Report: Ilya Kovalchuk Still a Possibility for the Blue Jackets

By Sam Blazer on June 8, 2017 at 5:43 pm
Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal


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The speculation just won't die down.

Ilya Kovalchuk, who has stated his desire to play in the NHL has repeatedly been connected to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Another day and another day's worth of news surrounding the Russian-born forward.

The Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline reports that Kovalchuk's agent Jay Grossman has talked with the team about the possibility of joining the club. The initial meeting took place when the Blue Jackets went and signed goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks, who also employs Grossman as his agent.

Portzline also notes that neither side will confirm whether or not they talked about Kovalchuk joining the Blue Jackets. 

Portzline wasn't the only writer talking about Kovalchuk today. Slava Malamud, who freelances for multiple publications, talked about the possibility of Kovalchuk going to the NHL today. One place he found intriguing? The Blue Jackets.

Malamud also notes that the Blue Jackets aren't the most "glamorous" choice.

When talking about signing Kovalchuk, it needs to be said that his rights are still owned by the New Jersey Devils. Any move involving Kovalchuk would involve a trade with the team.

Kovalchuk this past season in the KHL played in 60 games putting up 78 points. That includes 32 goals and 46 assists.

A major sticking point for Kovalchuk and multiple other Russian players is the ability to play in the Olympics. As it stands, no one in the NHL will be playing in next winter's games. If Kovalchuk waits one more year, at the age of 35, he will be an unrestricted free agent. 

What path he chooses remains the early question of the offseason.

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