Skip to content

Report: Kovalchuk to be named captain of KHL club

Aug 28, 2013, 8:20 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

It won’t be in the NHL, but Ilya Kovalchuk will still be wearing a letter on his sweater next season.

Kovalchuk will soon be named captain of his new club, SKA St. Petersburg, according to Russian news outlet R-Sport. He joined the KHL team in July after stunning the Devils organization by retiring with 14 years and $77 million remaining on his contract.

Kovalchuk had previously served as the captain in Atlanta from 2009-10, and an alternate in New Jersey from 2010-2013.

Following news of his retirement, the 30-year-old sniper inked a four-year deal with SKA, a club that apparently holds him in the highest esteem. During the lockout, the team gave Kovalchuk its captaincy — replacing veteran and ex-NHLer Dmitri Kalinin — and reports claim SKA is paying Kovalchuk $10 million annually with this new deal.



  1. JRZ Satan - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    I hope he snaps his femur.

    • mpg44 - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      And his mafia boss/team owner tells him to suck it up !

  2. martysbetter - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    He’ll forever be the captain of the JERK team to me!

    In all seriousness though, I don’t care as much as I did a month ago – I honestly don’t know that our ownership situation would have been figured out had he still been on the books.

    • cerealrapist - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:17 PM


  3. devilsarethebest - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    He was my favorite player in the league years before he came to Jersey. I got to watch him beat us in a shootout and honestly, I may have gotten just a little excited when he scored. With that said, it’s hard for me to all of a sudden hate my favorite player, so I feel we’re best off ignoring him. I wanted him to be Captain after Parise left, and I heard he turned it down. Should’ve known then.

  4. 950003cups - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    I wish he would come back. How do you give up $77,000,000 GUARANTEED for $40,000,000??????

    Makes zero sense to me.

    • hockey7515 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Well first off, he is closer to family. He is taxed less and makes more money per year.

      • nj666 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        We’ll see how much he actually makes compared to whats “promised” once he gets injured or doesn’t compete to their standards….

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:09 AM

        Maybe he gets most or all of his salary in cash and pays no taxes at all.

    • barkar942 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      Because there was no $77,000,000 to pay him with.

      • 950003cups - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        No? These two dudes who own the Devils have a combined net worth of $3,000,000,000. The entire Dolan family combined has $3.2 (and only Jimmy boy owns the rags) and Ed Snyder has less than both of them. So unless you’re a SJ fan, ZIP YER BROKE ASS LIPS.

        Cause me and the rest of my Devils family are feeling like this:

      • barkar942 - Aug 29, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        Your new owners may have mucho buckos, but how about mr V? Why was the team sold? Mr. V was out of buckos. Two Mr. Mucho Buckos wouldn’t buy the team with that $77,000,000 debt. That is why Mr. K said Nyet more Devils, so two Mr. Mucho Buckos would buy Devils!
        It ain’t rocket science, only common financial sense.

  5. thailer35 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Kaptain A$s-Klown

  6. barkar942 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    When the ship sinks, women and children first- I mean Captians abandon ship first!

  7. quizguy66 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    To quote Claude Lemieux, “What’s the ‘C’ on your sweater stand for? Selfish?

    • Whooten Anit - Aug 29, 2013 at 8:56 AM

      You’re thinking of Lyle Odelein.

      • quizguy66 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Nope, it was Claude – he said it to Eric Desjardins in the 99-00 season.

      • Whooten Anit - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        I don’t think Desjardins was captain of the Flyers in 1999-2000. It was Odelein to someone wearing a C on his chest. It was also more like 97 or 98.

  8. nj666 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    I could care less, he never really seemed like a true devil anyways. In my opinion the loss of Parise was way worse.

  9. nyrnashty - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    One of the most powerful forwards ever. This guy has it all!

  10. thejrod2006 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    When I think of all of the great captains in hockey history…..Messier…..Yzerman…..Lemieux…..the LAST guy I think of is Kovalchuk

  11. blomfeld - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    ” …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… “

  12. 950003cups - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Ilya Kovalchuk is, not one of, but the best forward I’ve ever seen live. He learned so much from the NJ system. He went from a lazy one dimensional player who only waited for his pass to come so he could score, to being an integral piece in every situation. PK, PP, 5 on 5, EN and was also good double shifting on the 4th line, which he back checked his way to winning G5 in the EC final.

    Without Kovalchuk, the Devils and their fans lose a bonafied absolute STUD. Parise; as good as he was, couldn’t shine Kovy’s skates.

    I would LOVE if he were to bail out of Russia and come back. I’ll be the first to forgive, forget, and welcome him with open arms.

    • blomfeld - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:56 AM

      950003cups is both ‘sheep’ and a ‘cuckold’ … and that’s a shame

      ‘Cuckold’ historically referred to a husband with an adulterous wife and is still often used with this meaning. In evolutionary biology, the term cuckold is also applied to males who are unwittingly investing parental effort in offspring that are not genetically their own. Since the 1990s, the term has also been widely used to refer to a sexual fetish in which the fetishist is stimulated by their committed partner choosing to have sex with someone else.

      • 950003cups - Aug 29, 2013 at 7:06 AM

        Thank you for the detailed history of the word “cuckold”
        Here’s a few other words you might wanna look up that might excite you:

        Tea Bagging
        Cleveland Steamer
        Rusty Trombone


  13. arlingtonrob - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Considering how, and why, he exited the NHL…I would like to see a Kovalchuk news blackout implemented.

    That is…unless the news is bad. I always enjoy a little Schadenfreude.

    There just aren’t many Russian hockey players that can be trusted, and most of the good ones seem to end up in Detroit….which is kinda odd.

    • cweez2 - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      Didn’t Bobrovsky turn down 2x the money from the KHL recently?

  14. timmyp716 - Aug 29, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Ha, captain…….until the ship goes down and hes the first one out

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1382)
  2. P. Kessel (1327)
  3. M. Boedker (1199)
  4. R. McDonagh (1124)
  5. S. Matthias (1110)