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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Annapolis MD
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    13,734

    Ilya Kovalchuk Tracking Thread

    Kovalchuk is finally a free agent with no strings attached to the New Jersey Devils. He's continued to be a top performer in the KHL, but is 35 and hasn't stepped into an NHL arena for a game in about five years. Thoughts on the best fit for Kovalchuk, and where does he end up going?

    Free agent Ilya Kovalchuk is making the rounds in California this weekend as he attempts to find a new NHL home.

    According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the Russian superstar met with the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and is set to meet the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.


    Kovalchuk, 35, last played in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils in 2012-13 before retiring from the league to play in the Kontinental Hockey League in his native Russia. He has since played six seasons with St. Petersburg, and tallied 31 goals and 32 assists in 53 games last season.

    He was a member of the gold medal-winning Olympic Athletes from Russia entry at the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February.

    A Russian report in April stated that Kovalchuk was plotting a return to the NHL and wanted to play another two or three years.

    When Kovalchuk turned 35 on April 15, he was removed from the NHL's voluntary retirement list and became an unrestricted free agent. The Devils had retained his rights before that point because he left the team in the middle of a long-term contract.

    Kovalchuk appeared in 816 career NHL games over 11 seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers and Devils. The first overall pick in the 2001 NHL Draft notched 417 goals and 399 assists and was a co-winner of the 2004 Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer.

    https://www.tsn.ca/kovalchuk-visits-...arks-1.1108278

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    26,182
    He's slowed down. He was nearly kicked off of his team two years ago and stripped as captain. Also comes from the most stacked KHL team. Seems he is meeting with the Cali teams right now first.

    SJ makes some sense. Guessing Thornton is back. You have Thornton-Couture-Hertl riding the middle with Pavelski, Kane, Kovalchuk, and guys like Labanc and Meirer riding the wings. I think the team needs some more speed though with Thornton, Pavelski and Kovalchuk.

    Secondary scoring in Washington though you have Burkaovsky and Vrana needing to develop. For some reason I wouldn't count out either Florida team.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,346
    Apparently he is looking for around 6.5 million per year. Seems like a lot of money for a 35 year old who hasn't played in the league for a handful of years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    26,182
    Quote Originally Posted by hughest4 View Post
    Apparently he is looking for around 6.5 million per year. Seems like a lot of money for a 35 year old who hasn't played in the league for a handful of years.
    6.5 AAV for 2 years is fine. Cap is up. Elite are at 12M. Kovalchuk is a 30 goal scorer still and that's what they make. Marleau just got 3x6 and he's older though 1) speed is still there 2) moved him out of his home for 19 easons and 3) his D game is great

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