New Jersey Devils leading scorer Ilya Kovalchuk will be back in the United States Tuesday and practice with the Eastern Conference champions Wednesday.
Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello announced Kovalchuk's plans Sunday, just minutes before the Devils took the ice for their first practice ahead of the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
Lamoriello said he spoke with Kovalchuk and his agent, Jay Grossman, several times during the four-month lockout and that he was never concerned whether his superstar forward would return from Russia if the lockout ended, which it did on Saturday.
Kovalchuk played in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg during the lockout and was named their captain. He participated in the KHL All-Star game Sunday.
While he could not give ''official'' permission to play in the game, Lamoriello said he was OK with it because it was something important to the player.
''I'm very comfortable with this situation,'' Lamoriello said. ''There is no penalty invo...