No it wouldn't. Kovalchuk is a far more valuable player. Just because Hossa can backcheck better does not make the value the same. The asking price for Kovalchuk is going to be insane if he isn't signed. Ilya Kovalchuk is superior in every other aspect of the game. Offense, Leadership, Skating, etc. I'm sure some team will be willing to pay Atlanta up the rear for him. You aren't going to get off with trading a boom or bust prospect + three spare parts. The return might not be astromomical, but if Atlanta trades Kovalchuk there will surely be a Berglund, Kessel, Perron, Eriksson, Okposo, Ryan type player in there somewhere. Fans on here can say that they'd never give a guy like that up for Kovalchuk, but i'm sure the GM's would be more than happy to sacrifice one good young player for one of the most dominant guys in the league.
Look at back of 07-08. Atlanta was toying with a playoff spot for the first half of the season AFTER an 0-6 start. Why? The only reason is Ilya Kovalchuk. He was the only even semi decent player aside from Enstrom. Of course he eventually tired out due to the injury and from having to carry the team on his back. Then in 08-09 Atlanta went on a tear after he was named Captain. That kind of player isn't easy to come by. Hossa is definitely not on that level. The teams trading fr Kovalchuk will have every intention of signing him. He will be a lot more than a rental player like Hossa.
Well said. Standing on his own, he's arguably the next best forward after the big 3, something many people have trouble accepting. People can say Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Getzlaf are better than him, but take Datsyuk or Zetterberg out of Detroit and their most refined and well-coached system in the league with one of the best defensive supports out there and put them in Atlanta, and they don't do nearly as well in any aspect of their game. Take Getzlaf out of the team with arguably the best offensive D core in the league and put him in Atlanta and he'll most likely falter. Yet they give Kovalchuk a pair of warm bodies on his line (and I don't think I'm exaggerating that much, I mean he did play with Thorburn and Reasoner) and he's a lock for 30+ goals any year.
The Penguins already have 2 superstars, so whats the point of adding yet another one? They have the core to build around and they need to add tough, hard working pieces around them. There is no need or want for Kovalchuk. /thread.
The teams swap top line wingers and Staal is added to make up the difference in skill level.
The Pens would have to clear additional cap room anyways to sign Kovalchuk, so Kunitz is as likely a target as anyone to be moved. Also Kunitz is signed for another 3 years and Staal is signed for 4 more which would give Atlanta some player stability.
Yeah, I didn't think you'd do this deal, either. Just sayin'.
Difference is Malkin is signed to an extension, Kovalchuk is a UFA next summer and if he's acquired at the deadline he would be a rental. Since when do rentals get more than Staal and two first rounders?