Bird Watchers Anonymous is hosting a faux auction for soon-to-be-ex Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk. All the partner blogs around the network are proffering their hypothetical packages and I figured it would be a fun exercise to engage in here.
Just to set things up:
Why would the Flames want him? Great natural goal-scorer, excellent PP producer. Kovalchuk is indifferent in his own end and probably can't take on other teams best players at ES, but it's hard to argue against his goal scoring abilities. Obviously his strengths would fill a couple of glaring weaknesses the club has currently. He could also be hidden on a line with Langkow and Bourque fairly easily I think.
Potential Problems? Flames don't have a lot of draft picks to offer and seeing as Kovalchuk will likely demand a salary above and beyond his actual worth, he'd likely end up as an expensive rental. In addition, it's hard to imagine Sutter putting up with his lax defensive play.
Anyways, here's the rules/asking price according to Matt Gunning:
- This offer is for Kovalchuk and his expiring contract (cap hit: $6.389M) only. No secondary Atlanta players/picks to be included in the deal.
- The Flames would also be acquiring the first right to sign him prior to July 1st.
- No sign-and-trade proposals.
- A roster player(s)
- Quality prospect(s)
- Conditional first-round pick(s) if Kovalchuk re-signs with your team
- No goaltenders (though the Markstrom Effect may carry some weight)
- No one over 33 years old, nor "bloated" contracts (the Cats have very few of either)
Easy enough. From a Flames perspective, the roster player would likely be a defender. I'll say Cory Sarich.
Quality prospect? That's an issue for the Flames. Does Kris Chucko count?
The conditional first rounder for re-signing isn't an issue since we can safely say the Flames wouldn't be bringing Kovi back.
So, would Sarich+Chucko get it done? Further, would you trade those two guys for a Kovalchuk rental? Uhhhh....
I think this excerise shows the Flames most certainly won't be in the market for Kovalchuk come March, but I'd be interested in hearing your potential offers anyways. In fact, once all the offers are in, I'll submit the "winning" one to Bird Watchers Anonymous.