Kovalchuk Saga: Ilya To Play in KHL All-Star Game

The NHL expects Ilya Kovalchuk to honor his NHL contract and report to the Devils once the CBA is signed, sealed and delivered. So does Lou Lamoriello. But that doesn’t mean Kovalchuk can’t get one last game in on Russian soil.Kovalchuk was listed on the roster for the KHL’s All-Star Game, scheduled for Sunday, which happens to be the same day NHL clubs are expected to open training camps.

Now comes this from the KHL’s VP of Hockey Ops (via Dmitry Chesnokov):

Kovalchuk received an offer [to play in the All Star Game] and is going to Chelyabinsk. Because the lockout is not officially over, the CBA will not be signed until Sunday.

The fact that NHL training camps will open on Saturday? No player is required to attend them. There is no signed CBA – there are no employer-employee relationships. Does this mean that Kovalchuk will stay with SKA until the end of the season? Don’t rush to conclusions. Everything will become apparent on Sunday.

And the drama continues. Stay tuned…

UPDATE: Pavel Datsyuk will also play in Sunday’s ASG before returning to the Red Wings, his agent told the Detroit Free-Press.