Kovalchuk makes surprise return to KHL playoffs

AP
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Ilya Kovalchuk is back in SKA Saint Petersburg’s lineup today, and is reportedly “trying very hard” against Dynamo Moscow.

The 32-year-old former NHL star was benched for all but the opening game of SKA’s first-round series defeat of Lokomotiv. He missed four games total.

Though Kovalchuk has one year remaining on his contract with SKA, there has been speculation through all this that he may attempt to return to North America for next season.

Of course, even if he wanted to, returning to the NHL for next season may not be possible, so a reconciliation with SKA may be his best bet.

Related: Kovalchuk reportedly stripped of captaincy