Update II: Kovalchuk told he will be traded

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell has told star player Ilya Kovalchuk that he will be traded. Waddell did so after practice today. His agent was then informed of the pending move. No timetable was given for a move.

I talked to Ilya Kovalchuk and several players on whether his contract situation – and trade talk – are becoming a distraction. Everyone said it was not, for various reasons.

Here are Kovalchuk’s comments before being notified that he was to be traded:

“I’m the player and my job is to go on the ice and play hard. We are all professionals. I’ve worked here for eight years and hopefully I will stay but you know it’s a business and you never know what’s going to happen.”

Kovalchuk said at one point this season he address members of the team. “I talked to some guys. You don’t want to be a distraction. We are in a playoff race and we are only one point from the playoffs.”

When asked if he wanted the whole situation to be over, Kovalchuk said: “Whatever it takes. That’s why we have agents. They talk to management. Hopefully, we are going to figure something out.”

One correction from yesterday’s story on Kovalchuk trade talks heating up. I’ve heard from an NHL official that the league will freeze rosters on Feb. 12 at 3 p.m.  for the Olympic break. It will be lifted at 11:59 on Feb. 28. That is nine days away. Thrashers are in Minnesota that day before being in Chicago the next for their final game before the break.

No line combinations in practice today. They are working on special teams.

First power-play unit: Kovalchuk, Enstrom, Kozlov, White, Little

Second power-play unit: Kubina/Hainsey, Bogosian, Afinogenov, Peverley, Armstrong

First penalty kill unit: Thorburn, Reasoner, Popovic, Valabik

Second penalty kill unit: Slater, Kane, Popovic, Salmela

I’m sure these are subject to change, but these are units as they are practicing.

Nik Antropov did not skate.

I asked coach John Anderson if he was suffering lingering effects from the lower-body injury that cost him some games earlier this season. “It’s just a nagging thing,” Anderson said. “He can play with it to a certain point. It’s day-to-day. If he needs time off, he gets time off.”

Finally, Anderson said Slava Kozlov is “very close” to returning to the lineup after being scratched the past five games. I asked if that meant he will play Friday at Washington and Anderson said “probably.” I take that to mean he will be back.

83 comments Add your comment

J.B.

February 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

i don’t care if he is a pending UFA, star player, zillionaire, with a foot out the door of the ice forum. I hope JA is skating Kovy hard today and chewing his @$$ out for the way he played last night.

sisu

February 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

Any news on the team trading Lehtonen for sure?

Thrasher_Ed

February 3rd, 2010
11:55 am

Chris, we simply need to know why Waddell won’t allow teams to negotiate with Kovy so the Thrashers can get the best trade possible? Is he delusional in thinking Kovy will sign with Atlanta this summer? Ask him the tough questions?

Kovyoverrated

February 3rd, 2010
12:39 pm

Antropov not skating today? No big news. He did’nt skate last night, or Saturday night, or last Thursday…………….

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
1:16 pm

Thrasher_Ed has a great point. Unfortunately, even while entertaining trade offers for Koastalchuk, DWad can’t bring himself to grips with the idea of not signing Kovy to an extension. He may not be able to bring himself to do the deed. At least with Hossa, you got the sense he told the ASG behind closed doors to take a hike and keep their money.

Note to Donnie Dub: HE’S NOT GOING TO RE-SIGN. YOU’VE KNOWN THAT FOR AT LEAST A MONTH HAVEN’T YOU? WHY WON’T YOU LET OTHER GM’S TALK TO GROSSMAN? BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT JACK-LEG WON’T LET KOVY SIGN A NEW DEAL UNTIL HE’S TESTED THE FREE AGENCY WATERS, RIGHT? WELL LET SOME OTHER DUMBASS GM WITH DELUSIONS FIND THAT OUT ON HIS OWN!!

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
1:34 pm

You’re missing my point I think. If other GM’s want a chance to talk to Grossman, why not give it to them? You’ve already lost control of the situation and there is nothing left to lose now. You need to maximize value so if you allow GM’s a chance to talk to Grossman, then perhaps you’ll get one more asset in the Kovy deal. What is there to lose at this point? Grossman isn’t doing anyone favors but himself and Kovy.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
1:36 pm

Maybe because Kovy has no intentions of signing a long-term deal with ANYONE, which for sure drops the value of any trade. Might as well give false hope to everyone… that’s the one favor Grossman and Kovy can do for us before he leaves for Russia.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
1:39 pm

… too many things can go wrong if you open up negotiations… what happens when Grossman tells every team in the league “the price is the same, $11 million”?

