Trade Kovalchuk? Re-Sign him? Both?

In a season where Montreal Canadiens’ fans don’t have much to celebrate about, the signing of former NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk by team General Manager Marc Bergevin feels like a breath of fresh air. Brought in to help provide a warm body during a plague of injuries hitting the Habs, the Russian right winger has delivered more than anyone could have expected so far.

We know the story. Kovalchuk wanted to come back to the NHL and signed a 3-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings paying him an average of $6.25 million. In his first season back to the NHL, the 6-foot 3-inches 222 lbs winger managed 16 goals and 34 points in 64 games, playing an average of 16:14 minutes per game, with a team worst minus -26 differential amongst Kings’ forwards. This season did not start well between Kovalchuk and the Kings either as he only had three goals in 17 games and was already minus -10, going as far as being a healthy scratch. Los Angeles decided to keep him away from the team until they made the decision to buy him out. He played his last game with the Kings on November 9th and his contract was finally bought out on December 17th.

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Most Likely to Get Traded or Not Be Traded

Another game, and the rollercoaster of emotions continues if you’re a Montreal Canadiens’ fan. Great start of the season, followed by injuries to Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron, bringing an eight game winless streak. A few wins later, the hope is back but it’s then followed by yet another sequence of eight games without a win. The morale is low for Habs’ fans but then, they win two in a row, returning within seven points of a playoffs’ spot. Fans regain a glimmer of hopes but the team falls flat on their face at home against a Chicago Blackhawks’ team who had played the night before. Back to nine points behind, there is little hope once again.

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