- On 21 Sep 2012
Kovalchuk to SKA St. Petersburg
New Jersey Devils and Russian national team hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk has signed to play for SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League during the NHL lockout. However his contract does include an opt out clause in case the NHL locked ends he will be allowed to return to the Devils.
Several players have chosen to play oversears during the NHL lockout, but Kovalchuk is a headliner of a group of world class players who plan to play abroad. For Kovalchuk it is a return home to his native Russia.
Last season with the New Jersey Devils Kovalchuk compiled 83 points on 37 goals and 46 assists.
Kovalchuk's current contract with the New Jersey Devils was signed in 2010 and is worth $100 million over 15 years.
So far joining Kovalchuk in joing the Russian league are fellow native Russians Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar who have agreed to play for Malkin's hometown team Metallurg.