Rumors of Ilya Kovalchuk Wanting to Remain in Russia

USATSI_7749977_154224518_lowresWith a tentative agreement in place, players who were playing overseas are boarding planes and heading back to North America. Some are taking their time and will be leaving in a few days, getting in one last game or spending some extra times with their families.

Almost all European leagues can’t afford to pay the players the same as the what the NHL can offer. The KHL is basically the only exception to this. The NHL and KHL have an agreement where they are to honor all contracts. This may be getting tested already.

Yesterday afternoon Lubomir Visnovsky said that he will remain with HC Slovan Bratislava in the KHL and won’t be heading to New York to play with the Islanders. Can read our story from yesterday regarding Visnovsky here.

Then there was this:

This brings us to this morning where the rumors are flying around that New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk is considering remaining with SKA of the KHL.

Bill Daly commented on the Kovalchuk situation:

Slava Malamud posted a Kovalchuk comment.

It’s likely that Kovalchuk will end up leaving SKA and returning to the Devils, but in the meantime, it is a story that is worth following. Many thought that if some Russian players would remain in the KHL, that it would be ‘non-star’ players and not the big names.


Mark is the NHL editor for Sports City and myNHLtraderumors.com. Lives north of Toronto in the snow-belt, not a big fan of snow. Despises lockouts.

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