Skip to content

Former NHL star Kovalchuk ‘really enjoying’ life in KHL, Russia

Jan 13, 2014, 10:03 PM EDT

Russia v USA - 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Quarterfinals Getty Images

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Fanspeak: Bossy voted greatest Islander in franchise history

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v New York Islanders Getty Images

    The dynasty-era is well-represented in voting, as expected.

  2. Video: Luongo’s amusing Ice Bucket Challenge

    Aug 22, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT

    tryagain

    The TMNT pajamas really put it over the top.

  3. Larry Robinson has an … interesting take on Sharks captaincy

    Aug 22, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT

    Phoenix Coyotes v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    “We’re waiting for somebody now to step forward and take charge of this team.”

  4. Can Kyle Okposo maintain momentum from his breakout year?

    Aug 22, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    Despite missing 11 games, he set many career-high numbers.

  5. Jets’ Maurice adjusting to life in Winnipeg

    Aug 22, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT

    Paul Maurice AP

    Spent the summer relocating his family to the Manitoba capital.

  6. Report: Leiweke to head up Olympic bid in Los Angeles

    Aug 22, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT

    Tim Leiweke Getty Images

    Speculation on MLSE President & CEO’s next move.

  7. Looking to make the leap: Griffin Reinhart

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:32 PM EDT

    GriffinReinhart Getty Images

    Disappointed with demotion last season, 20-year-old will get another shot in September.

  8. Under Pressure: Garth Snow

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT

    Garth Snow Getty Images

    Has to get his team on the winning track.

  9. Video: Rangers’ Lundqvist shows off tennis skills

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Henrik Lundqvist Getty Images

    Helps friend raise awareness at charity event.

  10. Report: Bruins need to make a trade

    Aug 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    toreykruggetty Getty Images

    Excess of defensemen has GM Peter Chiarelli in a bind.

  11. In praise of John Tavares

    Aug 22, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT

    John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Chad Johnson AP

    At 23 years old, he’s one of the best players in the NHL.

  12. Sakic on RFA Barrie: ‘I’m confident he’ll be here’

    Aug 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Tyson Barrie Getty Images

    He’s the last free agent for the Avs to re-sign.

  13. It’s New York Islanders Day at PHT

    Aug 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Travis Hamonic, Kyle Okposo, John Tavares Getty Images

    They came back to the pack hard last season.

  14. Sabres’ Larsson says he’s proven what he can in AHL

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Johan Larsson Getty Images

    He’ll have a battle to make the NHL next season.

  15. NHLers hold charity games in Slovakia honoring Pavol Demitra

    Aug 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Pavol Demitra Getty Images

    He died in the plane crash that killed the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in 2011.

  16. McDavid on teams possibly tanking for him: ‘It’s pretty crazy’

    Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Connor McDavid Getty Images

    The NHL changed the process for the Draft Lottery on Wednesday.

  17. It’s all on Crosby, Malkin to make it work in Pittsburgh

    Aug 21, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Niskanen AP

    We know it’s not surprising, but just go along with it.

  18. Sakic on Giguere: ‘His achievements speak for themselves’

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT

    Jean-Sebastien Giguere AP

    A Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe in separate years is a nice legacy.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Hayes (1821)
  2. R. Johansen (1703)
  3. S. Crosby (1648)
  4. J. Spezza (1411)
  5. A. Ovechkin (1318)
  1. D. Alfredsson (1215)
  2. S. Mason (1208)
  3. C. MacArthur (1191)
  4. J. Giguere (1181)
  5. R. Malone (1134)