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. Canes’ LaRose explains hiatus: ‘I fell out of love with the sport’

    Sep 21, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    “But sometimes you have to lose what you have to realize what you had.”

  2. Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins

    Sep 21, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four Getty Images

    Players nursing bumps and bruises as camps wrap.

  3. Wild’s Yeo is already getting excited about Vanek

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT

    Wild Vanek Hockey AP

    “He’s thinking usually two or three plays ahead.”

  4. It sure seems like Byfuglien would rather play on Jets’ D

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT

    Winnipeg Jets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    “God, defense was just so much fun though.”

  5. Report: Coyotes assess first-rounder Perlini’s broken hand

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes Rookie Camp Getty Images

    The team’s still trying to determine if surgery is necessary.

  6. Sens play it safe with Ryan after he collides with Turris

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT

    Brandon Sutter, Bobby Ryan AP

    He won’t play in either of Ottawa’s Monday exhibitions games.

  7. Flyers’ Laughton likely headed to Lehigh Valley

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    ScottLaughton Getty Images

    Seasoning in the AHL should serve the 20-year-old well.

  8. Schenn moves to center in Philadelphia

    Sep 21, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Brayden Schenn Getty Images

    With Giroux out, Craig Berube juggles lines.

  9. Hemsky adjusting to life in Dallas

    Sep 21, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    Not at Oilers camp for the first time in his career.

  10. Jenner at center begins Sunday

    Sep 21, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Boone Jenner #38 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 5, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders 3-2 in the shootout.
(October 4, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Columbus looking at options with Johansen not at camp.

  11. Report: Johansen has gotten no shortage of KHL offers

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    The restricted free agent seems to be at an impasse with Columbus.

  12. Merrill day-to-day with ‘wind taken out of him’ after head hit

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Jon Merrill Getty Images

    Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said he’s “fine,” but he initially said the same of Clowe when the player had a concussion.

  13. Versteeg looks to rebound from ‘brutal’ finish to 2013-14

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Two Getty Images

    The knee injury he sustained during the lockout shortened season might be partially to blame for his struggles.

  14. Luongo’s ‘mind is at ease’ in Florida

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:07 PM EDT

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    That’s after years of being the center of a goaltending controversy in Vancouver.

  15. Championship Kings reunited after short summer

    Sep 20, 2014, 8:09 PM EDT

    Justin Williams Getty Images

    Can they be the first repeat winners since Detroit in 1997-98?

  16. Could Burns bounce between forward and defense?

    Sep 20, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT

    BrentBurns3

    Do Thornton and Marleau disagree with coach Todd McLellan on this point?

  17. Sabres’ Reinhart will debut in preseason opener Sunday

    Sep 20, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

    Sam Reinhart AP

    It’s his first chance to provide his argument for why he should make the team.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Quick (1301)
  2. C. Giroux (1128)
  3. N. Horton (1094)
  4. A. Ovechkin (1049)
  5. B. Ryan (1044)