Ilya Kovalchuk will not be returning to the NHL this year but that hasn’t stopped the Russian star from making a splash during the offseason.
It is believed the former Devil wanted to return to North America but with New Jersey holding his rights and a trade not materializing, the 34-year-old will return to SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL for one more season.
However, the 2001 first-overall pick, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, hasn’t allowed the setback to get him down. This weekend, he went fishing to kick off Shark Week and didn’t disappoint, catching a substantially-sized hammerhead shark.
In an Instagram post, Kovalchuk looks relaxed, holding what appears to be an approximately five-long specimen with bare hands. All in a days work for the Russian marksman, who recorded 816 points in 816 games with Atlanta and New Jersey before “retiring” from the NHL in 2013, just three years into a massive 15-year, $100-million contract he signed with the Devils in 2010.
In an interview with Russia-24 TV channel last week, Kovalchuk reiterated his desire to return to the NHL for the 2018-19 season, saying, “There are some dreams left.”
Ilya Kovalchuk to Russia-24 TV channel: I think this will be my last season in SKA. I want to return to the NHL. There're some dreams left
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) July 21, 2017
Now that Kovalchuk has marked ‘catching a shark’ off his bucket list, his NHL dream can become his sole focus.
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