It’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s a rift between the SKA Saint Petersburg coaching staff and Ilya Kovalchuk. In the first round of the KHL playoffs, Kovalchuk was stripped of his captaincy and he was made a healthy scratch in Games 2 through 5.
SKA allowed him to return to the lineup for Game 1 of their second round series. He didn’t record a point in the first three games and again he was removed from the lineup ahead of Game 4. Without him, SKA turned in a dominant performance against Dynamo.
Kovalchuk has one year remaining on his contract, but it looks like his time with SKA might really be over.