Note: No, the Flyers are not rumored to be after Ilya Kovalchuk. This exercise is simply for fun.
Atlanta Thrashers superstar Ilya Kovalchuk is in a contract year and it doesn't appear his team will be able to resign him. It's a lot like the Jay Bouwmeester in Florida situation last season or the Marian Gaborik in Minnesota situation. Both teams really, really wanted to re-sign those players but ultimately couldn't get deals done. Bouwmeester was traded at the draft, just before Florida lost him for nothing, and Gaborik left Minnesota for nothing.
Don Waddell and the Thrashers would like to get something for the guy, one would think, and if they haven't started listening to trade offers it's safe to assume they certainly will start soon.
That's where we come in. SBN's Bird Watchers Anonymous, where they talk Thrashers hockey all day long, has asked the other members of the SBN Hockey family to play general manager of their favorite team. They're taking offers for Kovalchuk from every team in the league and they're opening it up to us.
After the jump, take a look at some more specifics on Kovalchuk, the ground rules BWA has set for negotiations, and what the Thrashers are in need of.
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Kovalchuk has obviously been an incredible player throughout his career, scoring at least 40 goals in his five of his seven seasons. While he's considered a defensive liability, his offensive capabilities are just absolutely dazzling and would be a tremendous asset to any team in the league.
He has a cap hit of $6.389 million, and as mentioned, is a free agent this upcoming July 1. According to capgeek.com, the Flyers have just $505,708 in space under the salary cap, so any move would have to have a ton of salary going back the other way.
The Flyers are seemingly always involved in some way when major trade winds start blowing, so if Kovalchuk is in fact available, you have to imagine Paul Holmgren will at least inquire. Here's your chance to be Paul Holmgren. Make an offer to BWA and Thrashers fans here at SB Nation.
The ground rules for negotiations, as laid out by the other side:
- Make offers for only Kovalchuk. That means that he's the only player coming back our way. Don't include other Thrashers players.
- It's a trade for his current contract, meaning no sign-and-trade scenarios (see: Hartnell, Scott and Timonen, Kimmo) will be accepted. Obviously, though, a team that acquires Kovalchuk has the first right to sign him before July 1.
- Also, I should add that only realistic offers should be made. Holmgren said yesterday that the Flyers aren't trading Jeff Carter, so why would you include him in your offer when you know it's never going to happen?
Getting to the Thrashers needs, now. This is what the guys at BWA relayed to us today.
GM will want a roster player and a quality prospect(s) and conditional 1st rounders if Kovalchuk re-signs with your club.
No goalies needed (team has three already).
Not looking for over 33 guys or bloated contracts.
Here are a few tools to use while crafting your offers...
- Flyers organizational depth chart - take a look at who the Flyers have at each position.
- capgeek.com's Cap Calculator - crunch the numbers and make it work.
There you are. Make your offers in the comments below. If you'd never want him here in a million years, watch this video where he calls out Sidney Crosby and change your mind. If you don't change your mind, though, make that opinion heard as well. Take a chance to be Paul Holmgren and get Ilya Kovalchuk in a Flyers uniform.