SKA wanted to buyout Kovalchuk contract with NJ Devils
SKA wanted to buyout Kovy´s contract with NJ Devils, GM SKA said.
If I understand, it was in year 2010
Ilya Kovalchuk going to be invited at the time when there was information about a possible lockout. We're still in that year were negotiating on this. I personally talked to the general manager of "New Jersey" Lou Lamorello. We wanted to take Kovalchuk in the Piter and buyout his contract. But Lamorello refused. All legal rights are on the side of "New Jersey", and therefore Ilya remained overseas.
I don't know why they'd want to buy him out of the contract he signed that year with NJ. If he wanted to go to the KHL he could have when he was a UFA. However, instead he chose to sign in the NHL for the next 17 years. Why would SKA try and do that?
I was worried in the 2010-2011 season that he would regret his decision and try to pull a Radulov... but he turned into one of the most loyal and hardworking hockey players I have ever seen and the Devils are damn lucky to have him. I as a Devil fan am ridiculously lucky to get to watch him play so often.