Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 1 year ago

Don't read too much into the rumors that Ilya Kovalchuk might return to the New Jersey Devils for the 2014-15 campaign.

Even if Kovalchuk wanted to as the rumors suggest, that doesn't mean that he can. Because he got out of his NHL contract by "retiring," he would only be allowed to return before 2017-18 if he gained the unanimous support of all 30 NHL clubs. It seems unlikely that teams like the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers would just stand aside and let the Devils get back Kovalchuk though.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk scored Russia's only goal in a 3-1 loss to Finland in Wednesday's quarterfinals match.

He opened the scoring with a bullet shot on a first-period power play, but Finland rallied with three unanswered goals to earn the victory. Kovalchuk had three goals in five Olympic games. Pavel Datsyuk picked up an assist on the play.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk didn't participate in Monday's practice as a precaution, but he's expected to play Tuesday against Norway.

He sustained what appeared to be a lower-body injury in the second period of Sunday's match against Slovakia, but he managed to return to help Russia win in the shootout.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk scored the shootout winner for Russia in their thrilling 1-0 victory over Slovakia on Sunday.

The star winger has excelled in the shootout this tournament, going 3/5 and showing off some terrific moves. He's settled into a top-six role on the talented Russian squad, playing with Alexander Radulov and Pavel Datsyuk on the second line. He has one non-shootout goal to his credit in three games so far.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk appears to be happy with his decision to play in the KHL this season after retiring from the NHL.

"I'm really enjoying everything here," Kovalchuk told The Associated Press after Saturday's KHL All-Star game. "It's a great league. The game is different, but we are getting there. There are good players here for sure." He has registered 14 goals and 36 points in 38 games with SKA St. Petersburg this season. Kovalchuk will get a chance to play against some NHL competition during the Winter Olympics when he plays for Team Russia.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk currently sits eighth in KHL scoring with 13 goals and 33 points through 31 games.

Choosing to retire from the NHL and terminate his mega-contract with the New Jersey Devils last summer, Kovalchuk joined SKA St. Petersburg and has been a huge help so far. SKA is in second place in the 28-team KHL with a 26-9-2 record and have scored the second most goals in the league. Meanwhile, New Jersey is currently in 25th place in the NHL and 26th in goals scored.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk said the possibility of eventually returning to the NHL is not on his mind.

"I am not going to Russia to start thinking about coming back to the NHL," Kovalchuk said. He signed a four-year deal with KHL St. Petersburg after retiring from the NHL to get out of his contract with the New Jersey Devils. Returning to the NHL would be a complicated process for Kovalchuk given the way he left, but that issue isn't likely to come up for years, if ever.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk has officially agreed to terms with KHL St. Petersburg.

This move has been widely reported since Kovalchuk first "retired" from hockey last week. At the end of the day, what basically happened is that Kovalchuk got out of the final 12 years of his contract with the New Jersey Devils so that he could continue his career at home. Although Kovalchuk left $77 million on the table when he ended his agreement with the Devils, there have been reports to indicate that Kovalchuk will actually benefit financially from this move.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk isn't expected to officially sign with KHL St. Petersburg on Friday.

It looks like that move will happen on Monday instead. Kovalchuk retired from the NHL and thus walked away from $77 million over 12 years. That being said, he should be well compensated in the KHL. In fact, it's entirely possible that he'll end up making significantly more money by bolting to Russia.

Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 2 years ago

Ilya Kovalchuk has agreed to join the KHL's St. Petersburg SKA.

That's the same team that Kovalchuk played for during the lockout. Kovalchuk shocked the hockey world on Thursday with his announcement that he would retire from the NHL and thus walk away from the $77 million still left on his 15-year, $100 million contract with the New Jersey Devils. It's not yet known how much Kovalchuk will earn in the KHL, but it will probably be substantial. The Devils will endure a cap penalty of $250,000 through 2025 due to the cap recapture clause. They also don't have a first round pick in 2014 because they were punished over their first attempt to sign Kovalchuk, which was voided because it circumvented the salary cap.