First off and most importantly, the Kings beat the Rangers 2-1. Their seventh victory in a row.
Kopi scored the game's first-goal short-handed. The second-line played another solid game scoring the second. Quick was solid and came up huge in the last minute of play. And the Kings won a good close hockey game. Rich Hammond's Recap.
There were rumblings in the stands that the Kings were on the verge of acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk. The rumor was reported on an SBNation blog; I have absolutely no idea how credible the site or their sources are so I won't be posting the link here. With that said, Bob McKenzie did his best to put that rumor to sleep.
You know what I think of these rumors of the LAK on verge of getting Kovalchuk? Total BS. Some interest but fit isn't right at this point.
Will spend more time on bogus reports than actual trades. It's the silly season. Amateur hour. Like New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day. :)
Now, if Kovalchuk goes to LA everyone will say it was good scoop. Telling u, at this time, there's no merit. Take it for what it's worth.
Everyone's doing their best Eklund/Hockeybuzz impressions right now. TSN's McKenzie and Dreger are two of the best at breaking news. Until they've got something; we'll have to wait and see.
Atlanta GM Don Waddell did talk to Kovalchuk today and tell him the Thrashers are now exploring their trade options, and reiterated that to Kovalchuk's agent Jay Grossman.
It seems a bit odd that this information became so public. Waddell's way of driving up the price between bidders perhaps?
...the Thrashers want defenceman Jack Johnson as part of the package. Thus far, the Kings have rejected that notion entirely. The conventional wisdom is that the Kings could trade Johnson, centre Alexander Frolov and a prospect such as Ted Purcell (or one of their many other young prospects) for Kovalchuk and the deal would be done in the snap of the fingers.
JJ, Frolov and a prospect for Kovalchuk is a hefty price tag for a rental. If the Kings can acquire another defenseman in a separate deal; I do this in a heartbeat. It was speculated that Simmonds was the hangup but if it's JJ, I'll drive him to the airport.
...the Kings want to do this deal primarily on the back of their prospects. As long as that is the case, the fit isn't right.
...if the Kings' hockey hierarchy switches gears, or ownership in L.A. invokes pressure to make a splash and deviate from the hockey department blueprint, the Kings could easily vault to the front of the pack.
He lists Boston, Chicago, New Jersey, New York Rangers and Philadelphia as other possible destinations. I think the Kings are desperate for a star. They know that a good playoff run is what this organization needs. I see ownership pushing this deal to get done.