No Burn Out: Kovalchuk's Re-Tire Fire Might Never Be Extinguished

Published on 16-Jul-2013 by Xavier McSpaniel

NHL    NHL Daily Update

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No Burn Out: Kovalchuk's Re-Tire Fire Might Never Be Extinguished

Tire fires have been known to last a long time.

Not nearly as long as a re-tire fire, however.

The latest burn got some extra kindling with news that gold watch recipient Ilya Kovalchuk can return to the NHL in 2018; a mere four years after "selfishly" skipping out on a fifteen year, $100million deal with the New Jersey Devils to sign with the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg.

Kovalchuk's Russian deal, inked for four years and rumoured to be worth $15million per, allows him at age 35 to become an unrestricted free agent and bring his Zimmer frame back to the NHL for the '18-'19 season. Some level of gold-plated groveling would be in order: reinstatement to the League requires unanimous consent of all member clubs. Alternatively, he could sit for a year -- preferably in a rocking chair on the porch -- and get the nod from New Jersey alone.

Is it inevitable Kovalchuk laces up again in North America? Hardly, given his well-documented fondness for borschtHis sister, though (who we confirmed is not Brett Favre), seems to think so. And at least one Devils fan is maintaining his own fiery vigil, waiting for the day the career point-a-game scorer once more graces the Prudential Center with his doddering presence.

One thing we do know: Should Old Man Ilya ride his re-tire fire back to North America, he'll take plenty of heat.