Skip to content

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

Jan 8, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT

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: Coyotes assess first-rounder Perlini’s broken hand

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes Rookie Camp Getty Images

    The team’s still trying to determine if surgery is necessary.

  2. Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four Getty Images

    Players nursing bumps and bruises as camps wrap.

  3. Sens play it safe with Ryan after he collides with Turris

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT

    Brandon Sutter, Bobby Ryan AP

    He won’t play in either of Ottawa’s Monday exhibitions games.

  4. Flyers’ Laughton likely headed to Lehigh Valley

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    ScottLaughton Getty Images

    Seasoning in the AHL should serve the 20-year-old well.

  5. Schenn moves to center in Philadelphia

    Sep 21, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Brayden Schenn Getty Images

    With Giroux out, Craig Berube juggles lines.

  6. Hemsky adjusting to life in Dallas

    Sep 21, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    Not at Oilers camp for the first time in his career.

  7. Jenner at center begins Sunday

    Sep 21, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Boone Jenner #38 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 5, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders 3-2 in the shootout.
(October 4, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Columbus looking at options with Johansen not at camp.

  8. Report: Johansen has gotten no shortage of KHL offers

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    The restricted free agent seems to be at an impasse with Columbus.

  9. Merrill day-to-day with ‘wind taken out of him’ after head hit

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Jon Merrill Getty Images

    Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said he’s “fine,” but he initially said the same of Clowe when the player had a concussion.

  10. Versteeg looks to rebound from ‘brutal’ finish to 2013-14

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Two Getty Images

    The knee injury he sustained during the lockout shortened season might be partially to blame for his struggles.

  11. Luongo’s ‘mind is at ease’ in Florida

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:07 PM EDT

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    That’s after years of being the center of a goaltending controversy in Vancouver.

  12. Championship Kings reunited after short summer

    Sep 20, 2014, 8:09 PM EDT

    Justin Williams Getty Images

    Can they be the first repeat winners since Detroit in 1997-98?

  13. Could Burns bounce between forward and defense?

    Sep 20, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT

    BrentBurns3

    Do Thornton and Marleau disagree with coach Todd McLellan on this point?

  14. Sabres’ Reinhart will debut in preseason opener Sunday

    Sep 20, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

    Sam Reinhart AP

    It’s his first chance to provide his argument for why he should make the team.

  15. Bruins ’14 first-rounder Pastrnak injures shoulder

    Sep 20, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT

    David Pastrnak Getty Images

    Tough timing for him as he had been playing alongside fellow countryman David Krejci.

  16. Bruins’ Warsofsky taking Krug’s spot

    Sep 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    David Warsofsky Getty Images

    Optimistic about sticking with the big club out of camp.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Quick (1280)
  2. C. Giroux (1109)
  3. N. Horton (1067)
  4. A. Ovechkin (1032)
  5. B. Schenn (1016)