Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Apparently, New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk can't do it alone. Or at least he can't so it without linemate Zach Parise.
Kovalchuk, who signed a multi-year, $100 million deal in the offseason, apparently needs to send a good portion of his huge new contract to Parise because he seems lost without him.
Kovalchuk was a first-round fantasy selection on Draft Day (ADP 11), but he's yet to produce anywhere near the level expected.
Through 39 games, he has scored just 21 points (10 G, 11 A). He's getting less shots than a year ago and scoring on a lower percentage of them (14.1 in 2009-10 vs. 9.0 this season). And the most disappointing statistic is a -30 plus/minus rating that is killing his fantasy owners. He's never been great in the category, but this season is already his worst ever and we're only halfway through the year.
Parise, who played in just 12 games this season, is likely sidelined for the rest of the season with a knee injury (he won't begin skating until late March), which means Kovalchuk will be "on his own."
For the most part, he's been on a line with Travis Zajac (6 G, 15 A) and Jamie Langenbrunner (4 G, 10 A). But that will change as Langenbrunner was traded to the Dallas Stars on Friday. It remains to be seen what the new line combination will look like.
Kovalchuk has averaged 87 points per season over the past five years, but he'll be hard-pressed to get anywhere close to that number this season.
He might still net you something in a trade if another owner thinks he'll turn it around. Unfortunately, I don't believe that will happen this season, so if he offers you a reasonable deal...take it.