Ilya Kovalchuk has been the subject of rumours for the most part of the summer, reportedly unhappy with the direction the team is going. With no bright future in sight, and with free agency looming in 2010, odds are that Kovalchuk will be leaving Atlanta soon. Rumours have somewhat quieted down, but it seems like two teams in particular, Ottawa and Edmonton, are making a strong push. Ottawa has made blockbusters with Atlanta before and there is an amount of familiarity there. Steve Tambellini, just hired a couple of months ago, could be making his mark on the Oilers squad soon, and apparently the names being tossed around are Shawn Horcoff and Andrew Cogliano.
Add Nathan Horton to the long list of players that don’t really like playing under Jacques Martin‘s management. The Panthers are hot of late, with 7 wins in their last 10, no thanks to Craig Anderson‘s strong play, but Horton, who is the new centrepiece of the Panther offense this year, has struggled and only has 6 goals this year. Relations between Martin and Horton are so strained that Horton has reportedly contemplated retirement. This is a little surprising, considering that Martin is no longer behind the bench and Horton just signed a long-term extension over the summer.
Mats Sundin is finally expected to make a decision tomorrow about his hockey career. It has all been confirmed that he will be back this season but has only 4-5 teams on his radar. Both Ontario teams have been eliminated from consideration and so have the Blackhawks after Dale Tallon confessed that he can’t create enough cap room to accomodate him. However, it has been consensus amongst hockey pundits that Sundin will most likely land in Vancouver.