Senators sign Kovalev - 7-6-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Hopefully you didn't pull that old Alex Kovalev Penguins jersey out of the closet.

The former Canadiens and Penguins forward signed with the Senators. According to TSN, the deal is for two years and a total of $10 million.

Kovalev had 65 points (26 goals, 39 assists) in 78 games last season.

EN Says: This is a rather bold move by the Senators considering they still haven't unloaded Dany Heatley and his huge salary cap number of $7.5 million. And it doesn't look like they're any closer to doing that either given Heatley's refusal to go to Edmonton.

On paper, Kovalev is a huge addition to the Senators. He's a dazzling talent and when he wants to be he's one of the most talented players in the world. There might not be a better player in the world when it comes to entering the offensive zone with the puck.

But as we all know here in Pittsburgh, he goes through maddening fits of inconsistency. Especially when the surrounding environment is toxic as it was during much of his time in New York and last season in Montreal. And Ottawa's a franchise that has gone through a lot of turbulence the past two seasons.

Assuming the Senators can move Heatley, this is a signing that makes sense. But that is a big assumption.

There had been a bit of a groundswell among Penguins fans hoping the Penguins would re-sign him. It just wouldn't make sense. First, they couldn't squeeze his price tag under the salary cap.  Second, they don't need him. The top three lines from Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final will be returning intact. Where would Kovalev fit in?

Lots of folks will point to the success he enjoyed here and the fact that his time in Pittsburgh was by far the most consistent stint of his career. But that was a long time ago and this franchise has completely changed since February of 2003. There's no guarantee he would mesh with this current group of Penguins as well as he did with his teammates in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

You can devote your full attention to bringing Jaromir Jagr back to Pittsburgh now.

(Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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