Report: Kovalchuk will play in China next season
The Ilya Kovalchuk saga has taken another strange twist. It seems like Kovalchuk will be leaving SKA Saint Petersburg to join another team. According to a report out of Moscow, Kovalchuk will join the KHL’s Chinese expansion team next season.
The sniper seems to have had a falling out with the coaching staff at SKA Saint Petersburg. He was removed from the lineup in the first round of the playoffs, but after rumblings of him leaving the team surfaced, he was put back in during the team’s second round series. Again, they opted to take him out of the lineup.
Sources tell Russia media that Ilya Kovalchuk is leaving SKA St Petersburg to join the KHL's expansion team in China next season.— Gabrielle T-F (@gabrielletf) March 24, 2016
Gazeta.ru, sighting "two informed sources", says Kovalchuk will play for Red Star Kunlun, KHL's Chinese expansion team, next season.— Slava Malamud 🇺🇦 (@SlavaMalamud) March 24, 2016
After his relationship with SKA started disintegrating, many people expected him to make a return to the NHL. Obviously, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen at this point.
The 32-year-old had 16 goals and 49 points in 50 KHL regular season games this season. He had no points in four playoff games.