Jan 13, 2014, 10:03 PM EDT
It was one of the stunning developments in the National Hockey League this summer, but it appears Ilya Kovalchuk’s decision to go back to Russia is one he’s happy with.
Kovalchuk, who, according to Capgeek.com, was about to enter the fourth year of a 15-year contract worth $100 million with the New Jersey Devils, announced his retirement from the NHL on July 11. He scored 417 goals and 399 assists in 816 games during his time in the league.
Just four days after shocking the hockey world with his decision to leave for Russia, his home country, Kovalchuk signed with SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League.
As per hockeydb.com, Kovalchuk has 14 goals and 36 points in 38 games with SKA Saint Petersburg this season.
“I’m really enjoying everything here,” Kovalchuk recently told the Associated Press. “It’s a great league. The game is different, but we are getting there. There are good players here for sure.”
“I talked to Lou (Lamoriello) for sure and it wasn’t just one day … I appreciate the way he handled the situation and I’m excited it worked out for both sides.”
Kovalchuk’s next challenge will be with the Russian men’s Olympic ice hockey team, which looks to rebound for a dismal quarter-final loss to Canada, the eventual gold-medal winners in Vancouver four years ago.
- Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach 1
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 5
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 11
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 11
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking 37
- Hitchcock re-signs for one more year in St. Louis 10
- Ducks win crazy Game 5, push ‘Hawks to edge of elimination 32
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Game 5 of Western Conference Final 3
- In the playoffs, sometimes it comes down to the ‘bounces’ 4
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)