Found July 14, 2013 on Kukla's Korner:
The New York Post's Larry Brooks posits a, "It was the lockout" theory regarding the reasons behind Ilya Kovalchuk's decision to retire from the Devils and return to Russia, and he also drops something of a bombshell regarding the intentions of several Russian superstars who ended up playing for their respective NHL teams during the 2013 season along the way: It is hypothetical, of course, but the chances are remote Kovalchuk would have left the Devils for Russia if not for the lockout, given the fact the winger endured a circumvention hearing, a nullified contract and the threat of yet another circumvention hearing during the summer of 2010 when the KHL beckoned, offering far more than the $100 million on the table in New Jersey. On Jan. 4, the day before the marathon negotiating session commenced that would lead to settlement of the lockout in the wee hours of Jan. 6, the NHLPA dissuaded Kovalchuk, Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin from...

Sister: Kovalchuk planning return?

After his abrupt early retirement from the NHL last week and departure for Russia's KHL, the former Devils left winger's sister spoke out about her brother's plans for a possible return to the United States.

Ex-Thrasher Kovalchuk's abrupt NHL retirement hard to figure

Almost nine years ago when the NHL was shut down for a season-ending lockout, I traveled nearly 6,000 miles to the Republic of Tatarstan to catch up to and write about Ilya Kovalchuk, once the star for the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnepeg Jets). A number of things stick out from that trip: The minus-16-degree Celsius temperatures in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan where Kovalchuk...

Kovalchuk signs 4-year deal with SKA

Russian team SKA St. Petersburg says it has signed forward Ilya Kovalchuk to a four-year contract. Last week, Kovalchuk walked away from $77 million left on his 15-year contract with the New Jersey Devils. SKA did not disclose the terms of the deal with Kovalchuk in its statement Monday. SKA president Gennady Timchenko described the 30-year-old Kovalchuk as a ''real leader...

DeBoer: Devils have a lot to prove

While caught off-guard by star forward Ilya Kovalchuk's decision to retire from the NHL and return home to Russia, New Jersey Devils coach Pete DeBoer said his team's job this season is to prove doubters wrong. Speaking between sessions of a rookie camp, DeBoer said the loss of the 30-year-old Kovalchuk leaves holes on the team's top line and specialty teams, and creates...

Kovalchuk Signs Four-Year Deal With SKA St. Petersburg

from RIA Novosti, Ilya Kovalchuk, who shocked the hockey world last Thursday by abruptly retiring from the New Jersey Devils, has signed a four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg, making him the first major Russian hockey star in his prime to defect from the NHL to the KHL. The deal, announced by the club on Monday, signals a coup Russian hockey officials have been fighting...

Ilya Kovalchuk speaks about SKA St. Petersburg deal

Much as been said about Ilya Kovalchuk's retirement from the NHL, the large amount of money he left on the table in North America and his return to Russia to play for SKA St. Petersburg. Every pundit has weighed in, Jeremy Roenick has had a Twitter meltdown, Don Cherry has had his say. It seems like everyone has spoken, including half of Kovalchuk's family, except for the...

Ilya Kovalchuk defection rattles NHL GMs

Ilya Kovachuk sent shock waves though the NHL by retiring from the New Jersey Devils so he could finish his career in Russia.He walked away from the last 12 years and final $77 million on his contract. The Devils signed off on his departure, but Kovalchuk gutted the franchise with his awkwardly timed decision. In the process of doing so made every general manager employing top...

The Birth of Ilya Kovalchuk

Very little has been made of Ilya Kovalchuk's start in the NHL. Amongst the hubbub of him bolting for Russia, everyone seems to be mentioning the Devils and his point production with them and yada yada yada. You may, if you're lucky, get a mention of him being drafted by the Thrashers in 2001. This tweet is a perfect example of what I'm talking about:   ...

Kovy Cap Circumvention Conspiracy

I can’t help but be bothered by the news that Ilya Kovalchuk walked away from the New Jersey Devils and the $77MM remaining on his contract. I should be happy as a Rangers fan that one of our principle division rivals has been weakened tremendously but that joy is tempered by the appearance that Lou [...]

Jeremy Roenick Is Losing His Mind, Blasts Kovalchuk’s Retirement In Twitter Rant

Ilya Kovalchuk announced his retirement from the NHL yesterday, as he’s decided to return home to Russia to play in the KHL. This news came as a shock to just about everyone in the hockey world, but no one was more rattled than former NHLer and current NBC Sportscaster, Jeremy Roenick. Roenick took to twitter to blow off some steam and let everyone know just how he feels about...

"Hall of Fame" Open Thread: 7/14/13

So, Mr. Kevin DeLury emailed myself, James and Adam on this past Friday night and informed us that he would be taking the week off to personally see that Ilya Kovalchuk makes it safely back to his new home in St. Petersburg, Russia. So while Kevin is away, the remaining three of the us will assume control of the blog for the next 5 days as we wait for anything NYR related to come...
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