Skip to content

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

Jan 11, 2013, 8:30 PM EST

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. Isles begin life without Okposo, but get Grabovski back tonight

    Jan 27, 2015, 3:33 PM EST

    Mikhail Grabovski, Lubomir Visnovsky, Kyle Okposo Mikhail Grabovski, Lubomir Visnovsky, Kyle Okposo

    He’ll play on the top line with John Tavares and Josh Bailey against the Rangers.

  2. The Wild don’t want to stress themselves out thinking about the standings

    Jan 27, 2015, 2:20 PM EST

    Dallas Stars v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    “We know what the standings look like. That’s no secret. But we can’t make up all those points this week.”

  3. Report: Oilers owner tried to use Hamilton as leverage in arena negotiations

    Jan 27, 2015, 1:38 PM EST

    Daryl Katz Getty Images

    We already knew he tried to use Seattle for the same purpose.

  4. Martin Brodeur to retire, become Blues asst. GM (Updated)

    Jan 27, 2015, 1:23 PM EST

    Martin Brodeur Getty Images

    And so ends one of the most storied goaltending careers in NHL history.

  5. Sens waive Greening

    Jan 27, 2015, 12:28 PM EST

    Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America Getty Images

    After failing to find a trade partner for the 28-year-old.

  6. Mike Richards clears waivers

    Jan 27, 2015, 12:17 PM EST

    Mike Richards Getty Images

    Your move, Los Angeles.

  7. New owner Barroway bracing Arizona for rebuild

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:47 AM EST

    PNI coyotes main 0102 Getty Images

    “He wants to build for the long term and he understands that there is some suffering involved.”

  8. Apparently the Ducks are a team to watch as the trade deadline approaches

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:43 AM EST

    Bob Murray AP

    Bob Murray wants a defenseman, according to pretty much everyone.

  9. Game on: Islanders-Rangers to be played despite storm

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:12 AM EST

    Blizzard in New York AP

    The worst of the storm was saved for New England.

  10. Howard (torn groin) resumes skating, could return sooner than expected

    Jan 27, 2015, 10:48 AM EST

    jimmyhoward Getty Images

    “I’m still a little ways away. Hopefully I keep making the right strides.”

  11. Barry Trotz is determined to save Foley the Tiger

    Jan 27, 2015, 9:41 AM EST

    foleymakesh

    Update: Moving him might not be such a bad thing, really.

Featured video

Who will excite most in All-Star game?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Letang (3974)
  2. E. Malkin (3540)
  3. S. Crosby (3309)
  4. S. Bobrovsky (2981)
  5. C. Price (2822)
  1. P. Hornqvist (2752)
  2. J. Ortio (2390)
  3. T. Johnson (2069)
  4. P. Rinne (2007)
  5. Z. Rinaldo (1852)