Surely you’ve read the reports. Former NHL superstar turned KHL superstar Ilya Kovalchuk has set his sights on returning to North America to once again play in the NHL. Meanwhile his current team, St. Petersburg SKA, has been negotiating with the 34 year-old and one KHL insider hints at a possible hitch that may dash his NHL return.
That could make things tricky. The NHL, of course, has announced that it has no plans to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics and any player under contract who decides to go against league policy will surely be dealt with drastically. This could preclude Kovalchuk from signing with an NHL team, either on his accord or theirs depending on what he ultimately wants to do with regards to the Olympics.
Regardless, Kovalchuk represents and intriguing option for several NHL teams. Even at age 34 he managed 32 goals and 78 points in just 60 games and helped lead St. Petersburg to a Gagarin Cup championship. Should he waive his Olympic dreams, there will be no shortage of NHL offers on his desk come July 1st.