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.