The Ottawa Sun dredges up more Ilya Kovalchuk trade rumours, which prompted an immediate and vehement denial from Thrashers GM Don Waddell. The Edmonton Journal chimed in, though, wondering if the Oilers would give up Shawn Horcoff, Tom Gilbert, Andrew Cogliano and a first-round pick to get him. <Link>
Seriously? I think that's a slight overpayment and a bit unrealistic. On a team with too many young skilled forwards and goaltenders, would you move your top centerman, one of your top 3 D-men, and your 2nd line centerman? For a team that already has problems winning faceoffs or finding guys who show up at the rink with intensity, losing guys like Horcoff and Cogliano all in one go would be a tremendous blow to this team. Losing a smart D-man like Gilbert would mean Staios would have to pick up some of the offense. The Oilers would have to give up some roster players, but giving up so many guys off your top pairing and lines would not be a feasible deal.
Ottawa Sun, you fail.
A more feasible deal (not that I would do this) would go along the lines of this:
ATL Cap room: 9 million
EDM Cap room: 0.5 million
Needed salary dump: 8.5
To Edmonton: LW Kovalchuk, C Reasoner, D Exelby, 3rd round pick 2009 (Tot. Salary = 7.5 + 1 + 1.5 = 10)
To Atlanta: LW Penner, C/LW Nilsson, C/LW Schremp, D Gilbert, D Smid, D Grebeshkov, G Roloson, 1st round pick 2009, 2nd round pick 2009 (Tot. Salary = 4.25 + 2 + 0.65 + 4 + 1 + 1.5 + 3.5 = 16.9 or 17)
I realise this is a huge deal, but I could see the salary being moved as being very very important considering how tight Edmonton is to the cap. 17 - 10 is still just 7 million but if you consider that Gagner will not reach his bonuses, and that Peckham, Roy, MacIntyre, Jacques, Brule, Schremp, and Sestito are not earning their full dollars, you will make up for that 1.5 million discrepancy.
Atlanta needs skilled forwards to make up for their current needs, and the loss in Kovalchuk that would occur. They also need a younger D core, something Edmonton can provide since we have guys waiting in the wings. Plus, they have some extra cap room and could use a veteran guy behind Lehtonen.
Below is the perfect deal, in my mind:
To Edmonton: Kovalchuk, Little, Lehtonen (Tot. Salary = 7.5 + 1 + 3 = 11.5)
To Atlanta: Cole, Penner, Gagner, Nilsson, Gilbert, Schremp or Brule, Pouliot, Chorney or Grebeshkov, Staios, Garon, 1st round pick 2009, 2nd round pick 2009 (Tot. Salary = 4 + 4 + 1.5 + 2 + 4 + 0.7 + 0.8 + 1.5 + 2.5 + 1.2 = 21.2)
Either way, a lot of salary has to move before such a deal could even be possibly made.
Both scenarios I proposed were unlikely, though the first one is more likely considering the salaries involved.
I predict that if such a move were to occur in bringing Kovalchuk to Edmonton, Tambellini would have to dump some salary elsewhere first in order to make it happen. Nilsson, Staios, Grebeskhov, and Roloson are the obvious bets.