Found July 14, 2013 on
Ilya Kovalchuk didn’t make a lot of friends in the hockey world when he announced his early retirement  from the game on Thursday afternoon, but this may not be the last we see of the forward in the NHL. Although he is leaving behind millions – 77 to be exact — to return home to Russia to play in the KHL, Kovalchuk’s sister, Ariana, reportedly said that the 30-year-old star wants to return to America after three years. “Naturally, he plans to return to America and perform in the NHL. But the next three years he will play in Russia,” Ariana Kovalchuk said in an interview in Russia. Logistically, that may not be possible as Kovalchuk will need to get permission to return to the NHL from his former team, the New Jersey Devils, if he seeks a comeback within the next four years. However, once he turns 35, the possibility of a return becomes much more plausible. According to the New York Post: Ilya Kovalchuk will be removed from the “voluntary retired list” upon reaching his 35th birthday...

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 signs 4-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg

Ilya Kovalchuk has found a new team to play for in his native country. (Rich Kane/Icon SMI) After shocking the hockey world with his abrupt retirement from the NHL, Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk didn’t take long to find a new hockey team to play for. According to Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated, Kovalchuk has signed a four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, just four...

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...

“Russian Factor” Fears Leave Top Talent Unaccounted For

Categories: BREAKING NEWS Flyers News NHLTags: Anton BelovIlya KovalchukKHLSergei BobrovskyValeri VasilievIn hockey circles, the summer of 2010 has been referred to jokingly as the “Summer of Kovalchuk,” after then 27-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk dragged out negotiations for weeks before signing a gargantuan 17-year contract with the New Jersey Devils. The NHL rejected the original...

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 [...]

Suddenly the New Jersey Devils need more offense

Over the long haul, Ilya Kovalchuk’s departure could help the New Jersey Devils. The latter years of his contract would have proven burdensome to the franchise. He had 12 years and $77 million on the contract he walked away from. Devils hockey czar Lou Lamoriello gained considerable long-range payroll flexibility with Kovaluchuk off to finish his career is Russia. But in the near...

"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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