It's Official: The Boston Bruins Have To Go After Ilya Kovalchuk

Ryan PickardCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2010

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 28:  Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Atlanta Thrashers skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 28, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Thrashers 3-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins just got done losing their fourth consecutive game and sixth of their last seventh. I'm at a loss for words as to what has happened to this team.

With the Bruins latest loss to divisional rival Ottawa, the B's find themselves hanging by a thread for the playoffs. They are currently in eighth place, tied with the New York Islanders and only a point up on the Montreal Canadiens.

The Bruins continued their dismal scoring ways by putting in just one goal today. It looked as though they had a second when Mark Recchi put one home but the goal was disallowed after a replay showed a kicking motion by Recchi.

The Bruins have a league-worst 2.40 goals for average and have scored at least three goals only twice in the month of January. The loss of Phil Kessel and the injuries to Marc Savard and Marco Sturm are certainly part of the reason for this, but in the end the Bruins are going to have to make a big move for a goal-scorer if they want to save their season.

This is where Ilya Kovalchuk comes into place. Kovalchuk is probably the most sought after player in the NHL right now. Kovalchuk, who plays for the Atlanta Thrashers, is in the final year of his contract and is most likely not going to re-sign with the Thrashers.

The Thrashers are still in playoff contention with 51 points but have been on a down slide since the second half of the season began. They know they won't be able to resign Kovalchuk and want to get some value out of him before he leaves the team in the offseason.

Kovalchuk already has 30 goals and 26 assists this season and has been on fire lately with nine points in his last five games. Kovalchuk would be a perfect fit on a line with Marc Savard.

Savard, considered to be one of the best passers in the game today, would be able to feed the puck to Kovalchuk all day. Kovalchuk would also give the Bruins a proven goal scorer, which they are severely lacking.

The one problem facing the Bruins in going after Kovalchuk is his contract situation. With Kovalchuk in the final year of his contract they would need to sign him to a new one on the offseason. Kovalchuk has already stated that he wants at least $10 million dollars a year.

The Bruins simply can't afford that kind of money. They are already as close to the cap as they can be and if they were to resign Kovalchuk they would have to give away a lot of other key guys.

Still, the Bruins do have a lot of bargaining chips including their first round pick they received from Toronto for Phil Kessel. Toronto is currently third to last in the league and the Bruins pick from them could end up possibly being the first pick in the draft next year.

Is that really something that you want to gamble with though? Bruins management knows how good a guy will be if he is picked in the top three and they don't want to trade that pick for a rental player.

I have been against the Bruins going after Kovalchuk all year long but my mind has pretty much been changed now. With the Bruins scoring woes looking like they aren't going to end anytime soon something drastic has to be done and that is trading for Ilya Kovalchuk.