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. Rangers in curious cap situation after re-signing Brassard

    Jul 28, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Glen Sather, Jim Dolan Getty Images

    They’ll be dancing close to the upper limit all year.

  2. PHT Morning Skate: Pens Payerl wants to be an NHL ‘beast’

    Jul 28, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Adam Payerl Getty Images

    That and the rest of the links to start your day.

  3. Former NHLer Cote sentenced 30 months in jail for bank robberies

    Jul 27, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    Image (1) predatorslogo-thumb-250x155-19571.gif for post 15160

    He last played in 2001 with the Edmonton Oilers.

  4. Purcell wants to shoot more in Edmonton

    Jul 27, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Teddy Purcell Getty Images

    He has a few guys that can help make it happen there.

  5. Sabres re-sign Adam to one-year two-way deal

    Jul 27, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    Luke Adam Getty Images

    He was their final restricted free agent.

  6. Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal

    Jul 27, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT

    Derick Brassard Getty Images

    He emerged as the team’s No. 2 center last season.

  7. Ortio’s new contract becomes one-way in 2015-16

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

    Joni Ortio Getty Images

    That adds another layer to the Flames’ goaltending competition.

  8. Columbus agrees to terms with Dana Tyrell

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT

    Dana Tyrell Getty Images

    He has played in 132 NHL games.

  9. Hiller’s recovery from appendicitis should be quick

    Jul 27, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, of the Czech Republic, gets water after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

    It led to him having a minor procedure.

  10. Mirco Mueller motivated by Sharks’ ‘tomorrow team’ talk

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

    Mirco Mueller Getty Images

    He’ll enter training camp with a shot of making the team.

  11. Flames re-sign Cundari to one-year deal

    Jul 26, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Mark Cundari Getty Images

    We’ve hit that part of free agency.

  12. Sens meeting with agents of Ryan, MacArthur next week

    Jul 26, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    Bobby Ryan Getty Images

    They’re both eligible to become free agents next summer.

  13. Bill Peters has high hopes to fix Hurricanes power play

    Jul 26, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT

    Bill Peters AP

    They had the league’s third-worst unit last season.

  14. Subban not eager to discuss contract talks

    Jul 26, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT

    P.K. Subban Getty Images

    He’s scheduled for arbitration on Friday.

  15. Caps’ Ward will bring Trotz expertise to locker room

    Jul 26, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT

    Joel Ward Getty Images

    He was injured during World Championships in May.

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches