Skip to content

Is Ilya Kovalchuk staying in the KHL?

Jan 8, 2013, 9:37 AM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

A lot of big-name Russian-born players went to the KHL over the lockout and a couple, like Ilya Kovalchuk, suggested months ago that it might not be a temporary assignment.

“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.

With the NHL season about to get underway, Kovalchuk is still with St. Petersburg SKA and playing with them today, according to the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti. So is he just getting in a little extra time with the team he has been captaining, or is something else going on?

TSN Bob McKenzie’s tweeted that many in New Jersey are hearing that Kovalchuk might not return, although McKenzie cautioned that it’s just a rumor and not something he’s confirmed.

For his part, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello hasn’t spoken with Kovalchuk yet, according to the Bergen Record. However, Lamoriello hasn’t gotten any indication that Kovalchuk is thinking about staying in Russia in defiance of the 15-year, $100 million deal he signed with New Jersey.

Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman added that he’s “working on” arrangements for the superstar to head back to New Jersey.

So now we wait to see if that happens or if the rumors have a basis in reality.

Kovalchuk, 29, is signed with the Devils through 2024-25 and has been paid just $12 million of his $100 million deal. If he were to stay in Russia, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says his contracted “could be” voided.

Update (11:19 a.m. ET):

Related:

Sorry, Isles: Visnovsky to stick with KHL club (Updated)

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Sabres owner Pegula makes bid for NFL’s Bills

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

    Terry Pegula AP

    Now battling Bon Jovi and Donald Trump!

  2. Habs sign hulking d-man Finley to AHL deal

    Jul 29, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

    6-foot-8, 250-pounder was a first-round pick in 2005.

  3. Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff

    Jul 29, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

    BryanTrottier Getty Images

    Hall of Famer will work as an assistant under Ted Nolan.

  4. Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller

    Jul 29, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Low-risk signing, with good potential upside.

  5. Now the Blues’ starting goalie, Elliott is working extra hard this summer

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    Mike Richards, Brian Elliott AP

    “When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.”

  6. Wild, Fontaine avoid arbitration — two years, $2 million

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild - Game Six Getty Images

    Had 13 goals and eight assists in 2013-14, his rookie season in the NHL.

  7. Abdelkader suspended for first three games of 2015 Worlds for high hit on Sobotka

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    Justin Abdelkader, Reto Berra AP

    IIHF Disciplinary Board levies punishment for “very forceful check.”

  8. Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:04 AM EDT

    BarryTrotz Getty Images

    New Caps coach wants “people who are really good at distributing the puck and making things happen from the middle of the ice.”

  9. Panthers avoid arbitration with Hayes, who gets one-year deal

    Jul 29, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT

    Totonto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    Had 11 goals and seven assists in 53 games last season.

  10. Jets, Frolik agree on one-year deal worth $3.3 million

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:35 AM EDT

    Winnipeg Jets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Can become an unrestricted free agent next summer now.

  11. Feaster: Just a matter of time until Tortorella returns

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    They won the Stanley Cup together in Tampa Bay.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches