Kovalchuk trade talks heating up

Trade talks between the Thrashers and several teams involving star Ilya Kovalchuk have heated up in the last few days, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell had no comment other than to say that the franchise and Kovalchuk’s agent have not had any new talks in more than a week. Both sides currently have proposals on the table that differ in salary and length of contract.

Kovalchuk, the franchise’s all-time leader in games, points, goals and assists, becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Waddell was in Philadelphia last week scouting the Flyers and Islanders. It also has been reported recently that the Kings and Bruins are interested in obtaining Kovalchuk.

Several NHL teams, including the Flames and the Rangers, have cleared salary cap space recently.

NHL rosters freeze on Feb. 14 for the two-week Olympic break. The trade deadline is three days after the freeze on March 3.

Waddell has previously stated that he will no longer comment on negotiations with Kovalchuk.

144 comments Add your comment

Kovy

February 2nd, 2010
8:14 pm

byebyekovy

February 2nd, 2010
8:17 pm

what else is new… the thrashers suck. Period.

Brett

February 2nd, 2010
8:20 pm

He’s gone!! Accept it!

byebyekovy

February 2nd, 2010
8:21 pm

Im never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever going to a thrashers game again! I hate them now because kovy will be gone. Caps all the way! I love how they actually keep their talent like ovi, backstrom and semin. As for thrashers they let go of savard heatley hossa and now kovy. any struggling franchise can learn from the capitals especially the thrashers.

Jdub

February 2nd, 2010
8:27 pm

This played out just like the Hossa deal. The Thrash went and got Afineginov and Antropov b/c Kovy wanted them. They also overpaid for Hainsey and traded fan-favorit XLB to get some D in the fold. The Thrash don’t want to commit 10 years and 100 million. I don’t blame them. They know Kovy is the franchise. I’m sure they’ve offered lots of cash. They’ve added players he wanted. But he hasn’t played defense YET. He’s the team captain and how do you think the players feel when their “leader” doesn’t know if he’s committed to the team. I hate to say this, but trade him. Maybe we can get something in return. I mean, he’s gone. If he wanted to stay that badly, he would’ve signed by now. He knows this is a distraction and affecting the team in a negative way. Yet he still hasn’t signed. He’s as good as gone. Whether we trade him or not….he won’t re-sign. This is just like the Hossa deal. EXACTLY the same.

stendec

February 2nd, 2010
8:29 pm

That piece of shet Ilya “All For Me” Kovcalchoke cannot get the Hell out of town fast enough for me. Watching the Maryann Hossa son of a betch now. Any other player worth half a f#ck would have half a dozen goals by now! How many wide open shots does this fool misfire on every game? Damn quitter! Good riddance to bad rubbish. Go back to Siberia and rot you commie bestard! You will damn sure not be missed. ++STENDEC++

Thrasher Fan Stuck in Philly

February 2nd, 2010
8:30 pm

I love Illy….but no one man is worth $100….unless his name rhymes with Kovechkin

stw

February 2nd, 2010
8:33 pm

Look, it’s obvious that he wants out of Atlanta. Now lets see how good Waddell is in a trade. I was a president of Flames fan club in late 70’s and Atlanta has NEVER been a serious contender. Obvious there has to be some problems in front office (ownership???)

Brian

February 2nd, 2010
8:35 pm

You heard it first Kovy stays in atlanta.

ksiujgth

February 2nd, 2010
8:36 pm

HEY KOVY, TAKE LETEMIN WITH YOU

KovyRules

February 2nd, 2010
8:36 pm

I doubt any team offers Kovy $10M/10 years in July.

GaVaHokie

February 2nd, 2010
8:40 pm

Antropov has to be pissed… he got roped into this “make Kovy happy” campaign and now Kovy is bolting.

Everyone else will follow this summer.

Which is fine… This whole project was a mess. It’s time to simplify! Enough with the finesse, let’s build with some size and grit.

The “Highlight Factory” doesn’t work for hockey.

Disappointed

February 2nd, 2010
8:41 pm

If Kovy is traded the Thrashers and the NHL should leave Atlanta for good !!!

B. Thenet

February 2nd, 2010
8:41 pm

This did play out exactly like Hossa.

I have to admit, I actually gave Don Waddell enough credit to think he would not make the exact same mistakes within 2 years.

Oh well, one can only hope that the owners have the good sense to fire Waddell. Because if you thought attendance was bad this season, just wait. Ilya isn’t going to be the only person who decides not to re-sign with the Thrashers…plenty of STH will make that decision as well. I can’t blame them. I think setting your money on fire is a better option than letting Don Waddell’s Thrashers depress you for 7 months.

stendec

February 2nd, 2010
8:42 pm

Anyone interested in watching TWO genuine NHL team compete should tune in VS. Minnesota and Dallas are going at it. That semi professional team in Atlanta has retired for the evening. ++STENDEC++ Someone please wake the fraud captain up after the third period so he can figure eight his way home!

Toby

February 2nd, 2010
8:43 pm

Minnesota? Really?

rob

February 2nd, 2010
9:03 pm

kovechkin HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

JimG

February 2nd, 2010
9:03 pm

Too bad there isn’t a way to dispose of both Waddell AND this ownership group. What an incoherent mess from start to finish.

Well, at least – so long as there still is an Atlanta franchise – it will be easy to get good seats to see the professional teams when they visit.

JimG

February 2nd, 2010
9:07 pm

And look at the bright side: Donny can probably trade Kovy for more 3rd and 4th line shouldn’t-see-the-ice-in-an-NHL-game players, like he was. He firmly believes you can win with them if they play hard enough…

PaulieOldSchool

February 2nd, 2010
9:08 pm

Kovy needs to have a equipment bag large enough to hold D-Wadd when he is traded. That dork HAS to be gone after this latest debacle. Kovy might have one foot out the door, but he’s the major reason fans went to games and/or followed the Thrash at all.

Stephen

February 2nd, 2010
9:16 pm

Trade him to Boston :-) . Atlanta is no place for a hockey team, much less any sports franchise!! Atlanta fans SUCK!! NO support unless team is winning, bunch of bandwagon idiots.

jojo

February 2nd, 2010
9:23 pm

As long as Don Waddell is the GM this will always be a losing Team Waddell is nothing but a ass kisser to a bunch of Owners that could not or should not run a little league team. The NHL should demand new ownership.

rob

February 2nd, 2010
9:25 pm

Waddell won’t comment because there are no negotiations. HEY WADDELL, WHILE YOU’RE TRYING SOOOO HARD TO BUILD A HOCKEY TEAM, DO ALL THE FANS HERE A FAVOR AND GO SOMEWHERE ELSE AND DO IT!!!! What an a$$!!!! And while you’re at it take your owners with you and get outta town so we can clean up the mess you have left on the ice and play hockey.

Ms. Obvious

February 2nd, 2010
9:38 pm

I think Waddell is the one we need to get rid of. Kovy is worthless right now as a trade because we waited too long. If he stays, good for him, but to be honest , I won’t be that hurt to see him leave. Why? We can start building the team up with more depth, and less spotlight on one player. The rest of the players need to remember that they are still pro hockey players, and are still good enough to score goals. Until that happens, the Trash will never make it far. So good riddance Kovy, and all the best to you wherever you may end up.

quickwitt

February 2nd, 2010
9:43 pm

So tired of the same ol’ ol’. Waddell’s incompetence gets rewarded year after year by the incompetent owners who have no business in this business. I call them the Teasers – good enough to compete but not good enough to win. The Teasers can’t win consistently with Kovy so it hardly seems worthwhile to pay megabucks to keep him, especially with a GM and ownership that seems incapable of adding the necessary pieces to be a consistent winner. I’ve enjoyed their style of play but winning is what matters and the Teasers simply can’t get it done enough. ATL fans won’t accept a loser and unfortunately a 24 – 31 record won’t cut it, with our without Kovy.

Michael B. Shapiro

February 2nd, 2010
9:43 pm

Maybe these trade talks explain why the Kapitan absolutely DIALED IT IN tonight. I thought he was playing for Vancouver since his head certainly wasn’t on the ice at the Bulb against the Bolts.

Robby

February 2nd, 2010
9:48 pm

Until Waddell is gone, it won’t matter what trades they are made and who they sign. It all starts at the top.

Mary Ann Hossa

February 2nd, 2010
9:48 pm

Thre rest of the team needs to practice shooting the puck. They can’t shoot a puck in Lake Lanier. They are god awful…garbage players.

Jay

February 2nd, 2010
9:49 pm

I don’t blame Waddell for this. Ownership held up negotiations to begin with, then Kovalchuk wants a contract that is impossible for this franchise(or any really) to give him. He has stated that he wants to stay in Atlanta, but then does almost nothing to help make it happen. He wants to be paid the most AND play for a winner. That’s impossible. No team that has hopes of competing can tie up 20% of their cap to one player, and especially one that is not a complete package. I hate to see him leave, but if this franchise hopes to be a contender within the next few years, it is better off not being hamstrung by Kovalchuk’s contract. Nashville, Minnesota, Montreal, and LA are all in playoff contention without one “superstar” player. It can be done.

B. Thenet

February 2nd, 2010
9:50 pm

Yeah, those Boston fans really pack the stands when the Bruins suck….or when the Sox Suck….or when the Pats Suck….or when the Celtics suck.

Boston IS the biggest frontrunner town in the US.

steve

February 2nd, 2010
9:50 pm

Hey byebyekovy.
At least get your facts straight.
Waddell did not let Heatley go. Heatley asked to be traded and he got Hossa in return.
I’m sick of the “thrasher” fans bitching about Waddell letting Heatley go.

stendec

February 2nd, 2010
9:53 pm

See El Kapitan Ilya “No Goals-No Assists” Kovalchoke broke his stick following yet another giveup home gag job at Loseland. I would have been glad to have broken the stick. Over his uncaring head! Ship this cancer as soon as possible. Good riddance to bad rubbish! This fraud figure eight skating quitter is nothing but an overrated piece of commode residue. Captains lead by example? Teams take on attributes of their captains? Must be true. The Atlanta hockey club is dropping in the standings quicker than an iron ball in the Atlantic Ocean! I hate the Siberian slacker with a passion. Overpaid bum quit on team long ago. Only those who have vision obscured by rose (blue) colored glasses cannot see this obvious fact. This is a completely heartless team. Exactly like el kapitan! No fire. No desire. No guts. No pride. No concern for the lone remaining fan. Anyone who shelled out even counterfeit money to watch this nauseating giveup job were cheated! Somebody tell the captain to cheer up. The Olympics are not too far off. They are all this quitter cares about anyway. May they all shake hands with Lucifer soon. Except Mr Johan Moose Hedberg. The only professional hockey player in Atlanta with a heart that cares! ++STENDEC++ Ten million bucks? RIGHT!

Brendan

February 2nd, 2010
9:54 pm

What’s more important? Cast your vote.

Type 1 for Kovalchuk re-signed, at ANY cost or
Type 2 for Waddell must be fired.

2 !!!

Follow up poll, “Will you renew your season tickets if Waddell is still here in the Fall?”

Yes or No?

Second follow up, “Will you renew your season tickets if Kovalchuk is NOT here?”

Yes or No?

Mary Ann Hossa

February 2nd, 2010
9:57 pm

A couple of observations: let’s get kid of that stupid logo and let’s bring back Bob Hartley

ThrashDawg

February 2nd, 2010
9:57 pm

I am with you Steve! I guess you have to have somebody to blame, so you blame Waddell. If Kovy don’t want to be here or if he wants too much money then how is that anybodys fault? We have not won with Kovy and we can lose without him and his high price tag. Get somebody in here that wants to be a team player and the sooner the better.

