass off in the offseason and practice, a coaches dream.

  6. Andy says:

    I’ve swayed like you too, Matt. I’ve arrived at the conclusion that although I want Kovy, it could be a 3 month rental and you’ve lost those picks/prospects/players to see a guy walk. Plus, even w/ Kovy, I don’t know if this team is prepared to make a run, which means that we traded for Kovy, get bounced in the 1st/2nd rd, and then see him walk? I think we should hold onto the pieces and make him a mega-offer then. The one thing that I have read is that if he gets traded, he is going to test the FA market, so even if we got him, we’d get into multiple bidding come July 1st. Under that assumption, I would rather hold onto the pieces and outbid everyone in July.

    I can certainly see the argument for trading for him, though, because if we can sign him, that’s a huge piece for years to come. It’s just that the risk is too great to trade for him and THEN try to sign him…

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