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The Kovalchuk Retirement

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

I’m sure all of you have a bunch of questions regarding the announcement today that Ilya Kovalchuk decided to retire from the NHL and will no longer be playing for the Devils.

A little further below is the transcript from Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello’s conference call with the media today. That might answer some of your questions, but I’ll try to address a few of them myself before I get to that.

*First, Kovalchuk reportedly will sign with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League on Friday. He played for that team and was its captain during the NHL lockout.

*Kovalchuk, 30, is permitted to play in the KHL (or some other league other than the NHL) because his contract with the Devils was officially voided after he signed his voluntary retirement papers today.

*If the Devils had fought it, they could have prevented Kovalchuk from playing in another league and tolled his contract every year – meaning the years he owed them would be pushed back until he returned (or didn’t). It didn’t sound today as if Lamoriello had any interest in doing that.

*If the Devils had fought Kovalchuk playing in another league and tolled his contract, he would have been a suspended player and his cap hit would not count against the team’s cap as long as he was not playing.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk


SYF's avatar

Lamoriello’s answers in the phone transcripts were typically “No comment,” type of answers.  Didn’t say anything any other GM would’ve said.  But I did find this interesting:

Did you have an option of putting him on a suspended list of not allowing him to play or once he said he wanted to go back to play in Russia, was this the decision you thought was best for everybody?

“He signed his voluntary retirement papers, so once he signed his voluntary retirement papers he’s automatically suspended because of the violation of the standard player’s contract. You can look at it any way you want it, but this was his choice.”

Further, if Kovy chooses to come back to the NHL after a period of time, he needs a consensus from the rest of the NHL teams to come back.  Sounds sort of like re-entry waivers.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 07/11/13 at 07:44 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Posted by SYF from a squishy place on 07/11/13 at 07:44 PM ET

Hmm, it might have been changed in the new cba but I thought it used to be that the penalty only happened if a player tried to come back from retirement within less then a year and if they sat out a year, a vote of all 30 teams wasn’t required.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 07/11/13 at 07:56 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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