Report: Kovalchuk intends to sign multi-year contract with NHL team
Ilya Kovalchuk is ready to return to the NHL for the long haul.
The Russian superstar and unrestricted free agent is courting interest from possible NHL suitors, with the idea of a two- or three-year deal in mind, reports Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.
Kovalchuk has spent the past five seasons in the KHL after he retired from the New Jersey Devils in 2013, a move that cut short his previously signed 15-year contract.
The Devils retained his rights following his NHL retirement, a rule that may have prevented his return in past offseasons. But that's no longer the case, as Kovalchuk is now over age 35 and thus free to join any team of his choosing. He can officially sign as of July 1.
In 53 games with the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg this season, Kovalchuk collected 63 points. The former Atlanta Thrashers forward tallied 816 points in as many NHL appearances.