Stick-tap to Bettman’s Nightmare for the links here. First off, of course the Rangers are interested in Ilya Kovalchuk, who isn’t? In a wild trade scenario, NHL Snipers has a “creditable source” that has the Thrashers and the Rangers discussing a mega deal that would land Kovalchuk in NY. Going the other way would be a killing: Brandon Dubinsky, Michal Rozsival, Ryan McDonagh/Bobby Sanguinetti (one), Christopher Higgins, 2010 and 2011 first round picks, and 2011 second round picks.
To be blunt, I don’t buy this rumor at all. The Rangers would be completely overhauling their team, and giving up Brandon Dubinsky, for three months of Kovalchuk. They would have to have a deal in place with Kovalchuk before this happens, or else that’s a huge waste. Another problem is that they would need to find a defenseman to replace Rozsival (Ilkka Heikkinen), and possibly Wade Redden (the link states that Redden would be sent down to Hartford). Finding that second defenseman is going to be tough.
I don’t think the Rangers are going to make a big splash at the deadline. If recent years have taught us anything, it’s that championship clubs are those that have a core already, and use the deadline to fill minor holes. Personally, I don’t think Kovalchuk gets traded at the deadline, especially with the Thrashers in playoff contention. I think he gets dealt at the draft.
Again, thanks to Bettman’s Nightmare for the tip.