The Boston Bruins have recently been linked to free agent Ilya Kovalchuk who is attempting to return to the NHL after spending the past few seasons in the KHL.
Kovalchuk last played in the NHL in 2012 and was consistently posting great numbers. But he left for the KHL after the NHL was experiencing another lockout. The Russian wished to be closer to his family so he returned home. While in the KHL Kovalchuk posted great numbers putting up 285 points in 262 games over the past five years. Kovalchuk can still compete at this level but he isn’t young anymore, the veteran is now 35 and is unlikely to get a long term deal.
Why would this make sense for the Bruins? Well a ton of GM’s are still skeptical if Kovalchuk can play like he used to and the Bruins should take advantage of that. With Kovalchuk’s age in question he might be willing to take a one year deal in order to prove himself able to play in the NHL. Alexander Radulov did the same thing a few years ago with the Canadiens. The best option for the Bruins would be to sign Kovalchuk to a one year deal, this way it doesn’t constrict them for future contracts and they can get a full season out of a quality player. Kovalchuk would slide right into that second line role and would provide another veteran presence for the younger Bruins. Kovalchuk can still play and I’m sure Krejci would welcome him on the wing.
The contract they could offer to Kovalchuk would likely be similar to the one they gave Iginla back in 2013, a one year deal with plenty of incentive bonuses. Kovalchuk certainly wants to go to a contender and with the Bruins being given the third best odds to win the cup next year it bodes well. Even a two year deal would be okay for the Bruins but anything more would be a major handcuff on future contracts for their young talent.
Even if the Bruins swing and miss on Kovalchuk there are still plenty of interesting free agents wingers out there, like Rick Nash, James van Riemsdyk and other players they can acquire through trade. I can’t wait for hockey season.
Written By Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)