Ilya Kovalchuk signed a four-year deal with St. Petersburg SKA in the KHL on Monday. KHL published the announcement on their Facebook page after four days of his retirement announcement from NHL.
Kovalchuk left New Jersey Devils despite of having 12 years with $77 million remaining on his deal with the club. New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador said “It’s definitely shocking, just from the standpoint that he’s retiring from the League, especially at his age, and he’s still able to play, it’s more shocking because of his contract”.
Kovy scored 42 goals includes 18 goals and 24 assists for St. Petersburg during lockout. He came back to Devils in January and scored 31 points in 37 games.
Kovalchuk, 30 also selected as No.1 overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2001 NHL Draft. Overall, he scored 816 points in 816 games. In September 2010, he made a blockbuster deal with New Jersey Devils for 15 years for $100 million, where he just spent three years.
The deal terms were not yet disclosed by St. Petersburg, but it was expected that he will be the highly paid KHL’s player.