Missing Spirit

February 2nd, 2010
9:58 pm

Too bad again. The sprit losers are not present and not stepping up. Where are these losers? Should we expect anything different? This is a joke. WE NEED NEW OWNERSHIP. I will never go to a game again until this happens. Support this and boycott. This is the only next step, If this is not done we will lose the franchise. Kovy was awesome and will be missed. I will give him some ownership and build around him.

Kovyoverrated

February 2nd, 2010
10:00 pm

HA, HA! Good riddance Kovalsuck! Take your Russian Robot Andropov with you! How about a little hustle big fella?!? Kane rules!!!

ThrashDawg

February 2nd, 2010
10:03 pm

Brendan I usually enjoy your novels that you post, but you are off base on this one. What basis does your poll have? Let’s poll you; if you were DW and the ASG would allow you to pay Kovy any amount of money. Would you sign Kovy to a 10 year 10+ million dollar deal? If DW signed Kovy to a deal like that would you then be a big DW fan?

ThrashDawg

February 2nd, 2010
10:08 pm

Oh, and one more thing. If we get rid of Kovy and get some players in here that want to play the game the way it should be played, I would sign up for season tickets next year!

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution [...]

stendec

February 2nd, 2010
10:20 pm

Hi LAC. Thanks. I really do not understand those apologists who want to KEEP this slacker! We can bring in someone who can miss wide open nets, avoid physical play like the plague, make blind passes to no one in particular, lose puck possession after being sneezed on, choke on breakaway opportunities, break defenseless sticks after another pointless debacle and skate figure eights while awaiting breakout passes for a whole lot less than $10 million or so per season! Atlanta Flames in their prime would DESTROY these heartless creampuff p#ssies. Have a nice evening. ++STENDEC++

B. Thenet

February 2nd, 2010
10:21 pm

ThrashDawg, I agree with you on the last part.

But after a decade, I just do not think Don Waddell is capable of identifying those kinds of players.

stendec

February 2nd, 2010
10:21 pm

I really do not understand those apologists who want to KEEP this slacker! We can bring in someone who can miss wide open nets, avoid physical play like the plague, make blind passes to no one in particular, lose puck possession after being sneezed on, choke on breakaway opportunities, break defenseless sticks after another pointless debacle and skate figure eights while awaiting breakout passes for a whole lot less than $10 million or so per season! Atlanta Flames in their prime would DESTROY these heartless creampuff quitters. ++STENDEC++ Build team around Johan Moose Hedberg! May not have many seasons left. At least he cares!

Brendan

February 2nd, 2010
10:22 pm

So, there’s John Anderson in the post-game presser saying, “Ilya’s jumpin’ all over practice. He’s workin’ hard. The trade talks have to bother him a bit. But, he’s a professional. He is working hard for the Atlanta Thrashers.”

Okay, on some level … he pretty much has to say things like that, while there are negotiations underway for either trades or a contract. But c’mon. Anderson should just say, “We can’t lose games to teams beneath us at home. I’m disappointed, but there’s another game to play at the end of the week. We gotta get ready for that. We can’t undue tonight’s game. We’re moving on from here.”

Earlier, Darren Eliot actually said, “Could this be the ‘final image’ of Ilya Kovalchuk on SportsSouth wearing a Thrashers uniform?” Wow. If Darren is saying things like that … you know the situation is bad.

I cannot accept any testimony that says Waddell is blameless in this Kovy situation. As the GM, it’s HIS JOB to have his finger on the pulse of the team. Well, obviously, he flunked out of med school, since he cannot read even a pulse accurately. Waddell, charged with “oversight” of the franchise, MUST TELL OWNERSHIP what the score is. He does! He HAS TO! He cannot simply sit there … tongue-tied … and let these things happen, backing into the pay window. Don Waddell has got to say things like, “Kovy has until July 14, 2009 to ink this deal or we trade him.” The owners don’t get it. They don’t. They don’t understand the dynamics of hockey. They think they can throw money at a problem and fix it. It didn’t work to get Brian Campbell. It didn’t work with Hossa, who wouldn’t even counter-offer. It won’t work to land Kovalchuk. And I don’t believe, for ONE SPLIT SECOND … that Grossman has a contract offer on the table … that ALLLLL Atlanta has to do is sign … to complete. If that were the case, they’d DO IT!

Read my lips. NO … FREKKIN … WAY. Pants on fire. I call Bullspit on that. Even if the Thrashers offered 15 years at $11.3 each, Kovy’s not signing it. If he does, he HAS to honor that deal. There is no counter-offer. If there were a counter-offer, Atlanta would sign it. The ‘counter-offer,’ if there is ANYTHING AT ALLLLL … is a list of players Atlanta must sign before Kovalchuk will sign. And well, Don Waddell has until March 3, 2010, to get alllllll those players HERE, in Atlanta. Not … GONNNA … HAPPEN.

Atlanta Spirit, LLC … you guys have no business running this hockey team. You don’t. You won’t hire a competent GM. You won’t install better scouts. You won’t operate with a better business model, that would help you in the core areas of “player retention” and “player development.” You’re in over your heads. And the proof is … Don Waddell hoodwinks you each and every year. Oh, he smiles and nods at all your ideas, because he’s your lackey. He likes having a job. At some point, you have to ask yourselves … do you want a GOOD GM to get you results … or do you want a ‘Yes Man’ to agree with your every idea, while telling you he can get you into the playoffs on a league minimum payroll? So far, the AS, LLC answer is … “We want a ‘Yes Man,’ who’ll obfuscate about playoffs on a league minimum payroll.” Don’t wonder why you are … WHERE you are, Thrasher owners. Look into the mirror. You’re the one who pays Wadell in REAL dollars, not monopoly money. For what Waddell does for you … you do manage with a simple accountant, with Internet access to NHL.com stats and NHLnumbers.com for salaries. Every accountant knows how to make a spreadsheet, guys. But an accountant does NOT a GM make.

EA

February 2nd, 2010
10:26 pm

Kovalchuk left this team weeks ago. It is time to move on. We may end up a better team with the trade.

stendec

February 2nd, 2010
10:26 pm

Anyone not on medication think Ilya Kovalchoke worth $10 million per season? Goals? Assists? Nice figure eights? Ah hah! Thought so. ++STENDEC++

FlamesFan

February 2nd, 2010
10:37 pm

Even the “Kovy’s Korner” sign was removed from Philips.
Kovy had me fooled; for a while I thought he would actually sign, but it is now obvious that he never had any intention of signing. No, he is not worth it, but the fact that he refuses to sign, the very reason that Hossa did not sign, is because this franchise is a disaster. ASG/DW have created this mess. If we lose our team, it will because of them. The fans used to come; but after years of ineptness, fans are tired of throwing away their cash.

Brendan

February 2nd, 2010
10:40 pm

Thrashdawg, nothing could make me a Waddell fan. The franchise is where it is because of his oversight. If it were better-run, a lot of the players it needed to retain might still be here, and Kovy ‘could’ be retained at a reasonable wage, instead of the runaway salary he could ask for, at this point. He’s looking out for his interests, not those of the Thrashers. And really, the franchise has let Kovy down. Yes, Kovalchuk hasn’t made any committed efforts, defensively, either.

Jeff Schultz says, “we cannot talk about worth.” He says, “Value is what the market will bear, irrespective of worth.” Now, he might be right about that. I don’t really want delve into an economics discussion/theory. But if this franchise had committed more money towards opening night payrolls and accountability, maybe he it wouldn’t have to pay out so much for star players. And be at the mercy of “open market value.”

David C

February 2nd, 2010
10:49 pm

Can’t the ajc block i.p addresses that post at the beginning? I’m so sick of these losers

R. Stroz

February 2nd, 2010
10:51 pm

The franchise is where it is because of his oversight.

Brendan – I must disagree with you. The franchise is where it is because of his undersight, since Waddell views everything from a minor league mentality.