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
1:40 pm

“Antropov not skating today? No big news. He did’nt skate last night, or Saturday night, or last Thursday…………….”

Bwaha, I don’t think it’s entirely true, but I laughed.

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
1:40 pm

That’s a valid point, but every time trade talks break down, the media person cites Waddell’s reluctance to let them talk to Grossman. DWad can certainly play the waiting game, keep the other GM’s in the dark and see who gets desperate enough to take the plunge. But it didn’t work all that well with Hossa so I don’t see how this will turn out much better. Perhaps if some of these other GM’s laugh in Grossman’s face, he’ll come off this fantasy number. Looking at the salary cap numbers, there are only 10 teams or so that could afford Kovy at over $8M / year. Most of them are budget teams like Minny & Nashville. Kovy’s agen is an idiot if he thinks Kovy will get more than Ovechkin from anyone. Simple economics. We’re in a recession, not a speculation boon when the likes of Drury, Gomez and Briere were fleecing GM’s left and right. That is OVER.

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
1:51 pm

Hokie – you’re prolly already keepin’ up with Wysh’s chat fest, but here’s what they’re saying. He’s making my point. Kovy WILL NOT GET ANYWHERE CLOSE TO MAX THIS SUMMER. Unless it’s KHL. And that league will fold in less than 5 years probably.

1:16 Wyshynski: Here’s the thing with Kovalchuk and next summer: I’m not sure he can choose where he wants to go.

1:16 Spector: For me goaltending rumors about the Blackhawks make more sense than the Kovalchuk to Chicago rumors.

1:16 Wyshynski: If this is about the money, well who can offer $11 million per season?

1:16 Spector: The market this summer is very limited.

1:16 ScottyWazz: Kings

1:16 Spector: The Thrashers could.

1:17 Wyshynski: And if it isn’t, then it’s clearly a case where all the happy horse-bleep about Atlanta may have been a ploy.

1:17 Spector: I wrote about this back in late December.

Toby

February 3rd, 2010
1:59 pm

Or maybe Dub doesn’t trust Gro$$man not to do a handshake deal with LA and they turn around and don’t do any trade with us.

thrasherhell

February 3rd, 2010
2:03 pm

DW is playing whatever cards he has left maybe just to piss off grossman. Either way it frees up money to get someone this year or in July. It also lets them keep the people who Want to be here. Let Dudley take over and rebuild.

Chris Vivlamore

February 3rd, 2010
2:14 pm

Thrasher Ed, Smoothie: It’s not that simple. Two things. From Kovy’s point, if you let him try to work out a deal and they can’t agree who looks bad? Kovy. Why not wait until free agency when you can do it all behind closed doors and get the best possible deal from a much bigger pool of bidders. From Thrashers’ point, it’s down to crunch time and you are seeking the best deal, why limit to one suitor?

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
2:25 pm

Smoothie… I thought the same thing… let Grossman and Kovy see that no one is willing to offer him max money. However, Toby brings up my point of too many things can go wrong like a gentleman’s agreement between Grossman and Lombardi to do a deal this summer.

KLS1

February 3rd, 2010
2:50 pm

They will be bundling a goale as well so the asking price should be pretty high. I hate to wait to long, the Dion Phaneuf deal is already gone…whats next.

J.B.

February 3rd, 2010
2:52 pm

wow. after everything that has been flying around since yesterday afternoon, kovy has the stones to feed Chris the same ol’ lines…

“hopefully I will stay but you know it’s a business and you never know what’s going to happen”

“Hopefully, we are going to figure something out.”

just wow.

Bob

February 3rd, 2010
3:03 pm

Yep, Kovy has been giving that same “you know it’s a business and you never know what’s going to happen” all year . . . he never wanted to re-sign here to begin with, he just played it cool so he didn’t get booed all year, what a puss

DWTOO

February 3rd, 2010
3:03 pm

Too late – already a distraction.

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
3:03 pm

Chris,

Did you ask him about the rumors that he has already turned down over 10 mil per season? I am curious to know if this is true, and if he indeed states it is, why not take him to task on this “wanting to stay” nonsense that he keeps spewing.

