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Ilya Kovalchuk | Winger | #17

Team: College Player
Age / DOB:  (35) / 4/15/1983
Ht / Wt:  6'2" / 230
Drafted: 2001 / Rd. 1 (1) / ATL

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You can count St. Louis among the teams that have interest in signing Ilya Kovalchuk.
St. Louis was part of TSN's Darren Dreger list of teams he believes are in the mix for Kovalchuk and now Blues GM Doug Armstrong has confirmed his interest. "Always looking to improve our team," Armstrong said. "We're like all teams. He's 35 years old, there's risk involved with players of that age. But he could be Jaromir Jagr. He could start slowing down at 41. Or he could come back and hit the wall. You never know. But there's certainly intrigue there because he's been such a dominant player internationally and he was a helluva player when he left (the NHL)." Armstrong has been in contact with Kovalchuk's agent. Jun 15 - 11:27 AM

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Boston GM Don Sweeney has confirmed that he has been in touch with Ilya Kovalchuk's representatives.

"I've been in contact with his group," Sweeney said by phone Tuesday. "For obvious reasons — about 230 pounds and still scores goals. He is 35, so you have to factor that in, but he brings a lot to the table. I hope he looks at [the Bruins] and says, 'That's a team I'd be interested in.' "He indicated that, but you know, until I get a chance to sit with him, I won't know that exactly." Kovalchuk can agree to terms with an NHL team now, but he can't officially sign until July 1. TSN's Darren Dreger listed nine teams believed to be in the mix for Kovalchuk and Boston is currently viewed as a top contender.
Jun 13 - 8:58 AM

TSN's Darren Dreger provided a larger list of teams he believes to be in the mix for Ilya Kovalchuk.

"I'm going to give you a list of teams that I believe are interested in Ilya Kovalchuk," Dreger told TSN 690 in Montreal on Tuesday. "And I'm going to qualify that level of interest. Detroit, as I tweeted earlier today, definitely made a push. The St. Louis Blues have interest, Anaheim, Dallas, the New York Islanders. I'd put that group as potential dark horse teams. And then beyond that, probably more solid contenders include the likes of San Jose and Los Angeles, and I'd put the Boston Bruins in that group and maybe the New York Rangers as well. So there are a total of nine teams." He's a big-name player who can add scoring, so it's not surprising that he is garnering plenty of interest.
Jun 12 - 2:03 PM

The Detroit Red Wings are also in the mix for free-agent forward Ilya Kovalchuk, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Kovalchuk recently made visits with the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. Detroit is also believed to be among the teams making a push for his services. He will make his return to the NHL in 2018-19 after spending the last five seasons in the KHL.
Jun 12 - 9:35 AM

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Ilya Kovalchuk is in California to meet with some NHL teams.

Dreger says that Kovalchuk met with the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and he will meet with the Sharks on Sunday. Back in 2010, the Russian winger apparently chose the New Jersey Devils over the Kings and he might be looking reverse his previous decision. Reports have stated that Kovalchuk is looking for a two or three year deal with an average salary of $6.25 million per year. This will be an interesting story to follow through July 1st.
Jun 9 - 6:46 PM

It seems unlikely that Ilya Kovalchuk will be reunited with the New Jersey Devils.

"I've not reached out to Kovalchuk's representatives and I've not heard from them, so there you go," said Devils GM Ray Shero when asked if he had any interest in acquiring free agent forward. Kovalchuk may make a decision on where to sign later this month around the 2018 NHL Draft.
Jun 4 - 3:04 PM

Ilya Kovalchuk will likely make a decision on his next NHL destination right around the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

"I’m exploring every (NHL) possibility for him at this stage," agent J.P. Barry said. "We could make a decision around draft time or just a bit after." The 35-year-old scored 31 goals and 63 points in 53 games this season. He also won a gold medal with the Olympic Athletes of Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Don't be surprised if Kovalchuk lands a multi-year contract with a cap hit in the ballpark of $6.25 million annually.
Jun 1 - 8:01 PM

Ilya Kovalchuk is reportedly likely to sign a two or three-year deal in the ballpark of $6.25 million annually.

