Rumors of Ilya Kovalchuk‘s return to the NHL has been ongoing for the past several months and now, a report early on Monday morning has him not only coming back to the league, but signing with the New York Rangers.
It appears as though Ilya Kovalchuk is digging Broadway.
Igor Eronko, a writer for Sport-Express’ Hockey and a contributing writer for NHL.com/ru, tweeted that Ilya Kovalchuk is set to sign a two or three-year deal. The report also indicated the deal will be a cap hit of $6 million.
Late Sunday night, Eronko reported that Kovalchuk said he is going to play in the NHL with the New York Rangers next season and intends to stay there for two to three years, at the very least.
— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) April 9, 2018
Ilya Kovalchuk said he's going to play in the NHL next season. And stay there for 2-3 years at least
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) April 8, 2018
Kovalchuk will be allowed to discuss contracts and terms with teams beginning April 15 when he officially becomes a free agent, but would not be allowed to sign with any team until July 1 when free agency begins.
In March, when speculation of Kovalchuk’s return began to take shape he told @MatchTV he wouldn’t forgive himself if he didn’t return to the NHL this year and play several more years.
Ilya Kovalchuk told @MatchTV he wouldn't forgive himself if he doesn't return to the NHL this year and play there several years. Again cited the Triple Gold club as a goal
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) March 16, 2018
Kovalchuk last played in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils back during the 2012-2013 season, appearing in only 37 games. In his 12-year NHL career, the 34-year-old he has scored 417 goals with 399 assists for 816 points, appearing in 816 games.
He was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers with the first overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
In the KHL this past season, Kovalchuk tallied 31 goals and 32 assists in 53 games playing for SKA St. Petersburg. In the KHL playoffs, he put forth 10 points in 15 games.
Kovalchuk also played in the 2018 Winter Olympics in February, scoring five goals in six Olympic Games.
The Rangers could use some of that offensive scoring that Kovalchuk posses. The question that comes up when talking about the Russian forward is what kind of layer is he now compared to when he left the NHL?
If this signing is actually going to happen, the Rangers might already have that answered.