Ilya Kovalchuk has finally found a new landing spot after being released by the Los Angeles Kings in December.
The Russian forward has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens that will pay him $700,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 in the AHL.
The $700k is the NHL’s minimum salary.
The Canadiens have agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with free agent forward Ilya Kovalchuk. The deal will pay Kovalchuk $700,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 in the AHL.#GoHabsGo https://t.co/VdpyijRjNh
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 3, 2020
During his 897-game NHL career, Kovalchuk has nearly been a point-per-game player, scoring 436 goals and 423 assists (859 points). But during his second NHL stint with the Kings, Kovalchuk’s career sputtered as a top-six player. The Russian forward only had 34 points (16 goals, 18 assists) in 64 games last season while seeing his play degrade even further this year.
Over the holiday break, Kovalchuk, who owns a home in the Miami area, shared a drink with longtime friend Alex Ovechkin on Christmas day. The Capitals, who are close to the cap, could have afforded to bring Kovalchuk onto the roster on a minimum salary if they had an interest.
More from the Canadiens:
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Friday that the team has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract (2019-20) with free agent forward Ilya Kovalchuk.
The deal will pay Kovalchuk $700,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 in the AHL.
The 6’03”, 222 lbs forward recorded nine points (3 goals, 6 assists), 12 penalty minutes and 35 shots in 17 contests with the Los Angeles Kings in 2019-20. One of his goals and three of his points came on the power play.
Kovalchuk, 36, has registered 859 points (436 goals, 423 assists) in 897 career regular-season games in the NHL, with the Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils and Kings. He totals 143 goals and 327 points on the power play, as well as 61 game-winning goals. He earned the Maurice Richard Trophy in 2003-04 (with Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash). Kovalchuk added 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 32 career NHL playoff contests. He also recorded 327 points (138 goals, 189 assists) in 298 career KHL games, all with SKA St. Petersburg.
Selected in the first round by the Thrashers (1st overall) in the 2001 NHL Draft, Kovalchuk represented Russia at 21 international competitions, including five Olympic Games (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 – gold medal).
Headline photo: @ilyakovalchukofficial
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