Off the Record (OTR)

Kovalchuk now threatening to stay in KHL

Washington Capitals “star” Alexander Ovechkin threatened to stay put in the KHL in Russia if the NHL decided to cut player salaries via rollback or escrow. Well, now someone else is joining in on that chorus. New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk.

“Basically, I don’t rule out staying in Russia in the case of a reduction of our salaries in the NHL,” Kovalchuk told “I just don’t understand why they needed to sign such contracts. Or they were just hoping to cut the percentage later? I believe that the contracts must be respected and this is a fundamental question. There’s no way the head of the [NHL Players’] Association and the hockey players will agree on the wage reduction.”

The NHL will surely say that they’ve always honored contracts and will continue to do so. So what if the players lose some money in escrow?

We aren’t even sure that he’d be allowed to stay in Russia once the lockout ends. The NHL and KHL have an agreement to honor each other’s contracts. So, once the lockout ends, Kovalchuk would be property of the New Jersey Devils. He’s due $11 million this year, we’d have to think he’d come back to the Garden State.

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