Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/11/13 at 07:24 PM ET
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.
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