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Doubting Any Ilya Kovalchuk To Vegas Rumors

After signing Vadim Shipachyov, GM George McPhee went on to confirm the team was also considering KHL player Evengi Dadonov and now the SKA rumor train continues with the news of Ilya Kovalchuk’s desired return to the NHL.

What does this mean for Vegas? Well he’s a KHL teammate of Shipachyov and he’s a former NHL All-Star. The former New Jersey Devil captain scored a career total of 328 goals and had 816 points in 816 games. Very good numbers for an 11-year period. If the Golden Knights were able to attain Kovalchuk, expect a very dangerous Vegas top line. But what’s the price?

We’re told to expect significant interest in Kovalchuk, who turned 34 this month, from teams that came up a goal-scorer or two shy of competing for the Cup. -Larry Brooks, NY Post

Now obviously Kovalchuk is going to want multi years, or else he’s not coming back. That’s the whole point here – it’s his last shot at a multi-year deal. I’ve got to think despite his age that you’re looking at between $5-6.5 million per year. -Pierre Lebrun, TSN Toronto

McPhee just signed Shipachyov, a 30 year-old center, to a two-year $9M deal. It’s possible they could jump up to $5M per season for Kovalchuk, but that won’t be enough for him to play for an expansion team. From all reports, the former number one overall pick wants to contend for a Stanley Cup. Vegas may be forced to pay the veteran forward more than his bottom price. At that point, the Golden Knights might decide to move on. But wait, there’s even more to the story.

Thus, if the Golden Knights even want to consider Kovalchuk, they’ve got to go through the Devils to do it.

If I’m New Jersey, I’m asking for a decent prospect and/or a pick. I’m asking for something tangible if you’re getting Kovalchuk for two-years. I think there will be interest because teams need scoring. So I don’t necessarily think the interest is going to be a problem. -Elliot Friedman, Sportsnet

The Golden Knights aren’t in the market to trade valuable picks for a costly 34-year-old. It wouldn’t follow the McPhee’s long term strategy. Or… maybe, Vegas expects a 60-point season from Kovalchuk and move him for future first round picks. The old buy low, sell high scenario.

2017 picks, 2018 picks, gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a s**t. But the other part is significant to Vegas. Kovalchuk is not on the Expansion Draft list, so if there would be any expansion deal done as compensation for Kovalchuk, it would have to involve a third player that the Golden Knights either take or don’t take in late June.

So is Kovalchuk worth dealing for? Personally, I don’t believe so and I bet the Golden Knights will feel the same way. There are too many variables to create the perfect scenario for Kovalchuk. If he’s even willing to play in Las Vegas, it’ll probably be for a premium. Paying a 34-year-old $5M+ a two or three year deal is risky. Normally, a player in their mid-30’s scare GM’s from offering extended contracts, and this one shouldn’t be treated any different.

Expect Kovalchuk to sign with a contending East Coast team. His potential offense could help a playoff team get over the hump. Florida, Montreal, NYR, NYI, and Philadelphia are rumored to be interested. Vegas doesn’t need Kovalchuk to be successful in the early days of the franchise. Fans won’t need big names to support the team. And if they do… let’s go ask Gerard Gallant again if Jaromir Jagr is moving to Las Vegas.

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1 Comment

  1. PhiSig 150

    Ok how about Radulov then??

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