Ilya Kovalchuk: Was He Worth the Price New Jersey Devils Paid?

September 14th, 2010 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
On February 4th, 2010, the New Jersey Devils made a huge splash on the trade market when they acquired Ilya Kovalchuk and Anssi Salmela from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Johnny Oduya, rookie forward Niclas Bergfors, prospect Patrice Cormier (drafted 54th overall, 2008), and New Jersey’s 2010 first-round draft pick.

Prior to the deal, the Thrashers organization was extremely diligent in trying to sign their franchise player to a long-term contract and were said to have offered the Russian sniper a 12-year contract that would have seen Kovalchuk earn a reported $101 million.

Unable to sign Kovalchuk, Thrashers general manager Don Waddell made what many NHL experts said was a moderately good deal—a deal, that in hindsight, just keeps getting better.

How is it that trading your franchise player for a mid-tier defenseman, a rookie forward, a prospect, and a first-round draft choice a “good deal,” you might ask? Keep reading…

In order to answer the question, we must look at the bottom line—what did the Devils collectively give up for Kovalchuk?

For starters, the Devils gav ...

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