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. Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    Quebec City and Las Vegas have already expressed interest.

  2. Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension

    Jul 6, 2015, 6:08 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Russian forward is coming off a solid rookie campaign.

  3. Bishop Effect: 6-foot-9 goalie ‘trying to make a name for myself’ at Vancouver’s prospect camp

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:29 PM EDT

    JohnMcLean

    That’s him in the blue shirt, standing next to ex-NHL goalie Dan Cloutier… who is 6’1.

  4. Veteran d-man Gervais signs in German League

    Jul 6, 2015, 3:13 PM EDT

    Spent last year with Colorado’s AHL affiliate.

  5. Sabres fill out Bylsma’s staff, hire Lambert away from WHL team

    Jul 6, 2015, 2:17 PM EDT

    2015 Memorial Cup - Championship Getty Images

    His Kelowna Rockets went to the 2015 Memorial Cup.

  6. In pitching free agents, honesty is best policy for Coyotes

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Don Maloney AP

    “You basically say, ‘I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s a great place to play and we have great fans and a great stadium.'”

  7. Blues add depth on D, sign Benoit

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:02 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    Played 59 games for the Sabres last season.

  8. Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:23 AM EDT

    Nazem Kadri Getty Images

    “He gets to come in and have a heck of a year and put the screws to us.”

  9. No expansion bid expected from Kansas City

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v St. Louis Blues Getty Images

    They have the arena, but not the potential owner.

  10. Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:12 AM EDT

    Tuukka Rask, Shawn Matthias, Dennis Seidenberg AP

    Finished with a career-high 18 goals last season in Vancouver.

  11. Report: Caps, Kuznetsov working on a 2-3 year extension

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    The 23-year-old could be in line for a significant raise.

  12. Jackets’ prospect Oscar Dansk loaned to Swedish club

    Jul 5, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

    He struggled in his first year pro split between the AHL and ECHL.

  13. Report: Bolts sign Mike Angelidis to a one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 5, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    He’ll make $650,000 at the NHL level and $250,000 in the AHL.

  14. Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA

    Jul 5, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    Braden Holtby Braden Holtby

    Hearings will take place in Toronto from July 20 to August 4

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Voynov (2892)
  2. B. Saad (2802)
  3. R. O'Reilly (2502)
  4. B. Richards (2493)
  5. Z. Kassian (2478)
  1. M. St. Louis (2365)
  2. P. Kessel (2345)
  3. M. Green (2326)
  4. M. Richards (1931)
  5. C. McDavid (1847)