December 16, 2019
Ilya Kovalchuk Leaves Kings
It was doomed from the start. Everyone, except the LA Kings apparently, knew that giving 35 year old Ilya Kovalchuk at 3 year/$18.75 million contract was a bad idea. Now the Kings know it too after the two sides agreed to terminate the contract.
Kovy was once a great goal scorer - and is a Hockey Hall of Fame candidate because of it. His NHL career ending on such a bad note does not change his consideration there.
But will resurface? The KHL will undoubtedly offer lucrative money, but those offers will remain until next season should Kovalchuk attempt to resurface elsewhere in the NHL this season. He almost certainly will end his career with Avangard Omsk
Is there a team that would take him? On the cheap, he could be an interesting gamble. It's not often you can find too many players with 436 career NHL goals available this time of year. If Kovy's willing to sign for near the league minimum in exchange for a chance for redemption and a chance to win, maybe there's a match to be found?
Problem is Kovalchuk brings little to the ice in the other facets of the game. He has never been a great two-way player and contenders are contenders because they play the right way. Contenders don't look to add a goal scorer who can't do much as else.
Still, you have to think teams like Columbus, Dallas (where they've had great success with Alex Radulov) and New York Islanders (Lou Lamoreillo and Kovy go back a long ways) have already had discussions about Kovalchuk.