The exodus in the nation's capital continues as the Ottawa Senators shipped veteran forward Alex Kovalev to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday for a conditional seventh-round pick.
If Pittsburgh wins the first round of the playoffs and Kovalev plays in at least fifty percent of the games, the pick becomes a sixth-round selection.
It has been a disappointing tenure for Kovalev in Ottawa after signing a two-year, $10 million deal with the team as a free agent in 2009; however the enigmatic Russian sniper has turned up his game as of late. He has 14 goals and 13 assists in 54 games this season. He waived his the 'no-trade' clause in his contract in order to get the deal with the Penguins done.
An Olympic gold medalist with Russia in 1992, Kovalev has scored over 400 goals and recorded over 1000 points in his 18-year NHL career.
Despite signs of slowing down, Kovalev should be able to help the injury plagued Penguins down the stretch and in the playoffs. The veteran has a bevy of playoff experience and was a member of the 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers. This will be his second stint in Pittsburgh after spending five seasons there earlier in his career.
This is the Penguins second major move in less than a week as they acquired forward James Neal and defenceman Matt Niskanen from the Dallas Stars in exchange for blueliner Alex Goligoski on Monday.
Meanwhile the Senators continue to clear the deck and build for the future. In the past month they have shipped veterans Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Jarkko Ruutu and Brian Eliott out of town while receiving several draft picks but little in the way of actual players other than goalie Craig Anderson. The trade comes on the same day that the Senators claimed forward Marek Svatos off of waivers from the Nashville Predators. The 28-year old has one goal and two assists in nine games this season.
The Penguins have been forced to look outside the organization for offense after losing Evgeni Malkin for the season with ACL surgery and Sidney Crosby still on the sidelines dealing with concussion issues.
Kovalev is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
More details to follow.
Great rental for the Pens at very little cost. Shero (who still may not be done yet) has done an excellent job with the trades.
Also, Kovy waived his NTC to come here...meaning (despite his reputation as a lazy Ruskie), he wants to be here with this team and do his part in the playoffs. Absolute steal IMO...I think he'll help when it really counts.
I wonder if Craig Mother F*ckin' Adams will be giving up his number for him.