Fantasy Impact: The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired the enigmatic Alex Kovalev from Ottawa in exchange for a conditional draft pick.
The Penguins get: An aging winger still capable of putting the puck in the net. He was cleary lacking any sort of motivation in Ottawa, so perhaps a new (but familiar) home will be just what the doctor ordered. The Penguins are severely lacking in talent up front right now, so expect Kovalev to be given every opportunity to succeed.
Fantasy Players Impacted:
Kovalev goes from cast-off on a horrible club to a potential centerpiece on a club desperate for any offense. This move helps most of Pittsburgh's players as it gives them a potentially talented linemate (especially those on the first power play unit). The risk is that Kovalev continues his lacadasical play. For a conditional draft pick, it seems like a move Pittsburgh had no choice but to make.
I don't think Crosby is coming back this season, but if he does, Kovalev could potentially line up with him in a variety of situations.
In Ottawa, this opens up more ice time for Bobby Butler and a few of Ottawa's other young wingers.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
3. Marek Svatos
4. Jordan Staal
5. Mark Letestu
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Tim Wallace