Boston Bruins interested in signing Ilya Kovalchuk, report says

Sporting News

Ilya Kovalchuk is an unrestricted free agent again after the Los Angeles Kings terminated his contract on Monday, but he might not be finished in the NHL just yet.

Russian sports journalist Igor Eronko reported on Tuesday that Kovalchuk, 36, remains interested in signing with a Stanley Cup contender — even if he has to sign at the league-minimum salary ($700,000) for the rest of this season. One potentially interested party, according to Eronko? The Boston Bruins.

MORE: Sporting News' NHL All-Decade team for the 2010s

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Eronko had previously reported that Kovalchuk wished to remain in the NHL after his exit from the Kings organization. The Bruins (21-7-6, 48 points) match the Russian forward's reported desire to play for a contender — they sit tied for the second-most points in the entire league through Dec. 16 and own the NHL's top goal differential (plus-29).

The Bruins have long searched for the perfect skater to play right wing next to center David Krejci, who has seen a revolving door of forwards playing alongside him and left wing Jake DeBrusk. Kovalchuk, a natural left winger, doesn't quite fit that description seamlessly, but his reported willingness to take a league-minimum contract makes him an appealing free-agent pickup for Boston general manager Don Sweeney.

The Bruins only have about $1.79 million in salary cap space to play with, according to CapFriendly. Kovalchuk likely would have been difficult to acquire in a trade before his contract was terminated due to its length and high pricetag, but would prove only a low-stakes gamble on a league-minimum deal.

The longtime NHL scorer totaled nine points (three goals, six assists) in 17 games with the Kings before the club reportedly told him he would no longer play in games in November.

What to read next