Skip to content

Kovalchuk says “time will tell” if he stays in the KHL

Jan 8, 2013, 3:59 PM EST

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

Ilya Kovalchuk wants to know exactly what the NHL’s new CBA looks like before he makes up his mind about returning to North America to play for the New Jersey Devils. So until the agreement is ratified (expected to be Saturday), he’ll be staying in Russia with his KHL club, SKA St. Petersburg.

Oh, and staying in Russia beyond CBA ratification isn’t out of the question, he says. The 29-year-old tells Sport-Express that he’s “not in a hurry to get to America” and plans to play in Sunday’s KHL All-Star game if the league’s commissioner, Alexander Medvedev, allows it.

And if the NHL’s new CBA isn’t to his liking?

“Time will tell (if I stay in the KHL),” Kovalchuk said. “Nothing is out of the question.”

Kovalchuk has $88 million remaining on his contract with the Devils, so there’s plenty of incentive to return to North America; however, it’s likely he’ll lose some of his salary to escrow as the NHL transitions to a 50-50 split of league revenues between players and owners.

Also, according to Sport-Express, there may be Russian “oil and natural gas magnates” that are hoping to keep Kovalchuk, along with Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk, in the KHL.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says the KHL has indicated it will honor Kovalchuk’s contract with the Devils, as per an agreement between the two leagues.

Related: Could Ovechkin and/or Kovalchuk legally get out of their NHL contracts?

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Perron could be headed to Columbus

    Nov 26, 2014, 12:45 AM EST

    davidperrongetty Getty Images

    Jackets and Oilers talking trade.

  2. Video: Hanzal with an elbow to the head of Erik Johnson

    Nov 26, 2014, 12:05 AM EST

    Martin Hanzal Getty Images

    The Avs’ defenseman left the game and did not return.

  3. Video: Stars’ Garbutt hits Hall knee-on-knee

    Nov 25, 2014, 11:25 PM EST

    St. Louis Blues v Dallas Stars St. Louis Blues v Dallas Stars

    The Oilers’ forward has had his share of knee injuries.

  4. Video: Canucks honor Quinn with “O Danny Boy”

    Nov 25, 2014, 10:29 PM EST

    patquinn

    Spent time in Vancouver as a player and a coach.

  5. Video: Canucks’ Desjardins delivers the news to Horvat

    Nov 25, 2014, 8:00 PM EST

    Bo Horvat, Jason Demers, Pascal Pelletier AP

    The 19-year-old rookie will be sticking in the NHL this season.

  6. Video: Boll with a hit to the head on Postma

    Nov 25, 2014, 7:45 PM EST

    EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 14: Jared Boll #40 of the Columbus Blue Jackets watches warm-up before a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rexall Place on March 14, 2012 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

    Chris Thorburn dropped the gloves with the Jackets tough guy.

  7. Report: Kings receiving interest in Nolan

    Nov 25, 2014, 7:15 PM EST

    Jordan Nolan AP

    He’s been a healthy scratch in three straight games.

  8. Torres aims to resume skating soon — without his right ACL

    Nov 25, 2014, 5:48 PM EST

    Raffi Torres Getty Images

    Sharks forward has undergone months of rehab on his surgically-repaired knee.

  9. The Kings aren’t just ‘going to go out and blow’ their Voynov cap space

    Nov 25, 2014, 5:04 PM EST

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    “Let’s get real. Finding top-four defensemen, they’re not available,” says GM Dean Lombardi.

  10. Trade: Canucks, Isles flip prospects

    Nov 25, 2014, 4:27 PM EST

    New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Alex Mallet for Andrey Pedan, specifically.

  11. McDavid thinks dropping the gloves ‘was the right thing to do’

    Nov 25, 2014, 3:31 PM EST

    Erie Otters v Niagara IceDogs Getty Images

    “I would rather fight than turtle or anything like that.”

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (2459)
  2. V. Hedman (2344)
  3. P. Sharp (2305)
  4. S. Crosby (2187)
  5. B. Marchand (1911)
  1. D. Krejci (1898)
  2. Z. Chara (1839)
  3. B. Dubinsky (1712)
  4. S. Varlamov (1491)
  5. A. Tanguay (1466)