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
3:10 pm

Indeed Hokie and hell, there is always a chance that Grossman would do something underhanded like a gentleman’s agreement and then lose out on a trade. But then the onus is on Waddell to have another offer lined up at the same time right? He doesn’t need to publicize who he’s letting Grossman talk to. And wouldn’t Grossman run the risk of getting the cold shoulder from other GMs after screwing over one GM? Then again, the payoff for Grossman on this deal is so lucrative that he could probably retire on the 10 percent commission!

sisu

February 3rd, 2010
3:30 pm

Well, if nothing else it gives the fans something to talk about. Anyone else notice they have removed the Kovy’s Krew sign now for two games? Also, they were blasting the 680 feed outside and inside of the arena last night repeating that Kovy will be traded…one has to wonder?

jackman

February 3rd, 2010
3:36 pm

TSN is reporting that Waddell told Kovy he will be traded in next few hours or days…
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=308800

Great. I hope the Thrashers will do well in Hamilton.

j nes

February 3rd, 2010
3:47 pm

I love how they say it does not distract them from doing their jobs–I can’t even do my job with this looming overhead.

The Real Thrash

February 3rd, 2010
3:50 pm

Anyone who thinks this is going to come out to our advantage is fooling themselves. We have no leverage with any team we attempt a trade with. What’s the over/under on when the team leaves town?

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
3:53 pm

Saw McKenzie’s tweet…. I love the work you do Chris, but why is it that TSN is out-scooping you here? Shouldn’t the local media have this scoop first? When I read the Milwaukee paper (Originally from) they always out scoop the national media when it comes to there local teams. Get some better sources! ;)

The Real Thrash

February 3rd, 2010
3:53 pm

If you believe Kovy was never going to sign why doesn’t Dwad offer the max contract and call his bluff? Or better yet a sign and trade? This is ALL on Waddell!

kracker

February 3rd, 2010
3:55 pm

If Kovy is gone by the Caps game…there’s your spot for Kozlov, maybe. Depending on who comes here in the trade.

This has probably been posted …twitter…DarrenDreger Following up on the RDS story. Don Waddell met with Kovalchuk today to tell him he should expect a trade. 5 or more teams still in.

rob

February 3rd, 2010
3:56 pm

Why would you hold Kovy to task now? Took 2 weeks just for the team reporter to right there are trade rumors afloat, even though the blogs already said it. Why ask questions that bring the whole truth about what is going on with the Trashers into the open? Why ask JA why the 1st line power play has Kovy, White, Little, and Slava on it? All have SERIOUSLY underperformed this year and yet……there they are. No consequences for NOT PLAYING HOCKEY HERE!!! NO CONSEQUENCES FOR NOT COACHING A HOCKEY TEAM HERE!!! NO CONSEQUENCES FOR BEING A BAD HOCKEY GM HERE!!! NO CONSEQUENCES FOR PISS POOR HOCKEY OWNERSHIP HERE!!! NO CONSEQUENCES FOR NOT ASKING ABOVE ANY TOUGH QUESTIONS AND HELPING HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE TO THE VERY PEOPLE WHO READ THE BLOGS AND ARTICLES!!!

ONLY CONSEQUENCES HERE ARE THAT THE HARD WORKING FANS HAVE ALL OF THE ABOVE TAKE THEIR MONEY AND DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO SAY THANKS!!!

rob

February 3rd, 2010
3:57 pm

right shoulda been WRITE LOL my bad

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
3:59 pm

If I were Waddell, I’d trade Kovy to one of two types of destinations:

1) A place his wife would hate, no shopping, crappy weather.

2) A media hockey hell hole, such as Philly or any Canadian team.

After a few months in one of those places, Kovy’s appreciation for Atlanta might grow brighter by July and we’d have something to show for renting him out.

GAY4SLAVA

February 3rd, 2010
4:02 pm

I cannot wait for THE SLAVA to return to his rightful place in the Thrashers lineup once our “Secretary of NO Defense” is out the door.

Go Pound Ice in Siberia, Kovalchuk!

The Real Thrash

February 3rd, 2010
4:06 pm

I thought this was a blog for Thrasher FANS?

Midfield

February 3rd, 2010
4:10 pm

I have to grant Waddell one thing – it’s his ability to deflect. Now the crowd turned on Kovy – the only guy who was worth watching play ever since Hossa decided to bolt. Defer and deflect, baby. That’s your winning formula, Atlanta franchises.

Lew 39

February 3rd, 2010
4:13 pm

Lew 39

February 3rd, 2010
1:24 pm
As much as I am bummed (as a season ticket holder) over “being in this situation again”, the basic fact remains; we aren’t “winning” as much as we need to with Kovy; so one would believe we can lose (a lot more) without him. Not making the playoffs by one point or 20 points is not making the playoffs.

