When Alexei Kovalev isn’t making millions of dollars or creating commercials or flying in his private jet, he certainly isn’t living up to his price tag at the NHL level. Granted, the Ottawa Senators have been in a downward spiral since the season began and are now putting up a fire sale making way for their prospects to get their feet wet in the NHL. Alexei Kovalev was the latest victim to Ottawa’s massive overhaul. After signing a two-year, 10 million dollar contract, Kovalev has put up 76 points in 131 games for the Senators. Compare this to a few seasons ago when he was a point-per-game player with the Montreal Canadiens and it is safe to say that Kovalev has been on a steady decline.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had their own set of issues with the rash of injuries to their top two stars, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (who is done for the season). Add in the suspensions given to their “tough-guys,” Eric Godard and Matt Cooke, and it is safe to say that Pittsburgh is in a world of hurt, at the moment. So who better to save the day than Alexei Kovalev…*sorry people, but sarcasm doesn’t go over very well in writing*
Kovalev waived his no-trade clause to move to his former team in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick, which would turn into a sixth-round draft pick given that the Pittsburgh Penguins make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs, at the very least. Not a bad price to pay for a 38-year old winger getting paid 5 million dollars, eh? – *once again, it’s sarcasm*
But let’s look on the bright side for a moment, shall we? If there was ANY team in the league that’s been starving for talented wingers, it is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Having built up one of the best cores down the middle (ie. Crosby, Malkin, Staal), the Penguin’s wingers, or lack thereof, have always been placed under scrutiny.
Earlier in the week, the Pittsburgh pulled a massive trade, which brought the likes of James Neal and Matt Niskanen to the Steel City. And just when fans were wondering when Shero would bring in some winger help for his top centers, they both go down to injury. Oh the irony!
Kovalev may have not lived up to expectations in Ottawa, but at the same time, no member of the Senators has lived up to expectations this year. Kovalev now has a clean slate to work from and will likely get placed somewhere in the top 6, if not along side Crosby when he returns from his concussion. The Penguins are making it known that they have come to the realization that wingers are a key part to any team. With the recent acquisitions, Pittsburgh is putting its foot down with intentions of going deep into the playoffs and ultimately winning it’s second Stanley Cup in three years.
…With the help of Alexei Kovalev, of course. – *you know the routine*