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14 января 2013 года.
A late Kovalchuk is just fine with Devs // New York Daily News

Ackert, Kristie.

ILYA KOVALCHUK will hit the ice with the Devils Wednesday morning - and Devils president and GM Lou Lamoriello is fine with that. After controversy struck last week in the wake of the settled NHL lockout, it was debated when - if -the sniper would return to his NHL team after spending the 113-day labor action in his native Russia with SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hocky League.

After all, Kovalchuk still has 13 years left on a $100 million deal, but Lamoriello said Sunday he had no problem with Kovalchuk staying in Russia and honoring a commitment to play in the KHL all-star game on Saturday. As the Devils kicked off training camp Sunday at Prudential Center, their two biggest stories were not there. Kovalchuk, who played in the all-star game Saturday night, and Zach Parise, the former captain who bolted in free agency to his hometown Minnesota Wild. Lamoriello said he had spoken to Kovalchuk several times in the waning days of the lockout and understood his decision to stay in Russia, even though as GM he could not officially give him permission. "He said, 'I have tremendous respect for my country. (SKA has) treated me a certain way. They've given me opportunities. They've named me captain.' And we just took it day-by-day and when it did get close, although I could not give him official permission simply because of a (possible) injury situation that took place, I did understand," Lamoriello said. "This was something that was important to him. He's played 30-plus games and I have no problem with the situation." Kovalchuk, who reportedly flirted with playing in the KHL when he was a free agent in 2010, will not be fined for being late to camp and is not considered in violation of his contract, Lamoriello said. "So, I'm very comfortable with this situation and there is no penalty involved. There's no disrespect involved," Lamoriello said. The Devils have six days to prepare for the 48-game season that starts Saturday on Long Island. Kovlachuk, who has played 36 games in Russia,

will return to an even bigger role with Parise gone. How will Kovalchuk - who had 37 goals and 83 points last season for the Stanley Cup Finalists - react to his new role and controversy surrounding his delayed return to North America?

Страничка Ильи Ковальчука на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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