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Anybody seen Kovalchuk in New Jersey?

January 8th, 2013 at 9:05 AM
By Philip Coffey

Couple interesting Tweets from two highly respected media people may make for some scary times for New Jersey Devils fans.

Let's call it a game of "Where's Ilya"

TSN's Bob McKenzie Tweeted the following:"I've heard Kovalchuk rumors (staying in RUS?) but not able to confirm. NJD told me they "haven't heard (Kovy) isn't coming back."

The Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti posted:" That is what Lou Lamoriello told me yesterday as well. Said he had no reason to think he wasn't coming back."

Now it could all be a case of a miscommunication, but when added to the mix of a previous McKenzie Tweet — NHL player now back from RUS says KHL teams putting major pressure and huge money on table to keep NHLers from returning to North America. — you begin to wonder if the Devils not hearing from Kovalchuk is a cause for concern.

Certainly McKenzie is no rumor monger, so that adds to the speculation when coupled with the fact Kovalchuk always has been enthusiastic about playing in Russia. Now, there are safeguards in place in the form of an agreement between the NHL and the KHL where their respective contracts are to be honored, so in all likelihood Kovalchuk will be in New Jersey in short order.

And, Kovalchuk has a pretty lucrative contract in the NHL as we all remember.

But the alternative is very scary for Devils fans, and the team itself. With Zach Parise gone, the defection of Kovalchuk would be a horrendous blow to the team's offense, especially in a short season when there isn't much margin for error.

 

Tags: Hockey, New Jersey, New Jersey Devils, NHL

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