Ilya Kovalchuk was once one of the most promising prospects to come out of Russia. He had it all, with size goal-scoring ability and the ability to make the opposition change their system to better focus on just him.
Kovalchuk was recently told that he was being benched and can practice with the team but nothing else, not even playing time. Kovalchuk, a prominent scorer with the Atlanta Thrashers, continued to produce though he never became that yearly 100 point scorer that was projected. Kovalchuk, 36, is currently in a 3-year deal worth $18.75 million with the Kings. He cannot be bought out because the buyout would costs the Kings more money to do that than to keep him on the roster.
Kovalchuk does have a no-movement clause this year, but that becomes a modified no-movement clause next season, in which he could then submit a 7 team trade list to the Kings.
Although nobody truly knows what is going on right now with the Kings and Kovalchuk we can only speculate. Kovalchuk has 9 points in 17 games but is a -10, although most of those points came in the first 5 games. The Kings and General Manager Rob Blake have their hands tied as to what to do. Do they wait until next year and see his trade lists? Do they just sit him more than play him?
This season has a rocky start to it and this situation is not helping the Kings in trying to turn the season around.
Was it something Kovalchuk did or said? Is this coach Todd McLellan and his doing?
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