On Monday, the Los Angeles Kings put forward Ilya Kovalchuk on unconditional waivers. On Tuesday, he cleared waivers and had his contract terminated. Immediately, chatter began regarding teams with interest in the veteran and according to The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta, the Calgary Flames are among those kicking tires on Kovalchuk.
Told BOS, CGY, PIT among teams w/ interest. Kovalchuk hopes to sign this week & get back on ice ASAP, but of course no guarantees.
Note: Kovalchuk can sign during the holiday roster freeze (applies to waivers/trades/loans), but a team must have open roster spot during freeze. https://t.co/Eo8v98QYnp
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 17, 2019
Friends, while I don’t doubt that Brad Treliving has chatted with Kovalchuk’s representation to get a sense of the market, it seems like a weird (almost Jaromir Jagr level) fit.
The Flames are chock full of forwards right now, to the point where they have Alan Quine hidden away in Stockton and they’re facing the prospect of sending somebody useful down to the American Hockey League like Tobias Rieder, Mark Jankowski, Austin Czarnik or Zac Rinaldo when they get fully healthy.
Where, exactly, would Kovalchuk fit in and what problems would he solve for the Flames? He’s 36 years old and scored just three goals this season with Los Angeles. He was on the outside looking in for the Kings, and they have significantly less NHL forward depth than the Flames do. Even at at a league minimum $700,000 contract, it would be challenging for the Flames to get value out of him.