It won’t be in the NHL, but Ilya Kovalchuk will still be wearing a letter on his sweater next season.
Kovalchuk will soon be named captain of his new club, SKA St. Petersburg, according to Russian news outlet R-Sport. He joined the KHL team in July after stunning the Devils organization by retiring with 14 years and $77 million remaining on his contract.
Kovalchuk had previously served as the captain in Atlanta from 2009-10, and an alternate in New Jersey from 2010-2013.
Following news of his retirement, the 30-year-old sniper inked a four-year deal with SKA, a club that apparently holds him in the highest esteem. During the lockout, the team gave Kovalchuk its captaincy — replacing veteran and ex-NHLer Dmitri Kalinin — and reports claim SKA is paying Kovalchuk $10 million annually with this new deal.
Steven Stamkos had been shut out for the first five periods (plus overtime) of the season, but that drought didn’t last much longer.
Stamkos scored his first of the year in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
The 25-year-old buried a rebound past Buffalo’s Chad Johnson at the 8:53 mark of the third period to extend Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-1.
As you can tell by the video above, it won’t be Stamkos’ most memorable goal, but it’s good to see him get the first one out of the way.
There aren’t many guys who have a nose for the net like the Lightning’s captain, as he, Rick Nash and Alexander Ovechkin were the only players to hit the 40 goal mark last season.
Erik Condra, Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Brown also scored for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay will play their next game on Oct. 12 against the Boston Bruins.
Ray Emery has agreed to join the Ontario Reign on a professional tryout, according to a team release.
The Reign are the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.
Emery attended Tampa Bay’s training camp on a PTO, but he was released after the team claimed Kevin Poulin on waivers from the Islanders.
The 33-year-old had a 10-11-7 record with a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage in 31 games with the Flyers last season.
Even with starter Jonathan Quick struggling, it’s hard to envision this move leading to a return to the NHL for Emery.
The Kings have Quick and Jhonas Enroth with the big club, while veteran Peter Budaj was signed to a two-way contract on Friday.