Superstar forward Ilya Kovalchuk has to play for the New Jersey Devils once the NHL lockout is lifted.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday that the KHL reaffirmed its intention to honor an agreement with the NHL concerning contracts. Players who have valid and binding NHL contracts must honor those deals, Daly said in an email to The Associated Press.
There has been some intrigue this week whether Kovalchuk would leave SKA St. Petersburg to return to the Devils. Some reports in Russia said he was concerned that he would make less money playing in a lockout-shortened NHL season.
Kovalchuk played in a KHL game Tuesday.
NHL owners plan to vote on the new 10-year agreement Wednesday. Players will vote on Thursday and Friday.