Edit: I really want to see some of these offers that Waddell's been getting. Kovalchuk and Lehtonen, franchise leaders in their positions for a 1st and a 4th, minor leaguers/prospects, and Oduya?
It's not adding up. Those are sh*t trades, IMO.
What did you expect them to get for Lehtonen? The guy can't stay healthy and has yet to live up to the hype. The only thing dependable about Keri Lehtonen is that he's hurt every season.
And with Kovalchuk, he got a decent return for a soon-to-be UFA. No other team was given clearance to negotiate a deal with Kovalchuk prior to the trade, and Wadell got the best return he was going to get. Oduya is a solid defenseman, and one that NJ is going to miss. At this time last season the return could have been better, but no one is going to line up to trade Patrick Sharp, Anze Kopitar, or Zack Parise for a 2-month rental.
Lehtonen: ehh, okay, I can see your point but he's still a phenomenal goalie.
Kovalchuk: Let's be realistic. Every year at the trade deadline you get players that are being traded from crap teams to good teams, typically those that are the final year of their contract. Right? Okay, why is Kovalchuk ANY different? He's one of the best players in the league, dynamic, and has a ton of years left. Good years. I'm just surprised he fetched so little. Maybe all GM's are tightening the strings since Marian Hossa taught everyone loyalty can be bought but in recent memory such big names have gone for more.
You're right, Lehtonen has the potential
to be a phenomenal goalie, but the chances that he ever achieves that potential are getting smaller every year. So far he's been mostly hype and a lot of injury.
Everyone knew that Kovalchuk wasn't going to re-sign in Atlanta, especially after the terms of the rejected contract were made public. If he didn't accept the last contract that Atlanta offered, he was never going to re-sign. That, coupled with the fact that Wadell wouldn't allow potential suiters to talk future contract with Kovalchuk prior to trade, the return wasn't going to be spectacular. You're never going to replace Kovalchuk in a trade skill-wise, but Wadell got the best return he could possibly get. Would you give up a proven top-6 forward/top 4 defenseman, a draft pick, and another roster player for a player who's barely played one meaningful game in his career?