December 31, 2009
The Atlanta Thrashers have been trying to get Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) signed to a contract extension since the season got underway this year and the talks are believed to be pretty close to dead, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
It's not because the Thrashers don't want to give Kovalchuk a big wad of cash. (Rumor has it that he's asking for around $11 million annually for a decade or more.) It is apparently because it is unclear to Kovalchuk's people what the future of the franchise is. It is apparently expected that the team will be sold during the course of the extension. And there is no guarantee the team will find a new owner that will want to stay in Hot-lanta.
Kovalchuk, soon to be the father of three, says he wants to finish his career in Atlanta but he's not just signing on any old dotted line.
Right now it's looking like the Thrashers might try to trade Kovalchuk and he can try to find a different, stable franchise and city where he can raise his children.