A few years ago, the New Jersey Devils found out a franchise guy in Ilya Kovalchuk would be heading back to Mother Russia. Well it is now 2017 and Kovie is making headlines with of a possible comeback to the NHL. At 34 years old, it would be interesting to see who would entertain the thought of this guy coming to their team. Trust me if they entertain that idea, they won’t be regretting it, this guy can play hockey.
Kovalchuk’s rights belong to the Devils still. But from what I read it doesn’t look like they will be keeping him, a sign-and-trade would have to be done when it’s all said and done. I think the Devils might think about keeping him to be quite honest. With Taylor Hall, the number 1 pick and Kovalchuk, this team could be back to the promiseland. Add another piece in free agency and they would be cooking with some serious gasoline
A team who I wouldn’t be shocked to see in the running would be Vegas. The Golden Knights have serious chance and adding a big name like Kovalchuk could put some serious interest in existing fans. The Knights add this guy and grab a couple promising names like Hagelin and Bonino, throw them on a line with Kovalchuk and to me that’s a serious trio. What helps them is the expansion draft, as long as they stay away from the names like Jimmy Hayes and Rick Nash(yes I went there with Nash, he’s not that good anymore), they could get some intriguing names that Kovalchuk might gravitate too. Also who doesn’t want to be the face of a Vegas franchise? He could live at the Bellagio or the MGM Grand, a life that would be sweet.
A real dark horse could be the Predators. The chance to play in a city like Nashville, which has become a new hotbed for the game is something to consider. He could be on a team with the best top 4 defensemen group in the league, that group led by PK Subban and Roman Josi. Let’s say they just fall short of the cup or during the finals. Kovalchuk then signs and they are an immediate team to become a cup favorite. Also the chance to play with a goalie like Perkka Rinne would be an idea to look over, watching him this postseason has been superb. Don’t forget coach Peter Laviolette, he’s a guy a lot of players like playing for. Nashville could swoop in and steal him for next to nothing and get him to sign a somewhat team friendly contract.
There’s a few others that could be in the running. Washington could be someone who might throw themselves at the guy. But there’s too much money going to be involved and I don’t know if they’d have enough. Another one might be Carolina, but Carolina is not as intriguing of a team as the three I mentioned. The last one who is an extreme long shot is Pittsburgh. But if they can move some money around and make some contract moves, they could be a big time landing spot.
Let me know what you think, does he go back to Jersey, or does he make his way somewhere else? Tell me what could be good on him going somewhere. Let the good times roll my friends.