That would be in line with the contract Patrick Marleau got with Toronto last summer. As for the destination, winning is reportedly Kovalchuk's focus, but of course that doesn't automatically rule out a lot of teams as it comes down to whether or not he sees them as a winner. For example, the Islanders missed the playoffs last season, but Kovalchuk appreciates how Lou Lamoriello handled his surprise exit from the New Jersey Devils and has apparently remained in contact with his former general manager. Now that Lamoriello is with the Islanders, is it possible that Kovalchuk might be interest in going there? It would be intriguing, especially if the Islanders succeeded in re-signing John Tavares as well. The Rangers, who also missed the playoffs, are another team that's been commonly linked to Kovalchuk.
Jun 1 - 1:02 PM

Ilya Kovalchuk has signed with the CAA Hockey agency, and according to TSN's Darren Dreger, discussions with interested NHL teams have begun.

TSN's Pierre LeBrun added that Kovalchuk can't officially sign with an NHL team until July 1, but he can agree to terms on a new contract. He believes that a bonus-laden, over-35 player deal is likely.
May 30 - 8:45 AM

The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly expressed interest in Ilya Kovalchuk.

It sounds like Kovalchuk won't be signing with Edmonton, but if the Oilers were pursuing him, perhaps they'll also go after other top UFAs this summer. Kovalchuk has most prominently been linked to the New York Rangers.
May 11 - 4:33 PM

The New York Rangers have apparently spoken to Ilya Kovalchuk's agent.

Kovalchuk is an unrestricted free agent but not allowed to sign officially until July 1. Rangers GM Jeff Gorton spoke with Jay Grossman, Kovalchuk's agent. "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," Gorton said. Kovalchuk will definitely talk to more teams and it should be interesting where the Russian ends up. He has 417 NHL goals and 816 points in 816 games but has played the last five years in the KHL as he wanted to return home.
Apr 29 - 7:45 AM

Ilya Kovalchuk is reportedly heading to the United States to engage in contract talks.

It's not clear what team or teams he will be negotiating with. Now that he's 35-years-old, he's no longer tethered to the New Jersey Devils, so he can sign with whatever team he wants. He can't officially sing a contract until July 1st though.
Apr 27 - 1:57 PM

Ilya Kovalchuk is officially off the NHL's voluntary retired list and is now an unrestricted free agent.

Kovalchuk turns 35 years of age today, which removes him from the list and makes him eligible to negotiate and agree to terms with any NHL team. However, he cannot sign until July 1.
Apr 15 - 1:24 PM

Ilya Kovalchuk reportedly said on Russian television that he thinks this will be his final season with the KHL's St. Petersburg SKA.

Kovalchuk expressed a desire to return to the NHL for the 2018-19 campaign. He explored the idea of playing in the NHL next season, but it would have been complicated because the Devils still control his rights, which would have made a sign-and-trade necessary. Next summer he'll be an unrestricted free agent in the NHL so that obstacle won't exist. Additionally, by staying in the KHL for one more season he can then play in the Olympics where Russia will be a heavy favorite to win gold given that NHL players won't be able to participate.
Fri, Jul 21, 2017 09:50:00 AM

Ilya Kovalchuk cited the Olympics as a key reason for his decision to stay in the KHL.

Kovalchuk entertained the possibility of playing in the NHL, but ultimately inked a one-year extension with the KHL's St. Petersburg SKA. "One of the main factors was the upcoming Olympic Games," Kovalchuk said. "In 2018, only players who play in European championships and the KHL can compete there." The NHL made the decision not to allow its players to participate in the 2018 Winter Games. Waiting at least another year before attempting to return to North America also makes some sense for him logistically. In the summer of 2018 he'll be an unrestricted free agent in North America, but the Devils still control his NHL rights for 2017-18, so he had to explore the possibility of a sign-and-trade, which might have been difficult to pull off.
Mon, Jul 10, 2017 08:02:00 AM

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