The analysis from THN makes sense:
Pierre LeBrun reported during a recent Hockey Night in Canada broadcast that Atlanta Thrashers superstar Ilya Kovalchuk had a good meeting last Thursday with GM Don Waddell, which will set the stage for a possible contract extension for the Russian superstar later this summer.
Kovalchuk is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2010 and has been the subject of trade rumors for months. But as LeBrun noted, the club has surrounded the skilled Russian with good young talent that will be an incentive for Kovalchuk to stay.
Waddell has insisted he won’t trade Kovalchuk even if he doesn’t re-sign him, but that won’t stop the speculation. Signing him this summer would be a promising message to the club’s shrinking fan base.
BTW, I apologize to my 3 readers for the lack of updates - it's been the end of the school year, and I've been swamped with getting my students ready for AP exams and graduation. Now they're gone, so part-AY!
Wait - it's the off season? *dammit*