And why won’t it drop?

Pardon my pandering, but the Ilya Kovalchuk saga is speculated to be ending (at least so far as the 2009-2010 season is concerned), as soon as today, or tomorrow, or soon, or sometime…. damnit, it won’t ever end, will it?

Or maybe it just feels like that because I want Kovalchuk.

Read this, if you haven’t already:

GM Waddell tells Kovalchuk to expect a trade soon – TSN.

So Ilya is on his way out. TSN isn’t hockeybuzz, so I’m going to go ahead and take their word for there being truth to Waddell’s words to Kovalchuk.

Does this make a difference to the Kings?


Growing numbers of Kings’ fans are turning their noses up at a trade for Kovalchuk, who is all but guaranteed to be nothing but a rental (albeit as good a rental as you’ll ever find) until July 1st, mostly as they deservedly balk at the asking price that has been floating around the various rumor mongering sources. Names like Stoll, Johnson, Frolov and most blasphemously, Wayne Simmonds, have been heard by those like myself, obsessed with tracking the destinations of superstars.

The most interesting thing to note from the article, is not that Waddell said Ilya is on his way out, but rather that the article purports “There is no indication that any deal with a specific team is imminent.”

Well, if no deal is imminent, then how does Waddell know he’s getting traded soon?

Simple, because he has to.

And one positive to take from this is that the exorbitant asking price for Kovalchuk will plummet with Waddell’s assertion that Ilya is getting traded. One has to hope that Waddell is one the verge of buckling under the immense pressure to solve this hairy situation for his hockey club since he has always, up until now, claimed that holding on to Kovalchuk was still a real possibility. Well, telling a player he is getting traded makes it pretty clear that is not happening, and when some of the guess work gets taken out of a situation, so does some of the mystery and with it, leverage. The only thing standing in the way of this scenario, which works well for the Kings, who are more than likely willing to part with one roster player (not named Johnson or Simmonds) and a boatload of good prospects and picks (all of which Waddell has previously denied any interest in acquiring as his team sits precipitously 1-point out of the playoff race and isn’t interested in throwing in the white towel yet), is if the teams get into a bidding war, which could very well happen.

However, the second scenario may easily deter it, depending on how skeptical NHL GM’s are as opposed to NHL fans.

There are those conspiracy theorists who find this Kovalchuk situation to be highly suspect. One of two concerns are raised by Waddell’s denial of any team to speak with Ilya’s agent prior to a trade.

The simple explanation is that Waddell does not want the agent to have any bargaining power in terms of a trade. The two you should be worried about, are that Waddell knows something we don’t, such as a (hypothetical) recent purchase by Kovalchuk of heavy winter clothing for Ilya and his family as Russia is known to get a bit frosty while the NHL is playing games in November, or, and this one is really out there, that Kovalchuk and Waddell have some kind of secret deal in place, whereby Kovalchuk is traded for a nice chunk of change, and then resigns with Atlanta anyways in the offseason, thus making the Thrashers an even stronger competitor.

OK, that is a little nuts. Insane, even. But… possible. Not necessarily more or less possible than Kovalchuk being eaten by a pack of escaped Tigers form the Zoo, but possible nonetheless.

Most likely, Ilya Kovalchuk, being one of the greatest players in a very long time to potentially hit the open market, doesn’t really care about any of this and is strictly intent on watching the bidding war once July 1st hits. Maybe he has a team he wants to play for, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he just wants to see how high teams are willing to go for him, even if he has a destination, be it in this league or another, already picked out in his head.

Maybe he is like Frolov and is too busy playing chess and reading Russian classics and looking all goofy to even notice what all the hubbub is about.

Well, probably not that last one.

My thoughts on the situation are that Kovalchuk most likely wants to test FA, and that is when Dean Lombardi will go after him hard. I do believe Dean wants this sensational athlete on the Kings and I do believe he is willing to pay the CAP price, just not the trade price.

Kovalchuk. Kings.


Categories: L.A. Kings News


1 reply

  1. the other shoe….

    is more like a slipper


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