Sep 1, 2013, 2:19 PM EDT
Ilya Kovalchuk’s decision to “retire” and sign with KHL St. Petersburg sent shockwaves through the NHL. We’ve seen players, some of them very talented, bolt to the KHL before, but is it possible that other Russian stars inked to long-term contracts could attempt to follow in his footsteps?
It sounds like that would be the case if Moscow Dynamo general director Andrey Safronov got his way.
“[Alex] Ovechkin has a current contract with the Capitals. Can we try to pull him out? We’ll talk, we’ll look at each other and will have some result,” Safronov said, according to Russian Machine Never Breaks and CSN Washington.
“Right now all Russian national team players want to come back to their homeland. KHL shows its force and credibility. And finances are important too. Taking taxes in account, playing in Russia has become way more attractive for players.”
When Kovalchuk left, it was suggested that finances played a role. Specifically, what he would have been taxed in the United States compared to Russia. The lockout also influenced his decision.
What Kovalchuk did makes Safronov’s comments more noteworthy, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that Alex Ovechkin is willing to seriously entertaining the possibility of attempting to terminate what’s left of his 13-year, $124 million contract with the Washington Capitals.
It’s also worth emphasizing that although the Devils chose not to fight against Kovalchuk’s decision, they had the option.
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 0
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 8
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 38
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 16
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 7
- Caps’ Backstrom undergoes arthroscopic hip surgery 5
- Report: Sens’ Murray to retire after next season 0
- Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7 49
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6 1
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)