Kovalchuk's value is at rock bottom (relatively) right now... I believe he's a pending UFA, and it's already come out (last fall) that he won't re-sign with Atlanta.
I'm saying Both Kosty + Hamrlik + a top prospect and a pick is way to much for Kovalchuk. We'll effectively turn into Atlanta. Some okay young players, a hopeful young goalie, and a superstar. That's it. Hell, he wouldn't resign next year, he's making MINIMUM 9M if not more, and with Cammy -Gionta - Gomez you won't be affording that.
Eklund has the main teams as Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Philadelphia. And he goes as far as to say Toews from Chicago???
If that was on the table Atlanta would say thanks and here you go because your guy is all around better, younger and already signed to a cheaper contract!
Right off the top scratch Chicago off because they don't have the space and players named Kane, Toews, Keith and Hossa won't be involved.
He then says Frolov and Carter. What drop off in players from Toews to Frolov?
Carter would be a building piece in a Philly trade, but they would need to add another top tier forward or Dman to get Kovalchuk. If I am Waddell I say I want Carter, Giroux or JVR and 1st rounder.
LA, they have all the pieces in a trade but you better substitute Frolov with a name like Brown and then start adding some of those D prospects to the deal as well.
He then goes on to add the following teams; Edmonton, Boston, Toronto, the Islanders, and Montreal.
Edmonton would have to offer some good players like Hemsky and another roster player, top prospect and 1st rounder.
Boston, bye bye Lucic and maybe add Krejci too along with a 1st round pick, and Waddell should ask for Toronto's pick as they could end up with a lottery pick.
Toronto. They have nothing to offer unless they are sending Kessel and they can't as they have given up way too much to get him, and they have no 1st rounders till 2012 to give.
Montreal. We would have to offer a lot in prospects, as current roster players don't have a lot of carrying weight in trade. Pleks is good, but is a UFA himself, Cammarelli/Gionta/Gomez all have high contracts and probably carry NTC. Markov is untouchable and they don't need our goalies. We would have to try to trade the brothers and give a lot of prospects like Subban and Leblanc, maybe a 1st too.
Montreal is not, and will never be, in the Kovalchuk sweepstakes.
As a matter of fact, I don't see him getting traded at all.
Two teams that come to mind that will throw the bank at him come July 1st is Toronto, and should Phoenix get it's ownership straightened out I believe they will get in on this to try to get that superstar.
No doubt Brian Burke has July 1st circled on his calender with the hopes of landing this guy, unfortunately he has a lot of other holes to fill and outside of keeping the on-ice product exciting I think his money is better spent elsewhere (such as trying to solidify the goaltending, getting a true #1 center, more Top-6 depth). They already have a mini-Kovalchuk in Kessel.
Phoenix on the other hand, like I said if they can get their act together.. They are a good team, imagine landing a player like Kovalchuk to bolster them? They'd be great for YEARS.
Note: You guys think Kovalev was treated like a god here? - LOL
Wow, tempting to have the first "Lafleur-ish" player in Montreal since, well, the Flower himself. My first instinct was "No way!" when I saw that both K's and the Hammer would be gone; yet on second thought, Hammer's not getting any younger and the K's, well, these guys could be **** again by next month. Heck, little Baby K could be up to his whining old tricks by next week. So hmmm...Kovalchuk. No doubt this guy would be HUGE with the fans...truly the next Lafleur. We'd be like Kova-who? Saku Who? Stephane Who? Bobby Who? Mats Who? Yeah. Tempting for sure.
It doesn't make sense for us to send valuable assets away to get Kovalchuk in return knowing there's no way we can sign him to a new contract this summer because we're already close to the cap without him.