- Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports: From Paval Lysenkov of SovSport, Kovalchuk will be signing with SKA St. Petersburg and he’ll become the highest paid hockey player in the world. Lysenkov speculates that he wouldn’t be surprised if it was “a $ 15-20 million per year (at the taxation in 13%).” Dmitry Chesnokov thinks it could be heavily front loaded.
- Dmitry Chesnokov: SKA will announce Kovalchuk’s signing tomorrow, per @plysenkov, wanted to do it today.
- New Jersey Devils: 30-year old Ilya Kovalchuk retires from the NHL.A statement from Devils GM and President Lou Lamoriello:
“After many conversations with Ilya over the past year on his desire to retire from the National Hockey League, Ilya’s decision became official today. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Ilya and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”
A statement from Ilya Kovalchuk:
“This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia. Though I decided to return this past season, Lou was aware of my desire to go back home and have my family there with me. The most difficult thing for me is to leave the New Jersey Devils, a great organization that I have a lot of respect for, and our fans that have been great to me.”
- Dmitry Chesnokov: “Source close to Kovalchuk said he saw it coming. Most likely Kovalchuk will play for SKA. I am told major announcement will come very soon.”
- Alexander Zaytsev: “Sport-Express is reporting that Kovalchuk will play for SKA in the KHL.”
Kovalchuk had 12 years left on his contract and $77 million. Cap recapture penalty for the Devils is $250,000 through 2024-25. James Mirtle: Had he retired next year, cap recapture penalty would have been $700,000 for the next 11 years.
What are your thoughts on this shocking news?