At long last, the Ilya Kovalchuk saga is over.
Kovalchuk was traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Niclas Bergfors, Johnny Oduya, the elbowing prospect Patrice Cormier and a first-round pick.
The deal gives the Devils an unproven playoff talent (and a rather good sniper) and finally ends Don Waddell’s attempts at signing his player in Atlanta. Waddell offered Kovy a 12-year extension worth $101 million, reportedly, but his player turned it down.
Kovalchuk is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and there’s a whole lot of speculation as to where he’ll end up. Many are suspecting that he’ll bolt to the KHL for a rather large chunk of change. There’s no word yet as to whether or not New Jersey is hoping he’ll re-sign at season’s end to a significant long-term deal or if they’re just planning on having him aboard as a rental.
How Kovalchuk will fit with New Jersey’s system is probably the biggest question mark of all. He’s not particularly known for being a defensive player, so it’ll be interesting to see how he meshes with the Devils. New Jersey is Martin Brodeur’s team, after all, and one has to wonder how the Devils will handle juggling two big name superstars.
We’ll have more analysis on this trade at a later time.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.