The Boston Bruins are one of the teams that was most active at the February's trade deadline, especially when they managed to land veteran forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers, trading this summer's first round pick along with Matt Beleskey, Ryan Spooner and Ryan Lindgren.
However, the monster move was sort of a bust for Boston, who couldn't really count on the forward to produce the offensive boost they needed to surpass the Tampa Bay Lightning and head to the Eastern Conference final.
The Bruins appear to be so disappointed with his performance, that a plan is reportedly always in motion to replace Nash, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this July.
In 11 games of the regular calendar with the Bruins, Nash only managed to tally three goals, and added three assists, and was barely invisible during the postseason. In 12 playoff contests, he scored another three goals, and only two assists, when the team needed so much more from him.
Now here is the solution...
According to The Hockey News' Matt Larkin, the Bruins are expected to be in the running for the Ilya Kovalchyuk's sweepstakes. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported late on Tuesday night that Kovalchuk has signed with the CAA Hockey agency, parting ways with his former agent Jay Grossman of Puck Agency, as he is heading into free agency. Dreger reports that now his agent JP Barry is in discussions with teams interested in bringing Kovalchuk back to the NHL.
Larkin believes that the Bruins will make a move to sign the 35-year-old Russian veteran. See how he explains it:
"Rick Nash, a pending UFA, didn’t set the world on fire after coming over in a trade but filled an important role as a scorer and forechecker in their top six. The Bruins need to replace that production and maybe even upgrade it as they push for a Stanley Cup next season. Kovalchuk brings a nice blend of heaviness at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds and pure goal-scoring ability. Adding Kovalchuk would make Boston a Cup frontrunner in 2018-19."
In the past year, Kovalchuk was named Most Valuable Players of the Olympics with five goals in six games for the gold-winning Olympic Athletes from Russia and tallied 31 goals and added 32 assists in 51 KHL games for SKA St. Petersburg this season.
The Bruins could use a scoring depth and Kovalchuk might be a good addition on their second line...The type of gritty offense Kovalchyuk can provide would be a needed boost for the Bruins. What do you think?