Skip to content

Kovalchuk says he’s not thinking about possibility of NHL return

Jul 15, 2013, 1:12 PM EDT

ilyakovalchukgetty Getty Images

How, when, or if Ilya Kovalchuk can one day return to the NHL has been a hot topic since the 30-year-old sniper left New Jersey to sign a four-year contract with KHL club SKA Saint Petersburg.

According to the New York Post, the rules says he’s free to come back to the NHL when he turns 35. The Record’s Tom Gulitti, on the other hand, has been told the Devils may still be able to challenge a Kovalchuk return, even when he’s 35 or older.

Ask Kovalchuk about it, though — as Sovietsky Sport did — and it’s clear it’s not a topic he wants to discuss.

“I am not going to Russia to start thinking about coming back to the NHL,” he said (as translated by Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo! Sports).

Kovalchuk also said he chose to leave North America because he’s more comfortable in Russia, where his mom, sister and friends live.

He did express a bit of sadness that he was never able to win the Stanley Cup, but he’s sure he made the right decision by signing in the KHL.

Latest Posts
  1. Habs sign Barberio to a one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT

    Mark Barberio Mark Barberio

    The contract pays the 25-year-old $600,000.

  2. Columbus character: Blue Jackets ink Gregory Campbell

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:34 PM EDT

    Gregory Campbell AP

    It’s reportedly two-years, $3 million.

  3. Report: Brassard should be ready for training camp after wrist surgery

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    Derick Brassard AP

    The Rangers were a banged-up group in the playoffs.

  4. Preds trade goalie Hellberg to Rangers

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

    Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Was the first netminder taken at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

  5. Kessel trade shows Leafs are trying to ‘build this thing the right way’

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:53 PM EDT

    Official Announcement Of Mike Babcock As Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Getty Images

    “We are here to build a team that is capable of winning a Stanley Cup. There are no shortcuts to go around doing that.”

  6. B’s re-sign Spooner: two years, $1.9 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:06 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    23-year-old had 18 points in 29 games last year.

  7. Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    Moves on from Washington, the team that drafted him in 2004.

  8. ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel Getty Images

    Penguins GM considers his new winger in the same class as Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos.

  9. After Preds buyout, Stalberg signs one-year, $1.1M deal with Rangers

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:19 PM EDT

    Viktor Stalberg #25 of the Nashville Predators warms up prior to a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena on October 24, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(October 23, 2013 - Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    29-year-old forward will look to get his career back on track.

  10. Roundup: Jackman to Preds, Moore to Devils, Parenteau to Leafs

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:04 PM EDT

    Barret Jackman

    Some smaller signings to pass your way…

  11. Saad ‘a bit shocked’ by trade, but ‘looking forward’ to joining Jackets

    Jul 1, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT

    Brandon Saad AP

    Still needs to sign a new deal, but Columbus will match any offer sheet.

  12. PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker

    Jul 1, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    All the signings from what promises to be a busy day.

  13. KHLers Burmistrov (Jets), Tikhonov (‘Hawks) make NHL returns

    Jul 1, 2015, 2:06 PM EDT

    Alex Burmistrov AP

    Both spent the last few seasons playing in Russia.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Hamilton (2420)
  2. M. Richards (2376)
  3. C. Talbot (2090)
  4. R. O'Reilly (1993)
  5. S. Gagner (1922)
  1. A. Niemi (1776)
  2. E. Etem (1743)
  3. R. Lehner (1723)
  4. M. Lucic (1632)
  5. C. Pronger (1539)