In what has been a strange offseason for the Flyers may have gotten just a bit more odd.
According to the Russian website Life Sports (need translator to read in English), as of Friday, cap-strapped Philadelphia is one of three NHL teams chasing Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk.
The rough translation states that Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Colorado are vying to land the potent winger, and that all are offering a similar contract. The site also states that SKA of the KHL is also still in the running.
Leaking the information is Kovalchuk’s agent, Yuri Nikolayev, who says that his client is mulling over all the offers and still working through negotiations.
Is this credible information? Yes. Does it make any sense? No. Due to salary cap restrictions, the Flyers were recently forced to ask long-time forward Simon Gagne to waive his no-trade clause so that he can be traded away as a cap casualty. But if the Flyers really want to land the 27-year-old Kovalchuk, they will need to move more than just Gagne. The sniper is expected to land a sum of $7.5-10 million per year on the open market.
The former Atlanta Thrasher and New Jersey Devil scored 41 goals and 44 assists last season between the two squads. And although money plays a part in any deal the Russian signs, Ilya has made it clear he wants to play for a winner as he has never won a playoff series in his eight-year career.
UPDATE: It is being *rumored* as of Saturday at 2. P.M., that Kovalchuk and the N.Y. Islanders are finalizing an enormous deal. Nothing has been confirmed, however James Murphy of NESN has said the Isles and Kovalchuk are very close.