In the second installment of the rumor rundown for Friday, Feb. 8, we look at updates on Ilya Kovalchuk out of Los Angeles, interest by the Toronto Maple Leafs in Luke Glendening and word that Artemi Panarin has switched agents, leading to all sorts of trade speculation.
Ilya Kovalchuk Is Available
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that veteran forward Ilya Kovalchuk is “definitely available” if a team were to come forward with an offer. After joining the Kings in the summer and having a strong start to the season, Kovalchuk has not done well under new coach Willie Desjardins and the Kings would like to move his three-year, $18.75 million per season contract.
If the Kings are looking at a rebuild, it makes sense that Kovalchuk would not be needed. He was added in the anticipation the Kings would be a playoff team this season. They’re not and as such, there’s really no need for him on that roster.
Kovalchuk does hold a full no-movement clause through the end of next season so much of the power in any trade is in his hands. LeBrun did say:
The 35-year-old winger has a full no-move clause so he decides his future, but my understanding of the situation is that he would waive it if the right fit presented itself, and that the Kings would try to accommodate him and perhaps even eat some of the salary in order to make a deal work.
source – ‘LeBrun Notebook: High price for rentals, Ilya Kovalchuk’s future and Leafs mulling their options’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 02/08/2019
Part of why this is being discussed is because of late, Kovalchuk has played a little better and the Kings want people to see he’s available while he’s playing well. Boston, Vegas, and San Jose showed interest during the summer but it’s very likely that interest is gone now.
Maple Leafs Looking at Luke Glendening
The Toronto Maple Leafs showed interest in Detroit Red Wings forward Luke Glendening last season and it appears they may be interested in him again. According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, the Maple Leafs have “kicked the tires” on Glendening.
Seravalli suggests that if a deal were to be done, the Red Wings would need to retain some salary on his $1.8 million per season contract that runs the next two seasons.
Simmonds Getting to be a Popular Guy
Pierre LeBrun writes in The Athletic, there are at least five teams showing interest if forward Wayne Simmonds out of Philadelphia. He writes:
Boston, Tampa Bay, Nashville and Winnipeg are among several contenders sources say have shown different levels of interest in Simmonds. There are no surprises on that list… I think GM Chuck Fletcher and Simmonds’ agent Eustace King are largely on the same page, have engaged in good communication and have an understanding of how things might play out.
source – ‘LeBrun Notebook: Possible suitors for Wayne Simmonds and Panthers’ interest in Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 02/06/2019
It is believed the Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning have shown serious interest.
Artemi Panarin Changes Agent
Artemi Panarin switched representation on Friday and now has the same agent Sergei Bobrovsky does. As Elliotte Friedman tweeted in the morning, this could lead to speculation the two would be moved in a package deal if a trade were to take place.
As Pierre LeBrun points out, this could also mean nothing and “from a Columbus perspective, Panarin switching to agent Paul Theofanous (Bobrovsky’s agent) doesn’t change much. Panarin still wants to head to market is the understanding.”
The Nashville Predators and Boston Bruins have checked in on Panarin and were a bit shocked at the asking price. Still two-and-half weeks out from the deadline, it is expected the asking prices should drop; especially if Stone or Duchene are added to the trade market next week.
Aaron Portzline writes on Twitter that this will be Panarin’s third agent since Nov/Dec 2016 – “He was w Tom Lynn when he left KHL for Chicago, then changed very late in second contract negotiations w Blackhawks, joining Milstein.”
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”