SKA has signed four-year deal with Ilya Kovalchuk, former New Jersey Devils attacker and two-time World Champion with Team Russia. A few days earlier Kovalchuk terminated his long-term deal with the Devils and announced the end of his NHL career.
“It gives us great pleasure to confirm that Ilya Kovalchuk has excercised his legal right to continue his hockey career outside the NHL and has signed a contract with SKA Saint Petersburg,” was how KHL President Alexander Madvedev greeted the news. “I should mention that the agreement fully complies with all KHL and NHL regulations, and is in complete accordance with the existing Memorandum of Understanding between the leagues. The contract will be officially registered in our Central Information Bureau database in the very near future.
Kovalchuk’s NHL record in Atlanta and New Jersey stands at 816 regular championship games with 417+399=816 points, and 32 playoffs outings with 11+16=27 points.
In Russia he has played for Ak Bars (during the 2004-05 season NHL lockout) and Khimik in 2005-06, amassing 27+28=55 points in 68 appearances.
Kovalchuk spent part of last season in the KHL during the recent NHL lockout. His tally in 36 games for SKA was 18+24=42 points.