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. Caps’ Backstrom won’t rush return from hip surgery

    Sep 3, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT

    Nicklas Backstrom Getty Images

    His availability for the season opener is in doubt.

  2. Seidenberg says trade rumors were ‘a slap in the face’

    Sep 3, 2015, 2:03 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    Bruins d-man is using them as motivation for a bounce-back campaign.

  3. Wild hire ex-Oilers goalie coach Chabot

    Sep 3, 2015, 11:42 AM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers Headshots Getty Images

    Where he worked with — wait for it — current Minnesota starter Devan Dubnyk.

  4. Flames ‘haven’t been able to find something’ with still-unsigned Ferland

    Sep 3, 2015, 10:53 AM EDT

    ferland Getty Images

    In a shocking development, “money and term” are the sticking points.

  5. Ex-NHLer Peat pleads guilty to arson

    Sep 3, 2015, 10:03 AM EDT

    Stephen Peat skates Getty Images

    He could face up to five years in prison.

  6. Report: Pens’ owners seeking $750 million for sale of team

    Sep 3, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Mario Lemieux Getty Images

    It would mark a record for the sale of a U.S.-based NHL team.

  7. Oilers, Flames AHL affiliates to play outdoor game

    Sep 2, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    gshr_raley

    Bakersfield and Stockton will play in West Sacramento, Calif. on Dec. 18.

  8. Report: Hawks’ Kane has not been asked to waive his no-move clause

    Sep 2, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Patrick Kane Patrick Kane

    As many as five teams are reportedly interested in acquiring the 26-year-old.

  9. Wings’ Franzen: ‘I’m excited to try to get back and have a good year’

    Sep 2, 2015, 7:05 PM EDT

    Johan Franzen Johan Franzen

    The Swede hopes to be cleared of his latest concussion in time for the season opener.

  10. Blackhawks sign Nordstrom to a one-year deal

    Sep 2, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    The 23-year-old appeared in 38 games with Chicago last season.

  11. After recovering from serious bike crash, Sarich holds out comeback hope

    Sep 2, 2015, 1:57 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    “I’m a realist. If nothing happens, that’s the way it is.”

  12. Trade target Cowen says Sens’ support has been ‘awesome’

    Sep 2, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

    Jared Cowen

    “I know that it’s not just me that feels I can be a lot better and be the player that I know I’m going to be and I want to be.”

  13. Ex-‘Hawks goalie Raanta tees off on former club

    Sep 2, 2015, 10:59 AM EDT

    Antti Raanta Antti Raanta

    He also wanted them to get swept in the opening playoff round against Nashville, apparently.

  14. Report: Devils captain Salvador to retire this week (Update: Official)

    Sep 2, 2015, 9:54 AM EDT

    Bryce Salvador #24 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center on September 19, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
(September 18, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    After missing most of last season with a back injury.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1862)
  2. P. Kessel (1578)
  3. M. Richards (1346)
  4. N. Backstrom (1151)
  5. P. Datsyuk (1138)