Senators send Kovalev to Pittsburgh

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray has struck again, trading Alex Kovalev to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional seventh round draft pick and claiming former Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche right winger Marek Svatos off waivers.

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray has struck again, trading Alex Kovalev to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional seventh round draft pick and claiming former Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche right winger Marek Svatos off waivers.

The Kovalev trade is not shocking, as it had been speculated for weeks, if not months, that the Penguins had an interest in the enigmatic Russian winger.

Kovalev has scored 14 goals and 13 seasons in 53 games this season, but the move is all about the Senators shedding what remains on his $5 million salary for the remainder of the season.

Kovalev, originally signed to a two-year, $10 million contract by the Senators in July, 2009, never came close to living up to the lofty expectations the organization hoped to gain from his arrival, which came after Dany Heatley’s demand for a trade away from the team.

The Penguins, decimated by injuries, are hoping that Kovalev can provide an offensive spark, perhaps on a top line with Sidney Crosby if and when he recovers from his concussion problems.

As for Svatos, he will likely serve as a de facto replacement for Kovalev for the remainder of the season. It’s the latest move in a bizarre season for Svatos, who scored 32 goals for the Avalanche during the 2005-06 season.

He began the current season with Omsk in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League and was signed by the St. Louis Blues. However, as a player playing in Europe, he needed to clear waivers before joining the Blues. The Nashville Predators, down bodies due to injuries, stepped in and plucked him off waivers. Svatos played sparingly with Nashville, scoring only one goal and two assists in nine games.

His best season NHL season came in 2005-06, when he scored 32 goals and 18 assists in 60 games. He also scored 26 goals and 11 assists in 62 games with Colorado.

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