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Report: Kovalchuk stripped of captaincy by KHL club

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’s one-game scratching in the KHL playoffs has been extended by at least two games, according to Russian newspaper Sport-Express.

His “further fate” with SKA Saint Petersburg is “still under question,” per the translated edition of the story. The former NHL star has also reportedly been stripped of the captaincy. He has one year remaining on his contract with SKA.

If you’re just catching up on this, Kovalchuk, 32, was “removed” from the team and sent back to Saint Petersburg after game one of SKA’s first-round series with Lokomotiv, a 3-2 overtime loss in which he did not play well despite receiving 24:26 of ice time.

SKA won the next game without him. And now he’ll apparently miss the next two contests as well, on Thursday and Saturday in Saint Petersburg.

Kovalchuk, by the way, cannot return to the NHL for next season without receiving the approval of all 30 teams. (Though there has been talk of a loophole.)

Related: ‘We’ll see’ about NHL return, says Kovalchuk