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Senators trade Kovalev to Pittsburgh for conditional 2011 draft pick

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Alex Kovalev gives high-fives to his teammates on his way out of town. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday afternoon.
Alex Kovalev gives high-fives to his teammates on his way out of town. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday afternoon.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Ottawa Senators have dealt winger Alex Kovalev to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The reported return is a conditional draft pick for 2011: At least a seventh-rounder, and it becomes a sixth if Pittsburgh gets past the first round and Kovalev plays at least half of the games. The move comes just minutes after reports showed that the Senators had picked up winger Marek Svatos off waivers.

Kovalev has had a very tumultuous time in Ottawa. Fans seemed outraged from the moment they heard of his two-year, $10M contract signing in the summer of 2009, and his reputation as an enigma was well-supported based on his performance here. His numbers were never terrible, but his propensity for multi-goal games masked the many, many games in which he didn't look at all involved in the play.

Although I'm in the minority in that I didn't and still don't have a problem with the Kovalev signing, it was obvious he wouldn't be re-signed by the Senators. Getting something back for him makes sense, although I'm very surprised the return is as low as a seventh-round pick in this entry draft; I didn't expect much more, but it's about as close to giving someone away as you can get.

So the Kovalev era in Ottawa ends. Not with a bang, but with a seventh-round draft pick.