Remember when Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Bryzgalov, and Ilya Kovalchuk said that they would consider staying in the KHL when the NHL finally returned? Although no reports of Bryzgalov or Ovechkin have surfaced about them staying in Russia, Kovalchuk says (when asked about staying overseas), “Time will tell. Nothing is out of the question.” He also said that he’s, “not in a hurry to get to America.”
It’s really sad that he’s been in consideration to become team captain of the New Jersey Devils when he obviously couldn’t care less about the team. The 29-year old is an explosive force on the ice when he’s hot, but he is often a selfish and disloyal teammate. After the Devils lost Zach Parise t0 free agency, they really can’t afford to lose Kovalchuk. The Devils would be left with two huge gaps in their top-6 and wouldn’t come anywhere close to a playoff spot if Kovalchuk decides not to return.
Kovalchuk has 785 career points in 779 games, that being said, he has a career +/- of -110, and has recorded a plus season just twice. He has also never recorded more than 28 hits in a season, which is about the same amount of hits Nikolay Zherdev has in his career.
Time will only tell if Kovalchuk decides to return, this could be a bluff of some sort for whatever reason. If he does decide to stay, don’t be surprised if this turns into an Alex Radulov situation in the future.
Follow Danny Shirey on twitter @_DSHY