Now that Kovalchuk is officially off the market and not a Leaf, I thought I'd take a look at another young scoring free agent winger - Marek Svatos. Svatos is only 28 years old, but has had a checkered career thus far. He came into the league with a bang in 2005-2006, scoring 32 goals. Then the injuries hit. The following year he had a groin injury, limiting him to 66 games with only 15 goals and 15 assists. The next year was a bit of a rebound, he scored 26 goals in 66 games but missed the final 18 games of the season with a torn ACL. 2008-2009 saw a continuation of the injury problems with a broken hand, limiting him to just 14 goals in 69 games. Finally last year, despite being a contract year, he only had 7 goals and 4 assists in 54 games. Ouch. And he had a pretty bad GVT of 0.1, which puts him 7th worst on the Avs, and a Corsi of -3.62 which is actually 4th best, since the Avs were a terrible Corsi team last year.
Of course, there are a few things to like about him. First is this post on his facebook page. I mean, a girl has a monkey named after him!!! And this goal from the playoffs last year. But really what it comes down to is that as far as former 30 goal scorers who are UFAs go, the options seem to be Frolov or Svatos and Svatos will be cheap while Frolov will not. Despite being listed as a right wing, there are a number of game threads over at Mile High Hockey indicating that Svatos has played left wing a few times in his career. So, is Svatos done, or could he be in for an Afinogenov-like rebound? I'm guessing he'll sign for cheap - his cap hit last year was just over $2 million, and with the injuries and horrible stats of the past few years, I can't even see him getting the $1 million Afinogenov got last year. Is it worth the risk?
Oh yeah, here's your links.
Leaked: Ilya Kovalchuk's contract
Down Goes Brown uses his sources to get us a copy of Kovalchuk's contract. Looks like everything is in order.
After Kovalchuk and Gagne, where –if anywhere- do the dominoes fall for the Leafs?
Vintage Leaf Memories muses on what will happen now for the Leafs, and Kovalchuk in New Jersey.
Vintage Leafs has a bunch of new photos up, including this funny one of Lanny McDonald.
Kovalchuk Signs with the Devils
MLHS expects the dam to burst now that Kovalchuk's chosen a team.
Simulation of GVA and the estimation error of GVA
DoctorMyBrainHurts at Behind The Net tries to see how well GVA predicts goaltender performance.
Simon Gagne Quote
Please read this quote from Simon Gagne over on Raw Charge before cursing Burke for not trading for him.
The Kovalchuk Signing and YOU!
Yakov Mironov writes on LeafsHQ about what Kovalchuk's signing means for Leafs fans.
Are We Ready for 2010-2011?
LeafsWire.ca looks at the current Leafs roster, and analyzes if they are ready for the 2010-2011 season, and what they should do to get ready.
Leafs Roster Still Filled With Plenty of Question Marks
maple stir-up doesn't like what he sees when he looks at the Leafs' roster.
The Men Behind the Burke
Chansler's piece at Hockey Quarterly about the Leafs' many assistant GMs.