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Kovalchuk's time in LA appears to be over

13 novembre 2019
With over a year left on his current contract, it looks like Ilya Kovalchuk and the LA Kings are agreeing to the terms of his release from the team. That's according to multiple online sources, including The Hockey News, which says details are still being worked out.



Kovalchuk, who signed a three-year deal with the Kings before the start of the 2018-19 season, was reportedly told by the team yesterday that he was welcome to continue coming to practice, but he was being held out of the lineup for the foreseeable future..

Kovalchuk has three goals and nine points in 17 games this season. He's also a minus-10. He's currently on the 2nd year of his three year contract that has him making $6.25 million per year and includes a no-movement clause. The 36-year-old had left the NHL in 2012 and spent five and a half seasons in the KHL before deciding he wanted to return to North America.

In his latest 31 Thoughts article, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman stated that Kovalchuk's salary will continue to count towards the Kings cap as he is over 35. He wrote:
Because he signed as a 35-plus contract, the hit stays on the cap of whoever owns his rights until the end of next season. Even if he decides to play in Russia, it sticks. “He could get abducted and probed by aliens….still counts,” texted one helpful capologist.


Meanwhile, the Russian media is having a field day. For weeks, various outlets have been calling on Kovalchuk to come home and end his distinguished career back in Russia. Now, with the situation of this match that should never have been made coming to its conclusion, not only is there a landing spot ready for Kovalchuk (Avangard Omsk, coached by his old Thrashers coach Bob Hartley, a team that is considered a serious KHL contender), but the Kings are taking the lion's share of the blame. According to Mikhail Zislis of Sport Express, the Kings are choosing to scapegoat the Russian veteran, rather than place any blame on Doughty, Kopitar, Brown, Quick, and the other aging heroes of Stanley Cup runs past. And while the possibility of a trade remains open, Kovalchuk will only waive his NMC in case of an offer from a serious contender. Omsk and Hartley and the Motherland await.



https://www.sport-express.ru/hockey/nhl/reviews/napadayuschiy-ilya-kovalchuk-mozhet-pereyti-v-avangard-mnenie-mihaila-zislisa-1610195/
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