The Olympic Games are over and it’s official: Ilya Kovalchuk has confirmed his intention to leave KHL after this season; to play in the NHL, of course.
Even if he returned to Russia. Even if he is paid better in Russia. And even if he has just won the Olympic Gold for OA…Russia, he wants to leave his comfy motherland and attempt a comeback to the NHL. He wants to make his biggest dream come true.
Following his friends’ achievements.
The same task, which his buddy and a teammate Pavel Datsyuk has just fulfilled. To whom the IIHF president René Fasel handed in turmoil (near an elevator), a golden badge for membership in the very prestigious Triple Gold Club
Which is “…the group of ice hockey players and coaches who have won an Olympic Games gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and the Stanley Cup, the championship trophy of the NHL,” says Andrew Podnieks.
As of now, there are only 29 members in the Universe and beyond. No wonder, Ilya Kovalchuk doesn’t mind following the accomplishment of Pavel Datsyuk and be the 30th.
“I congratulate Pasha, he deserved that. It is very honourable to be a member of the Triple Gold Club He is a real captain of the team, I am incredibly happy for him,” said 34-year-old Kovalchuk. “He will be 40 soon, and I still have five or six years, so I will be trying hard. Of course, I know one must win the Stanley Cup, or do you think I didn’t know that? I’ll try.“
New Jersey Devils and the rest of NHL
From 2005 to 2013, Kovalchuk played in the NHL for the late “Atlanta Thrashers” and the New Jersey Devils.
With the Devils still owning Kovalchuk’s rights, they have had preliminary discussions with the player’s agent. However, keeping in mind that the Russian player was named the MVP of the Red Machine at the Olympics, Ilya Kovalchuk has a strong hand in the future negotiations.
The fact that he has apartments in Miami and in the suburbs of New York shouldn’t play a major role in his decision making. Most hockey fans agree that the Florida Panthers aren’t a sure bet for Kovalchuk in the quest for the Cup. As for the New York Rangers with their full rebuild or the New York Islanders with the John Tavares re-signing saga.
Wanted: A real-deal team
Out of the three necessary championships in hockey needed to be qualified, Kovalchuk is due to participate in the NHL playoffs and to win the Stanley Cup.
To do that, he will look for a well balanced, structured, with all necessary components team. Like a well-maintained machine.
Just recently, Ilya has proved his capability to be an important part of a “Machine”. And he plans to keep it up. Even if the Machine is not necessary Red.