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Report: Ilya Kovalchuk more likely to stay in NHL according to Russian agent

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils - Game One

of the Philadelphia Flyers of the New Jersey Devils in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on April 14, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey.

Bruce Bennett

Despite the fact that he received an offer from SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, Tom Gilutti reports that Ilya Kovalchuk’s Russian agent admits that he is more likely to stay in the NHL.

In an article of the English-translated version of Russia’s Sport Express, Ilya Kovalchuk’s Russia-based agent says he is negotiating with SKA St, Petersburg of the Kontintental Hockey League, but also admits it’s more likely that the unrestricted free agent left wing remains in the NHL.

“To my mind, NHL stands better chances to get Kovalchuk, but if my mission finishes successfully, KHL will be undoubted favorite,” agent Yuriy Nikolaev told Sport Express.

Nikolaev said that he has no information on Kovalchuk’s negotiations with teams in the NHL, which are being handled by Jay Grossman.

“I don’t have information about situation in NHL and I am not ready to comment on it”, Nikolaev said. “I know that several NHL clubs hold talks with Ilya’s agents in NHL.”

I find it odd that Kovalchuk employs an American and Russian agent (especially if they indeed aren’t always on the same page). Then again, this entire negotiation process has been pretty strange, anyway, so this just adds another later of weirdness to what is becoming an increasingly protracted period of contract talks.