There is a fundamental weakness with this organization and the weakness has been present for the past six years. The organization has been unable to mature, it has been unable to develop a winning chemistry and the reasons for this are stated in all of the comments on this BLOG. Maybe it’s a lack of commitment on the part of ownership and management. Maybe its the inability of professional athletes to want to give 60 minutes of themselves or knowing they start games flat, be able or want to change that.

If Kovy wanted to sign he would (I personally do not beleive it is only a money issue); no one knows what is really going on behind the scenes. This franchise needs change, because for eight years we have changed players and coaches and the results for the most part have remained the same; we are a .500 club.

DShark

February 3rd, 2010
4:15 pm

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
4:15 pm

Midfield – FIRE WADDELL!

That’s always makes me feel better.

Bob

February 3rd, 2010
4:31 pm

Midfield, we’re just mad at Kovy today because he’s almost free and gone, good God almight, Free At Last! And we’re stuck behind with Waddell. Don’t you fret, when the dust settles, we’ll take aim at him (actually, we’ll start in on him again as soon as we see the pittance that trades him for, when he could’ve maxed value before the season and built us a competitive club for this year)

sisu

February 3rd, 2010
4:35 pm

This is crazy, I guess it is one way to get the fans ready…Blue Jackets made a coaching change

SimpleDawg

February 3rd, 2010
4:44 pm

Try to get a worthy return for him……

Please don’t just have a talent dump like the Braves often do.

Gravy Train

February 3rd, 2010
4:48 pm

Good! Let the whole team go to Canada where they belong. How many full arenas for games. None. Take a clue from the Hawks, Braves and Falcons: This is a big three town in the South.

CobbThrasher

February 3rd, 2010
4:50 pm

Congrats for killing hockey in Atlanta Don!!! I was a kid when the Flames broke my heart and Don is now in the process of doing the same to my son. I doubt my grandson will have the opportuity.

Best of luck Kovy! It was a pleasure watching you and your a class hockey player. I’ll always root for you, especially with no stars left to root for here.

mike

February 3rd, 2010
4:50 pm

i don’t think kovy looking for max. money when he sign this summer. it’s going to be winning organization (unlike thrashers) on his choise with fair stanly cup shot every year. so reasonable money and no stupid waddell an asg anymore. 11 mil. demand only for atlanta because it’s like suberia exile. remember jagr got 12 mil. to play in suberia sity omsk.

Raider Fan

February 3rd, 2010
4:50 pm

Pete Yorn’s Lose You seems to be a great song choice right now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wabdSbowXQ

Jim

February 3rd, 2010
4:51 pm

Stop trading our best players!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
4:53 pm

F you, Gravy Train… go back to the hillbilly forum and discuss national signing day… the city of Atlanta is far from “southern,” what with all the transplants here from the north. Hockey would fair far better than the Hawks, and possibly the Braves if you put a winner on the ice.

Supes

February 3rd, 2010
4:55 pm

The Thrashers are now officially dead to me.

This organization has ZERO commitment to winning and putting a competitive product that the FANS want to see on the ice. All they care about is “scraping by” and getting through another NHL season.

I will NEVER give the Thrashers another dollar for anything as long as they are in town, no going to games, no merchandise, etc.

Why support a team that basically gives the FANS the middle finger by trading the captain, a top 5 offensive player in the NHL.

Sherry Taylor

February 3rd, 2010
4:56 pm

Kovalchuk hasn’t played the way he’s supposed to play since well before the holidays, and it has been a distraction, if for no one else, it’s been a distraction for the fans. Every game we’ve sat in the stands and watched as he played less and less like he cared, and that certainly distracted everyone around our seats. I have to wonder if he didn’t really expect Waddell to trade him, did the GM call his bluff? I don’t know, it’s impossible to know what goes on inside the organization, but if they expect us to believe the line they’ve given us over and over that this hasn’t been a distraction then they think we’re all really stupid. There was a time I wanted Kovy to stay, but everyone will be better off if he leaves. Too much dirty water under the bridge to repair the relationship he had with the community of fans.

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
4:57 pm

Interesting how all the chicken littles come out of the woodwork now that a trade of Koastalchuk is “imminent” crying out that this is the end of hockey in Atlanta!! Are you kidding me? How do you figure Bettman sees the Phoenix more important than Atlanta or important enough to basically buy and run their organization until a suitable local owner can be found? Otherwise they’d be shipping desks, chairs and sticks to Hamilton, ON. That WILL NOT happen here anytime soon. The only way we lose the team is through contraction, which could end up happening in the next 5 – 10 years, in my humble opinion.

Tim Tebow's Tears

February 3rd, 2010
4:59 pm

Can we trade Waddell instead? Biggest joke in hockey