Could Kovalchuk Wind up a Montreal Canadien?

In 2013, Ilya Kovalchuk, the guy who has been called the greatest natural scorer that the NHL has ever seen, made a decision to retire from the series just 3 seasons to some 15-year deal with the New York Islanders Jersey Devils and return to Russia to perform the rest of his professional career in the KHL. Well, do not call it a comeback, however the Kovie is now contemplating a return to North America for its season.
The Russian sniper, who gathered 816 points in 816 career games played in the NHL, has played portions of their last four seasons for SKA Saint Petersburg and is coming off a year where he amassed 78 points in 60 games — good for second in the league in scoring.
Though there’s a slew of hurdles to clear if Kovie wants to play for a team other than New Jersey, BetOnline believes there’s a 4/1 chance that he begins the 2017-18 NHL season on the roster of the Montreal Canadiens.
In order for Kovalchuk to have cleared as a free agent, every NHL team (such as New Jersey) would need to reevaluate his unrestricted release from the Devils and I am not so sure that is realistic. The Devils got seriously screwed from the Kovie retirement and it’s unlikely they’ll need him scoring goals against them for free. What could occur, however, is that the Devils (who still own his rights) agree to his own return, sign him and promptly trade him to another group.
As for the possibility of the prior Maurice”Rocket” Richard Trophy winner winding up with the Habs — it creates a lot of sense. Former KHLer Alex Radulov combined the Canadiens last offseason on a one-year deal and it looks like they’ll try hard to re-sign him. Radulov has hinted that he’d like overall director Marc Bergevin to make a run at Kovalchuk and given the Habs’ serious issues at the offensive end, Kovie might be precisely what le doctor ordered.
Montreal has a strong Russian contingent with the above Radulov, Alex Galchenyuk, Andrei Markov and Mikhail Sergachev on the roster and also an all-Ruski forward line of Kovie-Gally-Rad will be incredible to watch.
All that said, the transaction to acquire Kovalchuk from the Devils would be a tough one to negotiate and it would probably demand the Habs to provide a blue-liner and a future draft pick or two. There would also be a ton of different clubs in the race to scoop up the marksman of 417 NHL goals so by no means will this be a simple feat for Habs’ brass to accomplish, and recall all this is under the assumption that the Russian winger even decides to come back at all.

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