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. No hearing scheduled for Richards after Couture spear

    Apr 21, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT

    Mike Richards Getty Images

    Spearing has been a hot topic in the early stages of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

  2. Tyutin out, Foligno to make series debut for Jackets vs. Pens

    Apr 21, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Nick Foligno Getty Images

    First playoff game at Nationwide in five years tonight.

  3. Get your game notes: Penguins at Jackets

    Apr 21, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

    Matt Calvert AP

    Columbus comes home after a game of franchise firsts in Pittsburgh.

  4. Ducks recall Etem, Fistric from AHL

    Apr 21, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT

    SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Emerson Etem #65 of the Anaheim Ducks skates prior to the game against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on November 12, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida. Getty Images

    John Gibson and Sami Vatanen on their way down.

  5. Blue Jackets coach likes team’s confidence in postseason

    Apr 21, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT

    Todd Richards, Matt Calvert, Cam Atkinson AP

    They’re a young team that isn’t intimidated.

  6. PHT Morning Skate: Blues, Avs, Ducks look to go up 3-0

    Apr 21, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT

    Matt Calvert AP

    Columbus and Dallas host playoff games for first time in years.

  7. Video: Kings’ Richards spears Sharks’ Couture

    Apr 21, 2014, 2:19 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.06.58 PM

    This has happened a few times in these playoffs.

  8. Video: Bad blood continues to brew between Sharks and Kings

    Apr 21, 2014, 1:28 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Two Getty Images

    This one could’ve gotten uglier than it did.

  9. Avalanche’s Duchene (knee) expected to skate Monday

    Apr 21, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT

    Matt Duchene Getty Images

    Patrick Roy: “We’re going to be very smart about when he’s going to come back.”

  10. Video: Mike Brown hit sends Kings’ Toffoli into Quick

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT

    Jonathan Quick AP

    Just another game between these two California rivals.

  11. Shocking: Lightning coach isn’t happy about disallowed goal

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:34 PM EDT

    Jon Cooper, Tyler Johnson, Ryan Malone AP

    Jon Cooper straddles the line between snarky and careful.

  12. WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks (Game 2)

    Apr 20, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One Getty Images

    Kings hope to avoid two straight years of 0-2 first-round deficits.

  13. Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head

    Apr 20, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Tampa Bay’s captain managed to return later in the game.

Featured video

Detroit must exploit Boston's young D
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. T. Oshie (3933)
  2. M. Duchene (3387)
  3. B. Bishop (2753)
  4. D. Backes (2744)
  5. E. Malkin (2467)
  1. O. Palat (2434)
  2. R. Getzlaf (2385)
  3. S. Mason (2320)
  4. H. Zetterberg (2205)
  5. F. Andersen (1987)