By Sally Fahey
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has brought in another top-five Russian scorer in NHL history to his roster.
They traded their 2020 third-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Ilya Kovalchuk. The Canadiens will retain half of his salary.
Kovalchuk, who began a difficult season with the Los Angeles Kings, is now moving to a Stanley Cup contender. He is likely to play in the NHL playoffs for just the fourth time in his 919 game career and the first time since the 2011-12 season with the New Jersey Devils. The Canadiens did not earn a king’s ransom, but it is the second time this week they’ve flipped an asset for more value than they surrendered to acquire him.