Bob McKenzie reports that the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Alexei Kovalev in a trade with the Ottawa Senators moments ago. The Senators will receive a conditional draft pick in the deal, as they’ll gain a seventh rounder at worst or a sixth round pick if Pittsburgh wins at least one playoff series and Kovalev appears in 50 percent of their games (also according to McKenzie).
If there’s one fan base that still has mostly rosy memories of the talented but crucially flawed right wing, it would be Penguins fans. After all, the Russian winger achieved a career-high 95 point season with the Pens during the 2000-01 season and developed great chemistry on a line with Robert Lang and Martin Straka.
Now it’s important to note that was a long time ago. The team was eventually forced to trade him in February 2003 thanks to a money-related exodus that began the club’s most recent spiral into financial crisis.
Kovalev isn’t the player he once was, but he could pay off to a degree if the Penguins play him in protected situations. That means plenty of power play minutes, no penalty kill time and lots of easy matchups. Kovalev scored 14 goals and 27 points in 54 games in 2010-11. His contract will expire this summer, so it’s a fairly low-risk rental for GM Ray Shero.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?