NHL Rumors: Ilya Kovalchuk Return to NHL

nhl rumors ilya kovalchuk return

Ilya Kovalchuk is once again talking about returning to the NHL for the 2017-18 season. Kovalchuk suddenly retired in July 2013, when he walked away from his $77 million remaining contract with the New Jersey Devils to become the KHL's highest paid player.

Kovalchuk said via Russian reports that a comeback to the NHL is possible.

We will see. Everything is possible. Why couldn’t I return to NHL? I’ll have all options open that can benefit my career.

Kovalchuk’s contract with the KHL SKA St. Petersburg team comes to an end in spring, and he becomes a free agent on April 30. The 34 year old forward is on pace for his best statistical season since returning to Russia. Can Kovalchuk follow Alexander Radulov's footsteps and return to the NHL?

Making the move in the 2017 offseason is tricky. All NHL teams would need to unanimously approve such a decision because Kovalchuk signed his voluntary retirement papers when he left the Devils. Kovalchuk can easily return to the NHL without any restrictions when he's 35 and a UFA. That means sitting out a full season, growing 365 days older and slower.

Kovalchuk's career is at another crossroads. When will he return to the NHL?

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