It's no secret, comrades, that much like the British Labour Party or Australia's freshwater crocodiles, your Atlanta Thrashers are in trouble. Humiliating, degrading loss on Saturday night; Kovalchuk situation not even close to being resolved; you all know the score.
Yesterday our comments section saw some healthy discussion of the Fourth Period's newest pet rumor about Kings GM Dean Lombardi flying to Atlanta to talk to Don Waddell. Obviously we have no idea if this is true, but I'm sure there are people, somewhere, who might be able to find out what's going on. People who work for the Newspapers, perhaps, and cover the Atlanta Thrashers. "Fast" Willy Tiller, where are you on this one? All you have to do is dial D-Wadd's number, say "Is there any truth to the rumor that you've hanging with Dean Lombardi?" and chuckle loudly to yourself when he answers.
Like I said in the comments below my last post, the Kings have always seemed like the most logical destination for Kovalchuk (a fact which ought to make the Battle of California's Rudy Kelly's head joyously explode). They certainly have a lot to offer for him, but I agree with all those who've said they can't imagine a team giving up too much for a player that's likely to be just a rental.
If you're looking for an idea of what we could get from LA for a player of Kovalchuk's calibre, look to history. Dean Lombardi is great at building teams with young prospects; his tenures with the Sharks and the Kings prove that. He's less great, but still pretty good, at making big, high-profile trades of the kind perfected by his Sharks successor Doug Wilson. Sometimes he'll give you something in return (Kyle Quincey for Ryan Smyth, a move that's been good for both of the teams invovled), often he won't (Jeff Friesen and Steve Shields for Teemu Selanne, draft picks for Vincent Damphousse, God knows what for Mike Vernon and Owen Nolan).
Draw your own conclusions.