What’s the biggest sign that summer is here? Hot weather and the Stanley Cup Playoffs winding down are both good answers, but the correct one is the resurgence of Ilya Kovalchuk rumors. Rumors suggesting Kovalchuk wants to return to the NHL aren’t exactly new, but they seem to carry a bit more weight this year. Surprisingly, one of the rumored destinations for Kovalchuk is St. Louis.
Other possible landing spots for Kovalchuk have been rumored to be New Jersey (obviously) as well as the New York Rangers.
Why are the St. Louis Blues on that list of possible teams? The answer may sit with Martin Brodeur.
Should he return, Kovalchuk would want to go to a place where he has a solid relationship already in place. He and Brodeur spent plenty of time together in New Jersey and Brodeur could easily help his transition to the Blues.
The Devils still own Kovalchuk’s rights, meaning a sign/trade situation might be the most realistic possibility if any of the rumors pan out.
At 34, Kovalchuk still has plenty of skill left in the tank and could be a huge boost for any team – if he chooses to come back to the NHL. The Blues have an obvious need for a top-6 forward, mainly a center, but they could be in line for some help if they’re able to clear up some cap space by moving Jori Lehtera.