Ilya Kovalchuk's tenure with the Los Angeles Kings officially lasted for just under a year and a half after the forward cleared unconditional waivers Tuesday, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun. Kovalchuk signed a three-year, $18.75-million contract with L.A. in 2018 and appeared in just 81 games for the Kings, recording 19 goals and 43 points.
He wasn't living up to his $6.25-million cap hit, but Kovalchuk can still score and produce to a certain extent, and he should draw some interest if he wants to continue playing in the NHL. Now that he's an unrestricted free agent, here are three teams that could benefit from bringing in the 36-year-old on a cheap deal.
Despite sitting atop the Atlantic Division with a dominant nine-point lead on the Buffalo Sabres, the Boston Bruins could use some secondary scoring.
Their top line of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron has a combined 56 goals, accounting for 49% of Boston's total goals scored. The prospect of playing for one of the league's top contenders could attract Kovalchuk, and the Russian could slot into the team's second line alongside David Krejci and help bolster the team's second power-play unit.