The Los Angeles Kings may have moved one of their biggest trade chips several weeks ago in Jake Muzzin, but don’t expect the Kings to stand pat as the deadline nears. Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times writes that general manager Rob Blake has spoken to veteran winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who is seriously considering waiving his no-move clause to go to a contender.
However, Kovalchuk, who signed a three-year, $18.75MM deal last summer, might not fetch a big return for the Kings. A team has to be willing to take on two more years of the 35 year-old’s contract which carries an expensive $6.25MM AAV with it. He has scored 13 goals and has 28 points in 50 games so far this year, while dealing with injuries, but few teams would be willing to give up more than a lower-level prospect to take on Kovalchuk.
Elliott also points out that Los Angeles are far more likely to hold onto defenseman Alec Martinez, who might not bring back the return they were hoping for, while few teams have shown much interest in Jeff Carter so far.
- Sportsnet’s Marc Savard tweets that the Florida Panthers are getting a lot of calls on forward Mike Hoffman and the Arizona Coyotes, who are looking to make a late playoff run, are pushing hard to acquire the speedy winger. The 29-year-old is having a nice season as he has 26 goals and 51 points, which is in line for a career year. Hoffman could bring back a signficant return as he has another year on his deal at $5.19MM and would be another significant addition of scorers for the Coyotes.
- The Anaheim Ducks may make a quiet move or two, but after agreeing to a five-year extension with Jakob Silfverberg, the team lacks any significant trade assets to move at the trade deadline. However, The Athletic’s Eric Stephens (subscription required) writes that with the play of Max Jones and the Max Comtois (currently in juniors), winger Nick Ritchie might be expendable now and be potentially available. A holdout at the beginning of the season, Ritchie eventually signed an inexpensive three-year deal, totaling just $4.6MM, which some teams might covet. Ritchie, of course, hasn’t proven he can be anything more than a 15-goal scorer.
- Kevin Kurz of The Athletic reports that Erik Karlsson, who left in the second period of Saturday’s loss to Columbus, tweaked his groin injury in the game. No word on the severity of the injury, however. Karlsson already missed a month between January and February with that lower-body injury, and more missed time would be a setback for a Sharks’ team trying to work their way to the top of the Pacific Division. Head coach Peter DeBoer said he is concerned. “Absolutely,” said DeBoer. “I thought we were as conservative and cautious as you can be but muscle injuries you don’t know. Sometimes you get in positions or over-extend it. We’ll see where it’s at tomorrow.”