The Atlanta Thrashers have been in this position before.
Two years ago, Marian Hossa was closing in on unrestricted free agency. And when it became obvious that the team would be unable to come to an agreement on a long-term contract extension, they dealt him to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline for Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito and a first-round draft pick (used on Daultan Leveille). It ended up being a disaster of a trade for Atlanta. Christensen no longer plays for the Thrashers, Esposito’s stock continues to plummet as a prospect and Armstrong is still the likable, hard-working offensive enigma he’s always been.
Fast forward to 2010, and the Thrashers are closing in on a potential doomsday scenario with the best player the franchise has ever known, who happens to be in the exact same situation as Hossa was two years earlier.
Continue Reading: http://nhl.fanhouse.com/2010/01/13/why-there-is-no-excuse-for-atlanta-not-to-keep-ilya-kovalchuk/