The Thrashers are in the middle of somewhat of an overhaul and ever since the deal sending Ilya Kovalchuk out of town, there have been indicators that we could be seeing all sorts of changes to the Atlanta line-up before March 3rd. The healthy scratch posts about Slava Kozlov did give me the feeling that he'd be out of town sooner rather than later. Well, its being reported on Friday that Kozlov has asked for a trade and will waive his no-trade clause to end up with a contender.
Kozlov isn't enjoying a great season in Atlanta, having only 8 goals & 16 assists in 52 games with the Thrashers and has a horrible -16 rating. At age 37, you might get the feeling that his legs might not be helping him out much. He does have a lot of veteran experience, including a number of playoff runs with the Red Wings, including a Stanley Cup ring in 1998.
Well, Kozlov has an annual salary cap hit of $3.7 million, which is quite heft to look at, but when the roster freeze lifts, his remaining cap hit will be about $860,000. That's not a daunting number at all and there are a number of teams that could fit him into their fold, if they so chose to do so. Kozlov is also set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, so he may have picked up some interest as a rental, despite his no-trade clause.
I really wonder if the Penguins would like to take another shot at renting an aged veteran, hoping to rekindle his passion for the game. The Penguins have been thrown around the rumour mill about the Thrashers' Russians, which has some legs, because the Penguins have draft picks to throw about this year and the Thrashers must like the idea of a few more picks.
Nevertheless, I would think Kozlov would be worth a 3rd or 4th round pick only, which is pretty affordable to a contender, if they can fit a veteran player into their line-up.