Skip to content

Now Ilya Kovalchuk is threatening to stay in the KHL

Oct 23, 2012, 11:57 AM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk AP

First it was Alex Ovechkin threatening to stay in the KHL if the NHL reduced player salaries via rollback or escrow.

Now it’s Ilya Kovalchuk.

“Basically, I don’t rule out staying in Russia in the case of a reduction of our salaries in the NHL,” Kovalchuk told Sportbox.ru (via RT.com). “I just don’t understand why they needed to sign such contracts. Or they were just hoping to cut the percentage later? I believe that the contracts must be respected and this is a fundamental question. There’s no way the head of the [NHL Players’] Association and the hockey players will agree on the wage reduction.”

The NHL will argue that it’s always honored contracts and will continue to do so under the terms of a new CBA. If those terms mean players lose money via escrow, so be it. It’s not like players have never lost money to escrow.

But it’s the principle that counts, say the players.

Also, the money.

Kovalchuk, like Ovechkin, stands to lose more than most to escrow. The 29-year-old is set to earn $11 million next season and $11.3 million the next.

Whether Kovalchuk would 1) actually stay in Russia if his effective NHL salary were reduced or 2) be allowed to continue playing in Russia are two big unknowns. The KHL and NHL have an agreement to honor each other’s contracts, and once a new NHL CBA is signed and the lockout ends, Kovalchuk would once again be under contract to the Devils.

Latest Posts
  1. Where to next? Arcobello poised to test UFA market

    Jun 29, 2015, 10:55 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Arizona Coyotes Anaheim Ducks v Arizona Coyotes

    He played with four different NHL teams last season.

  2. B’s GM Sweeney a lightning rod for criticism

    Jun 29, 2015, 10:31 PM EDT

    Don Sweeney AP

    It’s not all about the Zac Rinaldo trade, although that certainly didn’t help.

  3. VandeVelde signs two-year extension with Flyers

    Jun 29, 2015, 9:29 PM EDT

    Chris VandeVelde Getty Images

    He establish himself with the team after years of work primarily in the AHL.

  4. Sharks agree to five-year deal with Brenden Dillon

    Jun 29, 2015, 8:26 PM EDT

    Brenden Dillon Getty Images

    San Jose still has an opening on its blueline.

  5. Canucks hand Markstrom two-year, $3.1 mil deal

    Jun 29, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    Jacob Markstrom Getty Images

    He’ll start the season as Vancouver’s backup goaltender.

  6. Riley Nash, Yannick Weber among those without qualifying offers

    Jun 29, 2015, 7:40 PM EDT

    Yannick Weber Getty Images

    They are now set to become unrestricted free agents.

  7. Vancouver signs Linden Vey to one-year extension

    Jun 29, 2015, 6:43 PM EDT

    Linden Vey Getty Images

    He’ll reportedly earn $1 million next season.

  8. Agent: Franson has spoken with ‘half a dozen’ teams (Updated)

    Jun 29, 2015, 6:40 PM EDT

    Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators

    Toronto, Calgary and Pittsburgh are amongst the teams, which have reached out.

  9. Your 2015 HHOF Class: Fedorov, Housley, Lidstrom, Pronger, Ruggiero

    Jun 29, 2015, 5:13 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos Jr. are also going in as builders.

  10. NHLPA reviewing Richards situation, determining course of action

    Jun 29, 2015, 4:27 PM EDT

    Mike Richards Getty Images

    Also inside is information about the potential cap recapture situation the Kings might be stuck with.

  11. What’s next for Mike Richards and the Kings?

    Jun 29, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers Getty Images

    Processing Monday’s surprising termination.

  12. Sens’ Chiasson headed for arbitration

    Jun 29, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    Ottawa Senators v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    The 24-year-old’s three-year, $2.7 million deal is set to expire on Wednesday.

  13. Pricey Platoon? Stars reportedly sign Niemi for three years, $13.5M

    Jun 29, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi, AP

    If accurate, that’s $10.4M between Niemi and Kari Lehtonen.

  14. Report: Blackhawks sign Rundblad to a two-year, $2 million extension

    Jun 29, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT

    2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One Getty Images

    The 24-year-old was a pending restricted free agent.

  15. Report: Oduya is already pondering offers, won’t wait for Chicago

    Jun 29, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT

    Johnny Oduya AP

    He should draw plenty of free agent interest.

  16. Hodgson, Stalberg placed on unconditional waivers

    Jun 29, 2015, 12:40 PM EDT

    Cody Hodgson Buffalo

    Both players can be bought out on Tuesday, if they clear.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Hamilton (1964)
  2. R. O'Reilly (1878)
  3. C. Talbot (1825)
  4. S. Gagner (1573)
  5. R. Lehner (1563)
  1. M. Lucic (1466)
  2. E. Etem (1429)
  3. K. Letang (1338)
  4. C. McDavid (1329)
  5. M. Richards (1317)