Re: Trade Savard or Trade for Kovalchuk idea
posted at 1/12/2011 10:00 AM EST
roler's got a pretty smart point here that goes against the usual grain. NJ signed Kovalchuk to be a go-to scorer for 15 years, not just for a Cup run this year. Don't get me wrong; they must have thought they had the horses if they were bringing in Arnott, Tallinder, and Volchenkov, but their defense corps is abysmal as a whole, and Brodeur hasn't been Marty Brodeur since he lost the starting job at the Olympics. But they also had to look at the long term and know that most players have down years.
At the end of this year, Kovalchuk will still have 93.3% of his contract to play out. Map that onto a single season, and you're talking about judging the player based on 5 games and two periods. As Wensink points out, you're still talking about one of the purest scorers in the league even if he hasn't figured out how to work within the Devil systems or the weight of the massive expectations created by what they paid to get him. He was a point/game player last year in NJ, so he can be a top line scorer for the Devils.
And a lot can change in 15 years of NHL hockey. 15 years ago, the shoddy play of Blaine Lacher and Craig Billington forced the Bruins to send Mariusz Czerkoffski to Edmonton for Bill the retread Ranford. Davis Payne was a Bruin depth forward, not the Blues coach. Kyle McLaren was an 18 yr. old rookie. The Bruins dealt coke-headed underachiever Kevin Stevens to the Kings for Rick Tocchet. Adam Oates had 92 points, Ray Bourque 82, and President Cam had 26 goals in 49 games. This, of course, was the year of the infamous Kasper benching....
Even 10 years ago - At 25, Jason Allison looked like a rising star with 95 points, but he was being pushed by 21yr olds Samsonov (75pts) and Thornton (71 - including his career high of 37 goals; that was the player I wanted to stay in Boston for the duration). The Bruins took a flier on Paul Coffey being Ray's replacement (NOPE!), and were still hoping maybe Cam Mann, Lee Goren, Eric Manlow, Shawn Bates, Joe Hulbig, or Erik Nickulas could develop into top 6 players on a team that dropped off a cliff, talent-wise, after the three young forwards plus Guerin (29yr old Billy) and Rolston. Dafoe was among the league leaders in GAA. Razor Raycroft played a stretch while Dafoe was hurting and looked like the future - and he was, just as a trade chip for Rask.
Not one guy from the 2000-01 roster is still a Bruin. Only 7 guys from that roster are still NHLers (some are just barely hanging on) - Thornton, Samsonov, Rolston, Knuble, Boynton, Raycroft, and Gill.
In other words, with Kovalchuk's talent, he may yet be the guy who can get them ring #4. And they'll need another guy to be the guy because it won't be Marty again.