Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kovalchuk Vancouver-bound?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To VancouverPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Ilya KovalchukForward262819361$6.389 million
To AtlantaPositionAgeGP/MINGoals/WinsPointsYearsPer Year
Pavol DemitraForward350001$4 million
Cory SchneiderGoaltender2378001$1.084 million
2010 1st Round Pick

Well, this one is a doozy, wouldn't you say? The Thrashers have been the focus of many rumours and speculation and this one is no different. This rumour is thanks to this tweet, which popped up on Sunday afternoon.

Ilya Kovalchuk is an impending unrestricted free agent this summer and the Thrashers have been trying to lure their 1st overall pick in 2001 back into the fold for the long-term with some contract talks. The trade speculation has been amplified because the talks are supposedly not going very well.

The Canucks are trying to find their stride in the Western Conference playoff race, sitting in 10th spot going into Sunday's action and if there was any meat to this rumour, it would suggest that the Canucks are looking to add more consistent scoring to help out their defensive play.

The Canucks, in fairness, should be looking to unload Pavol Demitra, because of his high price tag and inability to make an impact in the line-up and they have a good trading piece like Cory Schneider, who is considered to be one of the top goaltending prospects in the NHL. The first round pick is more of a piece that puts the deal over the top.

I can't see this deal going down in the slightest. The Canucks have no cap space and I don't believe they would pay that much for a rental player. The Canucks won't have the cap space in the coming seasons to deal a long-term Kovalchuk contract, so you can immediately say that this is a rental agreement.

Another point against the possibility of this deal would be that the Canucks are not built on offense or a true offense style. The Canucks are trying to pride themselves on defense and a good transition game and/or forecheck. Yes, Kovalchuk would improve the transition game, but I don't think he has the defensive responsibility that the Canucks are looking for.

1 comment:

  1. Good analysis. Just to add to what you've said, there are two problems with the rumour as laid out.

    1, Is the Canucks current cap situation. They're presently $4.0 million over the cap, due to Pavol Demitra being on the injured reserve. Once he comes back and is healthy, there will need to be some personnel moves to get him in, as the long term injury relief the Canucks are getting will be gone. Even if Demitra is traded the Canucks would still be up against the cap and unable to fit Kovalchuk in.

    2, None of the pieces offered really appeal to Atlanta. Atlanta is a team that has a good core (Enstrom, Kovalchuk, Little, Kane, Bogosian, Pavelec and Lehtonen) and should be looking to contend now. They're currently in the playoff race, as well. Schneider isn't a good fit with the three goalies they have, 2 of which are young players with more NHL experience than Schneider. Our 1st rounder will likely be a late pick so the chances of a player being able to come in to help next year are slim. Demitra is presently injured and a UFA at the end of the year.

    Good points about Kovalchuk's defensive instincts, too! :D

    (Jealous of how pretty your blog is too. Looks really nice!)