Some rumor-monger who puts together sentences for a publication with the word "sun" in its name says something about the Thrashers shopping Kovalchuk.
The Falconer has a post about the to-trade-or-not-to-trade quandary (such a difficult one, really; I mean, I can see both sides of the question "Is it good to lose an elite player?"). I really DO NOT want to talk about this because 1) it's a pathetic rumor generated by a guy who gets paid to generate rumors, 2) talking about it just lends credence to the rumor and generates more chatter that might, as the Falconer says, damage the team's focus, 3) I love the Czar and don't want him to leave, and 4) it's tedious to go over this over and over and over again.
Whatever "benefits" come from trading Kovalchuk wouldn't be benefits. The Czar is a masterful hockey player and proves to be a more complete player every game. I simply don't buy the argument--advanced by many in the hockey blogosphere and echoed by the Falconer in his post--that Kovalchuk is a huge defensive liability. If commentators are coming to that conclusion based on his plus/minus statistics, I can only say that I simply don't believe that the plus/minus rating is the end-all/be-all when it comes to evaluating a player's defensive abilities. Kovy's minus-heavy rating in seasons past has more to do with a bad defense than his own defensive abilities.
Let me correct myself. He was irresponsible defensively early in his career. He's not anymore. Look at him.
He's more than a guy who scores a lot on the power play. He's incredibly fast and agile with his body and with the stick, he's an excellent passer and playmaker, and he can play with a physical edge when he wants to. He also happens to be one of the best goal-scorers in the NHL.
And if we traded him the Thrashers' already depleted attendance would basically vanish entirely.
He's indispensable to the Thrashers as a team AND as a money-making venture.