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Report: Kovalchuk to play in KHL All-Star Game — on Sunday

Jan 9, 2013, 10:40 AM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk AP

The Ilya Kovalchuk saga continued Wednesday as the KHL released an updated roster for its annual All-Star Game — a roster that’s void of eight NHL stars originally named to the game.

The one that wasn’t removed?

Ilya Kovalchuk.

The New Jersey sniper remains the lone NHLer slated to play in the contest (to be held in Chelyabinsk), a curious development given rumblings of Kovalchuk passing on a return to North America to finish out the year in Russia.

Here’s more, from Tom Gulitti of

“The CBA will not be signed until Sunday,” Shalaev told Lysenkov. “So Kovalchuk (has) no employment relationship with the NHL, and he is going to Chelyabinsk. …We are disappointed that all the other NHL stars were quick to go to North America. … 

“Will Kovalchuk play in the KHL till the end of this season? Do not hurry up. Wait till Sunday…”

Actually, the electronic vote to ratify the new CBA is expected to be completed by the players on Saturday (NHL’s Board of Governors are voting today) and training camps expected to open Sunday, but that is not official yet.

So, if camp does open Sunday and Kovalchuk does play in the KHL All-Star Game, he would miss the first day of camp with the Devils (which would likely be physicals).

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told Gulitti that Kovalchuk hasn’t asked permission to play in the All-Star Game, but also said he’s not 100 percent sure when the camps or the season will start — ergo, he’s not going to jump to conclusions.

“I have no reason to believe [Kovalchuk] won’t be here,” Lamoriello said. “I don’t even know what day the ratification is. I don’t even know when we start, yet. There’s too many unknowns to make any decisions, so I’m not even getting into anything.”

Oh, and just to add another weird wrinkle to this already bizarre story, here’s Larry Brooks from the New York Post:


Is Ilya Kovalchuk staying in the KHL?

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

Ask a Lawyer: Could Ovechkin and/or Kovalchuk legally get out of their NHL contracts?

  1. travishenryskid - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Seth Jones and Adam Larsson on the blueline for the next 10 years ain’t a bad recipe.

  2. thecheeman - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    He played the entire season there, let him play in the All-Star game then fly home. I assume the Russian all-star game isn’t a bruising affair.

    As of now there is no deal and he shouldn’t be obligated to act is if there is.

  3. broadstbully33 - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Good for him

  4. flyerguy73 - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    The punk needs to stay over there.

    • lordfletcher - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      Flyer fan calling a Russian a punk.

      is there a difference ?

  5. lsxphotog - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I have a feeling some Russians will create some problems.

  6. kingfooj - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Look at this as if you were in his shoes.
    What if you had to go over to a foreign country to play, then they locked you out which allowed you to come back home for almost equal money and play in front of your family with a familiar environmental. Not just that but youre team captain

    Further pretend that the foreign league cut your salary, and implemented contractual changes that specifically aimed to take money away from the contract that they signed you to. THEN imagine that the public over there started bashing you for not jumping out of your pants to go back when they finally make a deal on their own time.

    The situation seems a bit different when you look at it from the other side of the table

  7. fortwaynekomets - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    good for him, indeed.

    to moat of you what he’s doing sounds selfish… but no not at all.

    let the guy do what he finished overseas. the NhL will always be here, and maybe had they agreed on a new CBA last summer, we wouldnt be talking about this.

    I personally respect his dedication to his club in Russia. playing in the all star game is a great deed for the fans over there as well.

    see ya when the playoffs start Kolvy!

  8. soj83 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    wow, Kevin Dallman, Dimitri Kalinin, Tim Stapleton, Deron Quint, Alexander Perezhogin, Alexei Morozov. star filled lineups. i actually thought Quint and Morozov retired years ago.

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