The way it looks right now, Ilya Kovalchuk will become the prize acquisition at this year’s trade deadline. With negotiations between Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman and Thrashers general manager Don Waddell not going in the right direction, few people around the league are optimistic an extension will get done. If they can’t reach a deal in the very near future, look for Waddell to start exploring trade options for ‘Kovy’; a deal would likely go down before the Olympic break. Here are five teams that would go after the 27-year-old Russian rental…
1. Los Angeles Kings
Southern California could be the most likely destination for Kovalchuk based on the package the Thrashers could receive in return. The Kings have a wide array of prospects from which Atlanta could choose from [sic]; defensemen Colten Teubert and Thomas Hickey would instantly be rumored [Quisp says: RUMOR-MATIC USAGE ALERT!] to go the other way. Pending UFA Alex Frolov could also be [IBID] included in a deal.
Terry Murray’s club would certainly improve by getting Kovalchuk. A potential top line (and power play unit) with ‘Kovy’, Kopitar, and Smyth would be scary. A trade like this would also send a message to the city of Los Angeles that the team is committed to winning right now. If they were to do this, I wouldn’t want to play them in the postseason.