C to Kovy??? I hope you are kidding. . .
If Zach departs, Kovy is easily the Captain and I dont think theres even a debate as its clear Patty is not interested in that. The way he's changed his game and been the man this season cannot be disregarded. He's stunk this series, but its clear that he's injured. Kovalchuk is the best player on this team (when healthy) right now.
I've been mentally preparing myself for Zach to leave since the one year deal was agreed to this past offseason. That said, I think this run has solidified him in NJ. If he leaves, its going to be because someone blows him away with the offer. I said before the playoffs that I believed a run to the Conference Finals was what it would take to keep him here. Only one other team can say they made it to the Finals this year and I think this run will go a long way in his decision making.
The only thing I don't want this franchise to do is get involved in a bidding war. I do not want to see Zach get an 8 million dollar deal from us. I don't think he's worth that much and I think it would be a mistake to commit that much to him.
If we lose him, I just hope it happens fast so Lou can do something to attempt to replace him, or make the team better in some way. We won't be as good without him, but we would obviously have a huge hole to fill. I really hope Vanderbeek is being up front about the financial woes being cleared up soon, but I'm very skeptical of that and that is the one fear I have in preventing a long term deal here.