The Kings need a pure scorer who could make a difference in the one-goal games they’ve recently lost and solidify their playoff ambitions.
Atlanta left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, a two-time 50-goal scorer who can become a free agent July 1, has a $6.4-million salary cap hit that would be prorated according to the number of games left in the season. The Kings have the cap space to handle that and the assets to send to Atlanta in a trade.
But there are some hitches. The Kings don’t want him as a rent-a-player and they’re likely to go ahead only if they get permission to talk to him and get assurances he would sign with them long term. Even then it could be dicey, because Kovalchuk is said to want at least $10 million a year for 10 years. In his favor is that he’s 26 and more likely to be productive late in that deal than most players who have gotten lifetime contracts.
If Kovalchuk would commit to the Kings long term and if the Kings wouldn’t have to strip their farm system, acquiring him would be a great move. He’s a game-breaker, and trading for him would send a message to the rest of the team that management is willing to spend to reach the next level.
That is, if management really intends to do that.
One slightly catty comment is a very low number and I’m more than a little concerned that Venn diagram of my demeanor and HE’s is overlapping to an alarming degree.