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Report: Kovalchuk to join KHL Saint Petersburg

Sep 17, 2012, 12:04 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

SKA Saint Petersburg has landed one of the biggest scores of the NHL lockout — Ilya Kovalchuk.

According to SKA’s website, the New Jersey sniper has reportedly agreed to join the KHL club on Sept. 18, roughly 72 hours after he and his fellow NHLers were locked out.

Heading to Russia during a work stoppage is nothing new for Kovalchuk — during the 2004-05 lockout, he and a number of NHLers (Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Dany Heatley) joined AK Bars Kazan of the Russian Elite League.

SKA is one of the KHL’s most famous and popular clubs (even though it has never played in a league final.)

In 2011-12, the club became the first Russian team to average five-digit attendance (10,126) and currently boasts a roster filled with NHL experience: Dmitry Kalinin, Denis Grebeshkov, Petr Prucha and Maxim Afinogenov, to name a few.

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