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GM Waddell tells Kovalchuk to expect a trade soon

TSN.ca Staff

2/3/2010 4:06:50 PM

Ilya Kovalchuk's days as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers appear to be numbered.

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell met with the star forward on Wednesday and told him to expect a trade to another NHL team over the next few hours or days.

There is no indication that any deal with a specific team is imminent, but the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers are teams who continue to express interest.

Kovalchuk, 26, became the subject of trade rumours recently after reports surfaced that he could not come to terms on a multi-year contract with the only NHL team he's ever played for. The Russian sniper is in the final year of his current deal and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

An eight-year NHL veteran, Kovalchuk was selected first overall by the Thrashers in the 2001 NHL Draft. In 594 career NHL games with Atlanta, he has amassed 328 goals and 615 points.

Kovalchuk scored a career-high 52 goals with the Thrashers in 2007-08 and was co-recipient of the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2003-04 with a league-leading 41 goals.