New York Islanders Linked to Ilya Kovalchuk at Trade Deadline
The closer and closer we get to the trade deadline the more links are made between the New York Islanders and whoever is available. First it was Brian Boyle, now its Ilya Kovalchuk.
According to the Fourth Period, the New York Islanders are said to rekindle previous interest in Los Angeles Kings forward Ilya Kovalchuk.
The Fourth Period’s Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta indicates that Ilya Kovalchuk is willing to waive his no-move clause to get into a contending situation.
First we were told that he Islanders were linked to New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle, and now it’s Ilya Kovalchuk. There’s a pattern emerging here.
Both Boyle and Kovalchuk are former Lou Lamoriello trade targets. Boyle was acquired by Lou as the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs while Kovalchuk was brought in from the Atlanta Thrashers when Lou was the GM of the New Jersey Devils.
Both are also up there in age. Boyle is 34-years-old while Ilya Kovalchuk is 35-years-old. Both are veterans and both are clearly as familiar with GM Lou Lamoriello as he is with them.
With 25 points in 42 games for the Kings, it’s clear that Kovalchuk isn’t having the impact the Kings thought he’d have when they brought him in as a free agent. As they look to rebuild their roster it’s clear he’s surplus to requirements.
The could left-wing Russian be a nice addition to the Islanders roster. He’s got something to give offensively and knows how to play in a more defensive-minded Lou Lamoriello managed team.
But that Kovalchuk contract is scary. Kovalchuk is on for a $6.25 million cap hit for three years. That would make the 35-year-old the largest cap hit on the Isles roster.
Pagnotta indicates that the Kings would be willing to retain some salary on the Kovalchuk deal if the deal is right. Ideally, the Islanders would like that deal to be cut in half to sit somewhere around $3.125 million per year.
(The Isles wouldn’t have to worry about the no-move clause if Kovalchuk waives it to move from the Kings.)
Again, the Kovalchuk isn’t a name like Panarin, Duchene, or Stone. But he could help the Islanders get some secondary scoring and on the power play. Two areas the Islanders need.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
Any trade depends on the cost. The same will apply to any trade for Ilya Kovalchuk (if it takes place). Reducing that huge cap hit over three seasons will cost the Islanders, hopefully, not too much.