Should The Bruins Pursue Ilya Kovalchuk?

This offseason should be a fun one for the Boston Bruins as they look to add the final pieces to a possible Stanley Cup winning team. There are some pretty obvious needs for the Bruins; one of which is a second line scoring winger to pair with David Krejci. One name that has been swirling around has been Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuk.

Kovalchuk last played in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils in 2013. He then unexpectedly retired and walked away from a massive contract that still had 12 years and $77 million remaining. He’s now to get a second stint in the NHL, and Darren Dreger is reporting that the Bruins are a top contender for his services.

I’ll be one of the first to say… ABSOLUTELY NOT! This would be a move that the old Bruins would make and it is terrible. Kovalchuk has been out of the league for some time now, and while he played well in the Olympics, that’s not really saying much considering there was no NHL talent competing this year. The competition in the KHL is not much better. It’s unclear whether or not the Russian sniper can still perform at a high level, so the Bruins would be better off not overpaying for a guy who is on the back nine of his career.

Kovalchuk was a fantastic player when he was in the NHL, scoring over 400 goals in 12 seasons. The goal scoring machine had ten seasons where he scored 30+ goals, and won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2003-2004 as the league’s top goal scorer. He has still been an elite scorer in the KHL, but what would be the price for him and would he fit the system?

The Bruins have made the move to get younger and faster, and it has worked out well thus far. Why revert and go with an older, slower player who will take away time from the guys who will be the future of this team? It doesn’t make any sense to possibly overpay for a guy whose career could hit a wall at anytime.

Now there is a case to sign Kovalchuk since he is a gifted goal scorer and could help out with the powerplay. As seen in the video above, he was a stud in NHL, so there is a bit of familiarity by signing him too. He is also a right handed shooter, which fits better with Krejci than the left-handed shooting Rick Nash. If I’m the Bruins, I would only pursue Kovalchuk if the price is right.

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Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images


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