Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kovalev Shifted Back to Pittsburgh

2011 Season2011Remaining
To Pittsburgh
PositionAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Alexei KovalevForward3854141327$5 million0UFA
To Ottawa
PositionAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
2011 Conditional Draft Pick

A trade made in the logical nature... the Penguins needed some offensive depth and the Senators were selling most bodies that still had any value left in them. That being said, the often talked about (not usually for the right reasons) Alexei Kovalev has been dealt to Pittsburgh for a late round conditional draft pick (see the conditions here) on Thursday afternoon, ending much speculation as to whether or not Kovalev would finish the season as a Senators player or not.

Kovalev has been a hot and cold player in the 2011 season, mostly cold with a temperature change around the same time that the Senators starting selling off assets, giving the impression that he had to make himself look appealing to possible suitors.  More often than not, even still, he ends up with pointless games, but he has had a couple 3-point games in February, so that's definitely a start.

The Penguins, who can't seem to keep anyone healthy for this stretch run, will welcome a bit more of a veteran presence to go with some younger players that are trying to keep pace at the top of the Eastern Conference.  Obviously, the Penguins haven't been struggling as bad as you may think they would without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but a little more help will go a long ways.

Salary CapIn terms of the salary cap, the Penguins are blessed (or cursed) with a ton of Long Term Injury Reserve cap space, which is a huge help to getting a player like Kovalev under the team's roof for the remainder of the season. If it wasn't for the likes of Crosby or Malkin on the list, they wouldn't be able to afford such a big cap hit, but now they can. The math may not exactly be straight-forward, but at least the reasoning is.

ImplicationsBrian Elliot, Chris Stewart, Tomas Kaberle, Rich Peverley and now... Alex Kovalev, five players that have been moved around on Dale C.'s draft team in the past couple of weeks.  Of an active 14-player roster, we have almost seen half of his team dealt,with still a few days left until the trade deadline.  Stephen Weiss' name has been thrown around the rumour mill, as well as Tim Connolly and Mikhail Grabovski (although not as intensely), so there is a possibility that his team isn't finished moving around yet.

Dale's team currently sits 19th overall and tied for 16th in the third segment of the season.

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