Big Lead Sports Bar

2/24/2011

Alexei Kovalev is a Penguin, Again



The Steelers brought back a host of old faces last season, and they wound up in the Super Bowl (not as a direct result, but still...)

Now, the Penguins are taking a page out of the same book by bringing back 38-year-old Alexei Kovalev in a trade today with the Ottawa Senators.

Kovalev, who waived a no-trade clause to make the deal happen, was had for a conditional-sixth or seventh-round draft pick, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. The up-and-down forward has 14 goals and 13 assists in 54 games with the Senators, and brings with him a cap hit of $5 million.

Kovalev was a Penguin from 1998/99-2002/03, and put up 347 points in 345 regular season games, to go along with 28 points in 39 postseason appearances. In 2000-01, he put up a career-high 95 points (44 goals/51 assists) and helped the Pens advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. On February 10, 2003, he was sent, along with Dan LaCouture, Janne Laukkanen and Mike Wilson, back to the New York Rangers for Mikael Samuelsson, Rico Fata, Joel Bouchard, Richard Lintner and cash.

Fans are pretty enthused about the deal, but we just have to remember that this is the 38-year-old Kovalev, not the 28-year-old Kovalev. He's not a great fit for Dan Bylsma's system, and he's been putting up sub-par numbers for the worst team in the Eastern Conference while feuding with his coach. Then again, being rescued from such a dire situation might actually give the mercurial talent a little mental kick in the pants that he probably needs to revive his career one last time. It might just work, and the price wasn't high. Low-risk, potentially high-reward moves like this one are every team's friend - especially when they pan out.

3 comments:

Justin said...

I have been against bringing Kovy back for the past few weeks, given his age, difference in circumstances since his first go-around here, etc., but I you really can't beat the price. Better to have a known commodity now than wonder what a sixth (or seventh) round pick might develop into down the road.

Louis Lipps no longer accepts my phone calls... said...

I STILL have the Kovalev bobblehead packed away somewhere!

Steve said...

For a 7th (which they have 2 of) or possibly 6th round pick, even if he scores only one goal that's still better than what they gave up for Poni girl.

I woulda taken a 44-year old Jim Paek for that late a pick so this is a no-brainer, no-risk deal with nothing but upside.

Shero wins again!