NHL Notebook: Should buyer beware with Ilya Kovalchuk this trade deadline?

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Given the assets at their disposal and the need for a top-six contributor, it should come as no surprise that the Bruins will be keeping tabs on Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin in the weeks leading up to the NHL trade deadline, which is set for Monday, Feb. 25.

While Panarin would be a dynamic addition up front for Boston, we’ve also discussed the risks that come with trading for the 27-year-old winger, who will cost the Bruins quite a bit — and is set to get paid this offseason.

If Boston is hesitant to deal for a soon-to-be UFA like Panarin, perhaps Don Sweeney and Co. might turn their attention to another Russian sniper reportedly out on the market?

Returning to the NHL for the first time since the 2011-12 season, veteran winger and future Hall of Famer Ilya Kovalchuk’s tenure with the Los Angeles Kings has been, well, less than stellar.

Spurning Boston in free agency to ink a three-year, $18.75 million deal in L.A., Kovalchuk has primarily been relegated to the bottom six for a Kings club that currently sits near the basement of the Western Conference at 23-28-4.

With L.A. poised for a rebuild, it doesn’t appear as though the 35-year-old Kovalchuk is in their future plans, with the Kings reportedly making the winger available ahead of the trade deadline.

Given Boston’s pursuit of Kovalchuk this summer — along with the B’s need for some scoring on the wing — could making a deal for the veteran forward work? Let’s take a look:

The cost?