The Washington Capitals have not even sobered up from their Stanley Cup win last week, but the offseason, with all its plots and subplots, is well underway.

And the Bruins are in the chase for one of the more interesting free agents on the market.

Two Canadian-based reporters, TSN’s Darren Dreger and the Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, reported the Bruins are one of the top contenders for aging but still productive scorer Ilya Kovalchuk. The 35-year-old right winger wants to return to the NHL after a five-year run with KHL powerhouse St. Petersburg SKA.

General Manager Don Sweeney confirmed that he has spoken to the Russian star’s people. Other teams mentioned as top contenders for Kovalchuk are the Kings, Sharks and Rangers.

If the Bruins were to sign Kovalchuk, that would presumably mean they would not re-sign winger Rick Nash, who will turn 34 on Saturday.

Kovalchuk was a point-per-game player in his time in the NHL, posting 417-399-816 totals in 816 career games. The first overall draft pick of the expansion Atlanta Thrashers in 2001, Kovalchuk did not get much Stanley Cup playoff experience until he led the New Jersey Devils to the finals in 2012. During that run, Kovalchuk had eight goals and 11 assists in 23 playoff games.

He had 31-32-63 totals in 53 games for St. Petersburg last season.

The Bruins also have some young in-house options if they strike out on both Kovalchuk and Nash. Anders Bjork started last season on Patrice Bergeron’s right wing and could get another look there. Ryan Donato provided a spark down the stretch. Peter Cehlarik has shown flashes in his call-ups. Ryan Fitzgerald had a very good rookie pro season in Providence (21 goals, 65 games).

The Bruins should have some money at their disposal. They have a little over $66 million committed to next season’s roster, and the salary cap is expected to go up to about $80 million, possibly as high as $82 million. The Bruins still have to sign Matt Grzelcyk and center Sean Kuraly, as well as backup goalie Anton Khudobin, who is scheduled to be a unrestricted free agent on July 1. That should still leave them enough left to go after Kovalchuk.

Boston signed 2017 first-round pick Urho Vaakanainen to a three-year entry-level deal worth $925,000, plus bonuses, according to a team release.

Vaakanainen, 19, spent the 2017-18 season with SaiPa in the Finnish Liiga. The 6-foot, left-shot defenseman is generally regarded as an extremely talented skater with a stay-at-home mentality on the blue line.

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