The wait is over: Ilya Kovalchuk has a new home.
After his contract with the Los Angeles Kings was terminated Dec. 16, many wondered whether and when Kovalchuk would sign with another club. The speculation has officially ended as the 36-year-old winger agreed Friday to a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
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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
The deal pays the Russian forward $700,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 in the AHL to finish off the 2019-20 season.
Drafted first overall in the 2001 draft by the Atlanta Thrashers, Kovalchuk will now play for his fourth franchise, after only 91 games with the Kings. In his eighth season with the Thrashers, he was traded to New Jersey, where he played three additional seasons. Before heading to Los Angeles in 2018, he played four seasons in the KHL with St. Petersburg SKA after announcing retirement from the NHL on July 11, 2013.
In 897 games at the NHL level, Kovalchuk has 436 goals and 859 points.