Ilya Kovalchuk has played in the KHL All-Star Game. Now he’s finally coming back to the New Jersey Devils.
Devils GM Lou Lamoriello expects Kovalchuk to be in New Jersey on Tuesday and participate in team’s practice on Wednesday, according to the NHL.com. Thus bringing an end to what has been an unusual situation.
Kovalchuk initially expressed an interest in finishing the season with St. Petersburg. He had been serving as the team’s captain and recorded 42 points in 36 games during the lockout.
Still, Lamoriello felt “comfortable” with the situation and his teammates have also voiced their support.
“He sacrificed himself to go overseas and do what he did, and he felt he needed to finish up what he started,” Martin Brodeur said. “It’s fine. Kovy is a dominant player; he doesn’t need to be here for seven days. If it was important to him he’s happy, so it’s good.”
Devils coach Peter DeBoer added that Kovalchuk missing the start of training camp shouldn’t be an issue “because he’s ahead of the curve.”
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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