Friday, December 18, 2009
If you're a Thrashers fan, I'm fairly sure that you're tired of hearing about the rumors flying about regarding trade partners for Waddell if he has to move Kovalchuk. The two most recent ones, Los Angeles and Vancouver, are absolutely preposterous, and Waddell has come out and said so. The negotiations with Gay Grossman and Kovy have not broken down (Grossman will be here tomorrow), and both Waddell and Kovalchuk have said in interviews that Feburary's Olympic freeze is now the new deadline to get the length of the contract hammered out. Yes, that's a long way off, but no one has said that there's no way that we're going to re-sign him.
The Kings and Canucks have not had scouts at our games recently, and Vancouver'd have to lose a Sedin wonder-twin to have the cap space going forward to sign Kovalchuk. The Kings currently sit in a tie with the Sharks for the best record in the West - apparently team chemistry's ok. They don't really *need* Kovalchuk to push them over that edge, nor will they probably part with Frolik or Brown for him.
Another issue with Kovalchuk going west is the style of hockey that the Western Conference is known for - Kovy plays a style that thrives on wide openness, something that Western teams don't exactly play. He's also a defensive liability (watch his play over the past few weeks for proof), and two-way players like Nash, Hossa, and Iginla are the leaders in that conference. Kovalchuk'd turn into Brad Boyes in a heartbeat.
The Thrashers were 4th from last in the entire league last season, and now they're 5th in the East, firmly in playoff contention, haven't went through a slump of Rangers or Flyers proportions, and they're the best that they've ever played. Kovalchuk has proof that the team has improved. I'm supposing that he's just waiting for a sign that they're going to be that good for a while. The issue is, if we sign him to a huge deal, will we have the money to re-sign the parts that have made us so good this season, namely Kubina and Afinogenov? What of Little and Bogosian when it becomes time to renew?
I, as usual, don't envy Don Waddell one bit.
Posted by Laura (aka Hildymac) at Friday, December 18, 2009