Skip to content

KHL’s SKA Saint Petersburg announces signing of Kovalchuk

Jul 15, 2013, 8:57 AM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

What has been assumed and reported for days has been officially announced. Ilya Kovalchuk has inked a four-year contract with SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Last week, Kovalchuk sent shock waves through the hockey world when he decided to retire from the NHL despite having $77 million left on his 15-year, $100 million contract. Kovalchuk’s decision left the New Jersey Devils with a massive hole in their lineup, not to mention a $250,000 annual cap recapture penalty through 2024-25.

On top of that, the Devils don’t have a first round draft pick in 2014 as punishment for their first attempt to sign Kovalchuk.

Following his retirement, it quickly became apparent that Kovalchuk would head to the KHL to extend his career. His mother suggested that this had been on the 30-year-old forward’s mind since January and he was influenced by his time with SKA during the lockout.

Taxation in the United States as well as the NHL’s escrow rules were also apparently factors as it’s believed that Kovalchuk stands to benefit financially from this maneuver. SKA hasn’t released the financial terms of their agreement with Kovalchuk.

The next time a wide North American audience sees him on the ice might be during the 2014 Winter Olympics. Team Russia and the United States will be in the same division.

Related:

Two silver linings for Devils in Kovalchuk retirement

Parise is ‘shocked’ Kovalchuk left New Jersey

What they’re saying about Kovalchuk bolting for the KHL

So, what’s next for the Devils without Kovalchuk?

Devils players didn’t see Kovalchuk retirement coming

With Kovalchuk gone, Devils pursue Damien Brunner

Cherry says Kovalchuk is ‘just laughing all the way to the bank’

Agent: Kovalchuk’s departure won’t lead to Russian exodus

Elias: Kovalchuk move wouldn’t affect choice to stay with Devils

Could Kovalchuk return to the NHL in 2018?

Columnist says lockout prompted Kovalchuk’s departure

Latest Posts
  1. Looking to make the leap: Anthony Mantha

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

    AnthonyMantha

    Former Quebec league sniper is gunning for a gig in Detroit.

  2. Report: Rangers show interest in Malone

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT

    Ryan Malone Getty Images

    Former Tampa Bay forward was bought out of his contract earlier this summer, following legal troubles.

  3. Red Wings’ playoff streak borders on historic, but does it matter?

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:04 AM EDT

    Gustav Nyquist AP

    The Red Wings are rebuilding on the fly, but are they assembling a future Cup contender?

  4. Despite ‘nightmare’ season, Clarkson excited for future

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    David Clarkson Getty Images

    He’ll enter the second season of his seven-year, $36.75 million contract.

  5. It’s Detroit Red Wings day on PHT

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

    They have made it to the playoffs for 23 straight seasons.

  6. NHL-to-Vegas talks gaining steam

    Aug 26, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    NHL Awards - Show Getty Images

    A recent report has added new fuel to the speculation on that subject.

  7. Johnston will enter camp looking for wingers for Malkin

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    Dupuis and Hornqvist are two of the main options.

  8. Poll: Who should be Columbus’ next captain?

    Aug 26, 2014, 7:23 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One Getty Images

    Will they go another season without one?

  9. No Vezina repeat, but Bobrovsky remains Jackets’ MVP

    Aug 26, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets' goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, of Russia, is silhouetted as he stands in front of his net before an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) AP

    He’s going into the final season of his bridge contract.

  10. Bishop not 100 percent, aims to be ‘close’ before opener

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

    Ben Bishop AP

    He’s looking to build off of his breakout campaign.

  11. Oilers remain hopeful Schultz will sign before camp

    Aug 26, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT

    Justin Schultz Getty Images

    The restricted free agent is likely to get a one or two-year deal.

  12. Under Pressure: Nathan Horton

    Aug 26, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Injuries prevented him from doing much in the first season of his seven-year, $37.1 million deal.

  13. Looking to make the leap: Alexander Wennberg

    Aug 26, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

    Sweden v United States - 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp Getty Images

    He could follow in Boone Jenner’s footsteps.

  14. Berube: Lecavalier needs to ‘get over’ trade rumors

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    LecavalierPhilly Getty Images

    “I have to do a little bit better job managing him and he’s got to buy into the team.”

  15. Report: Moore, Bertuzzi still negotiating confidentiality pact

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Bertuzzi Moore

    But per Bertuzzi’s lawyer, the settlement has been agreed upon.

  16. Will Johansen be the latest Overhardt holdout?

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:54 AM EDT

    Ryan Johansen Getty Images

    Player agent has a bit of history with his clients missing camp.

  17. After first playoff win, the bar’s been raised in Columbus

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

    Ryan Johansen, James Wisniewski AP

    Can they live up to the heightened expectations?

  18. Penguins aren’t in rush to re-sign Fleury

    Aug 26, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Rutherford thinks highly of the goaltender though.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Price (1868)
  2. J. Harding (1805)
  3. J. Thornton (1785)
  4. J. Giguere (1568)
  5. A. Semin (1520)
  1. J. Spezza (1516)
  2. C. MacArthur (1502)
  3. M. Staal (1441)
  4. S. Crosby (1143)
  5. R. Johansen (1131)