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Kovalchuk: ‘We’ll see’ about NHL return

Russia Kovalchuk Hockey

FILE - In this May 13, 2013 file photo, Russia’s Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates his goal during the 2013 Ice Hockey World Championships match against Austria in Helsinki. Kovalchuk left the New Jersey Devils and retired from the NHL, leaving $77 million on the table last summer to go back home and play in Russia. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, Kovalchuk said he has no regrets and looks forward to helping the host country win gold next month at the Sochi Games. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Jussi Nukari) FINLAND OUT


Ilya Kovalchuk isn’t ruling out a return to the NHL.

“I have two more years on my contract (with SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL),” Kovalchuk told yesterday. “Then, we’ll see.”

Kovalchuk, who turned 32 in April, hasn’t played in the NHL since his shock “retirement” in July of 2013. He may not be eligible to return to the NHL until he’s 35.

The former Thrashers and Devils star had 25 goals and 30 assists in 54 regular-season games this season, then helped his team to a KHL championship in the playoffs.