By now, you might be a bit fed up about the whole Kovalchuk's saga and you'd be right. We heard about the guy for a good portion of the off-season and suddenly, it seems like nothing really happened and he would be staying in the KHL. He was certainly aware of all the rumors but didn't do anything to disprove them, until today.
According to ESPN, Kovalchuk never really even considered coming back to the NHL.
"One of the main factors was the upcoming Olympic Games. In 2018, only players who play in European championships and the KHL can compete there"
Well, it couldn't have been clearer! If only we heard that one two months ago... Anyhow, it seems the Olympics are really important to him.
"The team has the task of defending the championship and that's always difficult to achieve. It's an Olympic year, so everyone who wants to represent their country has to play at their best. I am not an exception, and it's a challenge which I accept''.
Moreover, Complete Hockey News report an even better quote, stating Kovalchuk didn't even consider discussing the matter with the Devils!
"Nothing [is wrong with New Jersey]. I didn't negotiate with New Jersey. At the moment I figured out that NHL players were not going to the Olympics, I told my agent I will go to Saint Petersburg for a year."
"A lot of rumours, don't believe it. I didn't speak with anyone [in the NHL]. It's better not to propose [if I will go to the NHL next summer]. Right now I have to focus on my preparation."
Wow! So much drama for so little in the end.