Alex Kovalev 1

Kovalev Returns To New York

Sportsnet is reporting that the Rangers have closed a deal that would bring back Alexei Kovalev to New York.  The Rangers are reportedly sending Rico Fata, Mikael Samuelsson, Joel Bouchard and Richard Lintner to Pittsburgh for Kovalev, Mike Wilson, Dan Lacouture and Janne Laukkanen.

The trade also includes a cash amount that goes to Pittsburgh with reports that the number is in excess of $4,000,000.

New York gets Kovalev in the last year of his current contract and as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, it had been long expected that the Penguins would make a deal.  Coming with Kovalev are role players Dan Lacouture and Janne Laukkanen along with minor leaguer Mike Wilson.  None of the three are expected to make an impact with New York and were no doubt included to help Pittsburgh shed unwanted salary and maybe balance the ledger a little in the eyes of the NHL.

With the return of Brian Leetch to the line-up seemingly imminent, it appeared that Joel Bouchard’s days were numbered.  Unable to return to Hartford without passing through waivers, the journeyman defenseman was a likely candidate for a trade.  Bouchard is in the midst of a career year with the Rangers having matched career highs in goals, assists and points.

New York also gave up the promising Mikael Samuelsson, who was fast becoming one of the best two way forwards on the team.  The young Swede was one of the most consistent players for New York this season, surpassing his rookie totals for goals and points already this season.

Joining them will be Rico Fata and Richard Lintner, two more young players each of whom have yet to make an impression at the NHL level.

Rangers get:
Alexei Kovalev, Right Wing/Center
Birthdate: 2/24/1973
Height/Weight: 6-2/210
Career Record: 268G 354A 622Pts 816PIM in 747 NHL games
2002-03 Stats: 27G 37A 64Pts 50PIM in 54 NHL games

Dan Lacouture, Left Wing
Birthdate: 4/19/1977
Height/Weight: 6-3/210
Career Record: 10G 17A 27Pts 196PIM in 182 NHL games
2002-03 Stats: 2G 2A 4Pts 196PIM in 44 NHL games

Janne Laukkanen, Defense
Birthdate: 3/19/1970
Height/Weight: 6-0/ 180
Career Record: 21G 99A 120Pts 335PIM in 405 NHL games
2002-03 Stats: 1G 6A 7Pts 8PIM in 17 NHL games

Mike Wilson, Defense
Birthdate: 2/26/1975
Height/Weight:  6-4/195
Career Record:  4G 4A 8Pts 264PIM in 335 NHL games
2002-03 Stats: No NHL appearances

Rangers give up:
Joel Bouchard, Defense
Birthdate: 1/23/1974
Height/Weight: 6-0/180
Career Record: 20G 37A 57Pts  231PIM in 304 NHL games
2002-03 Stats: 5G 7A 12Pts 14PIM in 27 NHL games

Rico Fata, Left Wing/Center/Right Wing
Birthdate: 2/12/1980
Height/Weight: 6-0/200
Career Record: 2G 5A 7Pts 16PIM in 73 NHL games
2002-03 Stats: 2G 4A 6Pts 6PIM in 35 NHL games

Richard Lintner, Defense
Birthdate: 11/15/1977
Height/Weight: 6-3/215
Career Record: 5G 10A 15Pts 44PIM in 93 NHL games
2002-03 Stats: 1G 0A 1Pt 0PIM in 10 NHL games

Mikael Samuelsson, Right Wing/Left Wing
Birthdate: 12/23/1976
Height/Weight: 6-1/194
Career Record: 14G 24A 38Pts 55PIM in 129 NHL games
2002-03 Stats: 8G 14A 22Pts 32PIM in 58 NHL games

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