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Report: Kovalchuk Going Kontinental?

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Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The NJ Devils could have some stiff competition for NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.

Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Kovalchuk’s agent has reached out to Alexander Medvedev, president of Russia’s KHL.

According to Yahoo! Sports:

“‘Ilya knows that our proposal is still on the table,’ Medvedev said at the World Hockey Summit. ‘Actually, I got a call from his agent. I will call after I finishing the discussion with you.’

Teased that he could call at that moment, Medvedev said: ‘It could be big news.’”

Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the NHL, told Yahoo! he expects Kovalchuk will remain with the NHL.

“Obviously he’s a great player, and we want him playing in the National Hockey League,” Daly said.  “I believe he wants to play in the National Hockey League.”

On Thursday, NYPost.com reported that the Devils and Kovalchuk have gone back to the drawing board yet again.

Kovalchuk was the NHL’s top free agent this year with 338 goals in 642 career games.

What is obvious is that the Devils will have to take a bigger cap hit if they reach a new and shorter deal in terms of duration with the 27-year-old Kovalchuk.

Under the deal that was voided by the league, Kovalchuk would have only counted for $6 million annually against the cap. The lower cap value resulted because he would have been paid just $550,000 in each of the last five years of the contract.

If he re-signs with New Jersey, there is a chance the team might have to move some players to make room for him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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