Skip to content

Former Devils coach: Teammates won’t hold grudge against Kovalchuk

Jan 11, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

Ilya Kovalchuk has made headlines lately by expressing his desire to finish the season in the KHL despite his contractual obligations with the New Jersey Devils.

In the end, he will rejoin the New Jersey Devils, but only after participating in the KHL All-Star Game on Sunday. Consequently, he’ll miss the start of the Devils’ training camp.

Patrik Elias took exception to that, but in the long run, former New Jersey Devils coach Jacques Lemaire doesn’t think it will be a big deal.

“Guys don’t care about that. Maybe in the beginning when they hear what he says they have some comments, but that is forgotten quickly,” Lemaire told The Star-Ledger. “You have to forgive and forget. I don’t think the other guys will care about any of this.”

Lemaire thinks that Kovalchuk’s actions show his appreciation to the KHL and his lockout team, St. Petersburg SKA, rather than suggest that he is less than happy with the New Jersey Devils.

New Jersey Devils forwards David Clarkson and Travis Zajac echoed Lemaire’s remarks.

“He’s one of those guys that everyone in the room loves. He’s a leader,” Clarkson said.

Kovalchuk has also been a leader in the KHL with 42 points in 36 games while serving as St. Petersburg’s captain.

Latest Posts
  1. Ottawa re-signs AHL coach Richardson

    Jul 7, 2015, 9:11 PM EDT

    Binghamton_Senators

    At one time he was regarded as a contender to be the Buffalo Sabres’ new bench boss.

  2. Blues appear set in the short-term, but difficult decisions loom

    Jul 7, 2015, 4:07 PM EDT

    Jaden Schwartz Getty Images

    Backes and Schwartz have one season left on their contracts.

  3. Avs add Farrish to coaching staff

    Jul 7, 2015, 2:38 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    Was most recently an assistant under Randy Carlyle in Toronto.

  4. Canes sign Zach Boychuk to one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 7, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT

    Zach Boychuk Getty Images

    “He’s a reliable depth forward who we know is capable of contributing offensively at either level.”

  5. Blackhawks extend TVR through 2017-18

    Jul 7, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Getty Images

    Stepped in to play the final four games of the Stanley Cup Final.

  6. Blue Jackets sign Columbus-born Kole Sherwood

    Jul 7, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Draft - Round One Getty Images

    Jarmo Kekalainen brings a local boy into the organization.

  7. Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage

    Jul 7, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Connor McDavid AP

    “He’s obviously a great talent.”

  8. PHT Morning Skate: Tyler Seguin is naked

    Jul 7, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    TylerSeguin

    In ESPN’s The Body Issue, of course.

  9. Report: Wild’s Backstrom suffered serious nerve damage in elbow

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

    Niklas Backstrom AP

    “It happened pretty fast. All of a sudden two fingers are not working.”

  10. Oilers taking Schultz to arbitration

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT

    Justin Schultz Getty Images

    25-year-old defenseman struggled mightily last season.

  11. Coyotes sign No. 3 overall pick Strome to entry-level deal

    Jul 6, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT

    Dylan Strome Dylan Strome

    Connor McDavid’s running mate in Erie was the OHL’s leading scorer last season.

  12. Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 26:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media prior to Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Ottawa Senators by defeating them 2-0 and move to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Quebec City and Las Vegas have already expressed interest.

  13. 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.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Voynov (2906)
  2. R. O'Reilly (2852)
  3. B. Saad (2826)
  4. B. Richards (2480)
  5. Z. Kassian (2432)
  1. M. St. Louis (2330)
  2. M. Green (2323)
  3. P. Kessel (2318)
  4. C. McDavid (2113)
  5. J. Allen (2039)