Kovalchuk Officially on the Trade Block. Do the Oilers Dare Make the Same Mistake Again?

A question will arise if the Oilers have learned anything from their past mistakes. With word that Ilya Kovalchuk is now officially going to be moved from the Atlanta Thrashers, could the Oilers do what they've failed to do in so many prior attempts?

There are a few things that need to be considered as differing circumstances when throwing the Oilers name into the mix.

First, Kovalchuk will likely be a rental player for the remainder of this season, thus a trade which I'm sure Atlanta will do to maximize their return, will be with a team that has a chance to win it all. The Oilers are not that team.

Second, the Thrashers want bonafide NHL players in return, which means that the Oilers would need to move likely Dustin Penner, Sheldon Souray and a high end pick or prospect like Eberle to get it done. Obviously, the players names can change, but even the Oilers might not jump to trade such an important piece of their future puzzle. Especially when you consider the third circumstance.

Third, Kovalchuk is a UFA come the end of the summer and will earn over $100 million dollars for whatever contract from whatever team chooses to sign him. Unless the Oilers trade a huge part of their roster, they don't have the room. That is, assuming Kovalchuk even considers Edmonton a signing option, which he likely doesn't.

So with all of this staring the Oilers in the face, will it stop them from making a call? If history tell us anything, no. And I suppose if it's just a phone call, it shouldn't, as long as its nothing more than that. The Oilers at the most should ask Kovalchuk if he'd sign in Edmonton long term. If the answer is anything but a resounding yes, move on.

Don't waste your time and energy on a player that will ultimately want to sign with a winner. The Oilers are diving for five and Kovalchuk hurts their chances this year to achieve that goal. Their focus should be on moving contracts, finding the areas that need filling and then, maybe calling Kovalchuk's agent and waiving big money and the prospect of Svensson, Eberle, Taylor Hall (if they draft Hall), Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner infront of him.

Give Kovalchuk's camp less than 30 minutes and if nothing, look elsewhere.

The Dany Heatley's, Chris Prongers, Michael Nylanders, and Marian Hossa's have set the Oilers back to the point that they now sit 29th in the NHL and one loss out of 30th. If that isn't enough to slap the faces of management away from repeating their mistakes, I don't know what is.

Kovalchuk is a tremndous talent. One every NHL team would like to have. The problem is, he's a talent very few teams can afford. The Oilers fall into that category if their cap situation doesn't change.

The good news, is that the Oilers should be making space regardless of whether Kovalchuk is a target or not. If the Oilers are smart, they won't even give it thought until July 1st, when if they give any thought to it at all, should be the fastest most time sensitive thought in Oilers history.


Trade idea:

Edmonton Oilers players Sheldon Souray and Mike Comrie to Atlanta Thrashers for Ilya Kovalchuk

January 26, 2010 at 8:22 PM comment-delete

Visnovsky Nilsson Moreau and 2nd draft pick for Kovolchuk.

Ali Fayad
January 27, 2010 at 9:09 AM comment-delete

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