The Montreal Canadiens have notified all 30 teams they will listen to offers for the right wing Alexei Kovalev. Kovalev has not lived up to his 4 year 18.5 million deal he signed in the summer of 05. Through 51 games Kovalev has 12 goals – 23 assists 35 points and a plus/minus -7. St. Louis Blues left winger is on the trading block but indications are the Blues are asking for way to much in return and it’s up in the air whether he will be dealt or not by the trade deadline. According to a report in The New York Post, the Rangers are interested in veteran winger Keith Tkachuk, whose play in St. Louis has improved under new coach Andy Murray. Tkachuk is in the final season of his contract, which also includes a no-trade clause. He is making $5.7 million this season. A portion of that salary would go against the Rangers’ cap if they choose to acquire Tkachuk. The Post also reported that the Blues would ask for specific players in return, and the rumor pool includes Marc Staal, Brandon Dubinsky, Bobby Sanguinetti, Ryan Callahan and Petr Prucha. The Rangers are speculated to having interest in Blackhawks’ Bryan Smolinski and the Predators’ Josef Vasicek.
In a surprising rumor, there is actually interest in Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher. According to a report from The Philadelphia Daily News, Hatcher has apparently been courted by one of his former teams, the Dallas Stars. When are teams going to realize players like Hatcher can not contribute in the league any more.
The Buzzontheburgh’s take
Kovalev is a surprising name to see in the trade rumor roundup this morning. With Montreal in as the 4th seed it would be shocking to see them trade Kovalev but he only has 12 goals this season and still hasn’t produced in Montreal like he did in Pittsburgh. Would Pittsburgh be remotely interested? I highly doubt it because of his salary and lack of production over the past two years. Now if I’m Ray Shero i still make a call and see what it would take. If it would involve just a draft pick and nothing to hurt the core of the team it would be tempting. As for Keith Tkachuk, don’t expect the Penguins to have any interest in the has been. Locker room issues and plus the Blues are asking for top end prospects so don’t expect the Tkachuk rumors to surface like 2001 when Craig Patrick did not the pull the trigger because of the reluctance to give up the great Milan Kraft. Derian Hatcher, i’m sure Ray Shero is all over him right now.