Ilya Kovalchuk Russia
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

General manager Jeff Gorton confirmed that the New York Rangers have reached out to former Devil Ilya Kovalchuk

The New York Rangers are currently in a rebuild, however, they aren’t ruling out bringing in veteran players.

One player they have been linked to is former Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk. General manager Jeff Gorton confirmed that the team has reached out to the winger, according to Larry Brooks at the New York Post.

“We’ve checked in with him. It’s fair to say that’s something we’re going to look at again further and see what’s going on.”

There have been conflicting reports about the Rangers signing Kovalchuk, with reports in early April saying that the team had agreed to terms with him. However, Kovalchuk refuted those reports, stating at the time that he hadn’t spoken to any NHL teams.

The Russian-born winger has a history of success in the NHL, recording 417 goals and 816 points in 816 NHL games. However, he is 35-years-old and has not played in the NHL since 2012-13, after which he retired to go play in the KHL.

He left the Devils in the middle of a 15-year contract, and struggled in his final year, producing only 11 goals in 37 games. He’s spent the past five seasons playing with SKA St. Petersburg, scoring 121 goals and 284 points in 264 games. He’s also been a teammate of Rangers prospect Igor Shestyorkin.

CapFriendly projects the team to have a little less than $25 Million in cap space this offseason, however, they have several players to re-sign. Ryan Spooner, Vladislav Namestnikov, Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Vesey, and Brady Skjei are all going to be restricted free agents.

While it’s possible that the team could look to trade some of these players at the draft, it would make more sense to invest in the young players already here than to sign an aging winger that hasn’t played NHL competition in five years.

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