NHL Rumors: Hurricanes, Blackhawks, Wild, Penguins, Canucks, and Ilya Kovalchuk

NHL Rumors: Hurricanes, Blackhawks, Wild, Penguins, Canucks, and Ilya Kovalchuk

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Five teams that would make some sense to sign free agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk.
On the Carolina Hurricanes …

Amar Basi: Elliotte Friedman on the Noah Hanifin trade rumors: “You know what’s interesting, I think Ron Francis was considering trading him too, I think there was some stuff going on.”

On the Chicago Blackhawks …

Amar Basi: Friedman on the Blackhawks: “They’re not going to tolerate being that bad again, they’re going to try something. I think they’ll make a run at John Tavares too. I do, I think they’ll ask, is there any way we can get him here?”

On the Minnesota Wild …

Amar Basi: Friedman on Wild center Eric Staal: “I think teams would love to trade for him, a centre with one year left on his deal coming off that year? I think the can get a lot for him.”

On the Pittsburgh Penguins …

Amar Basi: Friedman on the Penguins: “Nothing they do this offseason aside from trading Crosby, Malkin or Matt Murray would surprise me.”

On the Vancouver Canucks …

Rick Dhaliwal: has been told that there have been positive talks between the Canucks and goaltender prospect Michael DiPietro. A contract should be done soon.

On the Ilya Kovalchuk

Matt Larkin of The Hockey News: There are questions as to how productive the 35-year old Kovalchuk would be in the NHL if he returns next season, but there should be a number of teams interested in signing the free agent. Five teams that would make sense for Kovalchuk, and a few teams to keep an eye on.

New York Islanders – Would the signing of Kovalchuk help the Islanders re-sign John Tavares? Anders Lee has been really good on Tavares’ left side, so the idea may not be perfect.

Los Angeles Kings – The Kings need to scoring help and he would be an upgrade on their top line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

Dallas Stars – The Stars are all-in and need some scoring help on the wing. They could do a two- or three-year deal. Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov are friends, and he could help mentor Russian prospects Valeri Nichushkin and Dennis Guranov.

Florida Panthers – Adding an impact player or two this offseason could get the Panthers back in the playoffs next season. The Panthers could fit in him salary wise and he could play on either of their top two lines.

Boston Bruins – The Bruins could use a top-six winger with size. Adding the 6′ 3″ 230 pound winger would help make them a Cup contender next season.

Three teams to keep an eye on would be the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights.