Ilya Kovalchuk was with the Washington Capitals toward the end of the year.
Ilya Kovalchuk was traded to the Washington Capitals from the Montreal Canadiens at the trade deadline. The addition was supposed to help the Caps offense get a boost as well as their power play attack but like most trade deadline rentals, it just didn’t work out.
Kovalchuk had one goal and three assists for four points in seven games. In the playoffs inside the Toronto bubble he only had one assist in eight games as the Caps suffered a first round exit.
Even though there wasn’t a lot of offensive production, Kovalchuk seemed like he enjoyed his time with the Caps. Back around Christmas he had dinner with Alex Ovechkin and there was speculation he was pitching him to come to the Capitals.
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In the Caps five game series against the New York Islanders, Kovalchuk put one shot on goal in 60 minutes of ice time. That’s it, just one shot. He began last season with the Los Angeles Kings before signing a one year deal with the Canadiens for $700,000. The team retained half of that when they traded him to the Caps.
There isn’t a lot to say about how Kovalchuk did in Washington. It was a low risk experiment by general manager Brian MacLellan that just did not work.
Kovalchuk skated on the third line with Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin, moving Richard Panik’s spot to the fourth line. Travis Boyd also got some time on that line with Nicklas Backstrom out due to injury and Eller moving up to the second line.
We kind of knew that Kovalchuk would be on the move in free agency but no team has signed him yet. The biggest rumor was that he was going to return to Montreal but so far nothing has happened yet.
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Grade D+: This hurt to give him a D but at the same time we also didn’t really get a full season out of him to really know what kind of impact he would’ve had on the Caps. Perhaps he could’ve maybe regained his from his years with the New Jersey Devils and Atlanta Thrashers.
Kovalchuk still hasn’t been picked up by another team and it is likely as free agency goes on, he might retire from the game. But honestly, he has the potential to keep playing the game for a few more years.