We’ll be giving Ilya Kovalchuk his own trade rumors section from here on out, updating each day with any new rumors we find.
7:45 pm: TSN is reporting, from USA Today, that Ilya Kovalchuk has been traded to the New Jersey Devils
7:41 pm: TSN is reporting that Kovalchuk could be traded to an Eastern Conference team very soon.
3:20 pm: From TSN, Don Waddell released a statement:
“Our goal from the start of this negotiating process was to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a long-term contract,” said Waddell in the statement. “During the process, Kovy affirmed his desire to be a Thrasher for life. We’ve spent several months exploring scenarios with Kovy and his agent to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and offered many lucrative packages in an attempt to meet his financial objectives. Unfortunately, we’ve reached an impasse and at this point he has declined all of our proposals and we can’t reasonably go any higher.
“Ultimately, we offered Kovy more than $101 million over 12 years, which would have been the highest contract signed by an impending unrestricted free agent in the history of the league. If accepted, this contract would have been the second highest offer ever to any NHL player. We also met his desire to be the highest paid player based on average annual salary with a separate offer of 7 years at $10M per year ($70M). This offer is $0.5M higher per year than any other player.
“If we went beyond these offers, we would not be able to retain the young players on our roster when it came time to sign them, or invest in other top tier players needed to assemble a truly competitive team. Therefore, we are aggressively exploring all of our options as we move forward.”
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Kovalchuk could be moved by the weekend. Front runners are the Flyers, Kings and Devils. A source told ESPN the Bruins are not in it, another said they were. Canucks were interested, but are basically out as of now. The Kings seem like a logical destination, but have said the price might be too high (the Kings could turn to Ray Whitney). The Thrashers reportedly offered Kovalchuk an 8 year deal worth $80 million, two weeks ago and haven’t heard a response.
Bob McKenzie TSN via Twitter: Dudley at Lowell Devils (AHL) last night, and was at the Leafs/NJ game on Tuesday. Waddell at Devils-Kings game.
Atlanta Journal Consititution Staff: Kovalchuk has been looking for the max salary, 20% of the salary cap, or about $11.3 million a season, and in the 10-12 year range. Waddell has tried $10 million a season for 3, 5, and 7 years. According to Kovachuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, the Thrashers last offer was for 12 seasons at $101 million, an average of $8.42.
Bob McKenzie of TSN: The Thrashers would like to get this done and over with in the next few days. There are six teams that are ‘seriously’ interested, but each of those teams are in a different situation. Asking price by Waddell is a top 6 forward, top 4 defenceman and a prospect or high draft pick, a steep price for a rental. Waddell wants pieces to make the playoffs, and not have to sell the fans on ‘hope’ again. A quick look at each suitor:
- Boston: Definitely need the offense. Could offer up Dennis Wideman, who’s under contract for 2 more years. Have their own 1st round pick, won’t include the Leafs pick. Would need to include something else as well.
- Chicago: They don’t really want to disrupt thier team chemistry. The names Cam Barker, Kris Versteeg and Patrick Sharp are in almost every Blackhawks rumor.
- Los Angeles: The Thrashers want Jack Johnson. Alexander Frolov’s name will definitely be in play. Teddy Purcell or one of their young prospects would also be included.
- New Jersey: Have only been mentioned recently, and are surrounded by secrecy.
- NY Rangers: The Thrashers would like to get 1 or 2 defenseman, such as a Marc Staal. Forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan would come up in discussions.
- Philadelphia: Scott Hartnell and Matt Carle, both under contract for 2-3 years, are names that come up. Philly would also have to move some salary to make it work.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: The Ottawa Senators won’t be joining the Kovalchuk discussions. Garrioch says the Thrashers have a deal they can stomach, but would like to get more as they are still in the playoff hunt.
Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News: If the Flyers were to acquire Kovalchuk, they’d need to clear $6.5 million in cap space (note: not pro-rated, $6.5 million season cap number). Flyers players who have been in trade rumors (other deals as well) are Simon Gagne, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere. The Flyers would only have interest in Kovalchuk as a rental player.
Tim Panaccio via Twitter: Flyers say price is too high for Kovalchuk. Expected salary is too high, but wonders if he’d take less money and more years?
Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe: According to his sources, the Bruins are not among the ‘aggressive bidders’ for Kovalchuk. Boston has said they won’t include the Maple Leafs 1st round pick, but could toss in their own 1st rounder.
Chris Botta via Twitter: Was told that the Bruins made a legit pitch for Kovalchuk.
Bruce Garrioch via Twitter: Thinks the Devils are the frontrunners, but the Bruins are under heat to make a deal to improve the club.
Bob McKenzie via Twitter: The Flames are out
5:00 pm: TSN is reporting that Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell has told Ilya Kovalchuk to expect a trade in the next couple hours or days. It hasn’t been reported where he’ll end up. Nick Kypreos was saying last night during the Maple Leafs game that Waddell had an offer that would bring in 3 players. Teams that had shown interest are: Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.
10:00 am:Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: There is are contract proposals from both the Thrashers and Kovalchuk, but differ in term and years. Trade talks have heated up in the last couple days. Waddell scouted a Flyers-Isles game last week. Kings and Bruins interested. Flames and Rangers have cleared up some salary space, and might be interested.
There are were rumors that the Kings were on the verge of getting Kovalchuk, but Bob McKenzie via twitter calls them ‘BS’
Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com: The Flyers are looking to a defenseman and a forward, not a goalie. Last week Flyers GM Paul Holmgren met with Thrashers GM Don Waddell, and Waddell scouted the Flyers-Isles game (they did not talk). A Source told Panaccio, “Find one winger, one defenseman that adds up to what Kovalchuk makes and the Flyers could do this deal,”. The Flyers think Kovalchuk wants $9-9.5 million a season, a number which they couldn’t afford.
Mark Everson of the NY Post: Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell has been scouting the Kings. The New Jersey Devils are not believed to be talking to the Thrashers, and the Rangers have reportedly made some ‘low-ball’ offers.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Things are cooling down on the Kovalchuk front. The high asking price is turning teams off. Both the Blackhawks and Flyers have checked in, but don’t consider themselves front runners. The Bruins and Kings have also shown interest but haven’t had serious talks with Atlanta. Waddel wants a player (or two) that could help him now, but teams may not want to breakup their current roster. There was talk that Dion Phaneuf was offered in a package for Ilya Kovalchuk.
Globe Sports Podcast: Around the 18:30 mark of the podcast, they talk about Ilya Kovalchuk.
Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News: Rumors that the Flyers are interested in Kovalchuk appear to be false according to what team and league sources told the Daily News.
Helene Elliott of the LA Times: The Kings are the ‘prime contender’ to acquire Kovalchuk. Other teams interested could be the Canucks, Bruins, and another Eastern Conference team. More reports that he wants $10 million a year for 10 years.
Graig Woodburn of WEEI.com: The cost of acquiring Kovalchuk may be too high for the Bruins. The Thrashers are demanding the Leafs #1 pick, the Bruins are unwilling to part with it. If the Bruins can’t land Kovalchuk, they may turn to players like: Paul Kariya, Raffi Torres, Lubomir Visnovsky, Ray Whitney, or Alexei Ponikarovsky.
Darren Dreger via Twitter: The Thrashers are looking for a combination of 4 0r 5 young players, prospects and draft picks for Kovalchuk.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: As each day goes by, the more likely that Kovalchuk will be moved. From GM Waddell, ‘More time that goes by, it doesn’t bode well’
** Due to the amount of Ilya Kovalchuk trade rumors, we’ve created an archive page to save some space on our main page. Follow the link to view older Ilya Kovalchuk rumors.