Russian website says Flyers and Avs in on Kovalchuk


russiakovalchuk.jpgThe circus surrounding the possibility of superstar winger Ilya Kovalchuk signing anywhere continues to get more interesting. The other night we told you about a supposed max contract offer from the Islanders for Kovalchuk worth $100 million. Today, we’ve got a report from a Russian website citing Kovalchuk’s Russian agent (yes, he has two agents, the other being Jay Grossman) saying that two more suitors have made offers for him. Tom Gulitti from Fire & Ice gives us the details.

In a report on the Russian website, Life Sports, Ilya Kovalchuk’s Russian-based agent, Yury Nikolaev, says the the Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche have also made offers to try to sign the unrestricted free agent left wing.

The report also mentions the Islanders, who made public their desire to sign Kovalchuk Friday night. Another article on the site mentioned the Devils.

If you’re one to believe reports from a Russian website with a potentially questionable source, perhaps taking the word of Avalanche beat writer for the Denver Post Adrian Dater will help clear some things up about the Avalanche’s supposed interest in Kovalchuk as he mentioned on Twitter. Dater is the one reporter who is most involved in what’s going on in Colorado and I’d like to think that he’s got the best measurement of what’s going on with the organization.

Avalanche in NOT in on Kovy. Period, end of story. Not happening!

There in NO pursuit of kovalchuk by Avalanche. The end

Avs are not in on kovy and never were.

 As for Philadelphia’s interest, that’s perhaps the more interesting team to mention since it was reported the other day that the Flyers asked left wing Simon Gagne to waive his no-trade clause. Who better to take up the salary you’d shed by dealing Gagne than Kovalchuk as he provides more offense than Gagne and has a better ability to stay healthy than Gagne. Philadelphia reporters haven’t rushed to shoot down the rumor and are, instead, understandably intrigued by the possibility. Unlike Colorado though, the Flyers aren’t swimming in salary cap space to make such a move happen.

That said, this is all some fun speculation and idle chatter as the only things we really seem to know at all about the Kovalchuk pursuit is that the Kings, Devils and Islanders are the ones openly discussing bringing him aboard. The Kings and Islanders have the cap space to make it work easiest, meanwhile the Devils have added a couple of Kovalchuk’s friends in Anton Volchenkov and Johan Hedberg but would have to get creative in how to make the money work should it come to that.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.