KHL president will attempt to buyout Ilya Kovalchuk's contract in February, according to report

Bruce Bennett

The KHL's president will be traveling to North America in February to discuss buying out the contract of New Jersey Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk.

Just when it appeared as though the Ilya Kovalchuk saga had come to a close, the situation experiences another twist.

Alexander Medvedev, the head of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, will be travelling to North America in February in an attempt to discuss buying out Kovalchuk's contract with the New Jersey Devils, according to Igor Eronko of Sports.Ru on Sunday.

Several signed NHL players opted to play in the KHL during the course of the 113-day lockout that officially ended on Saturday night.

While the NHL and KHL currently have a memorandum of understanding that states the two sides will respect one another's contracts, the Russian league expressed interest in retaining the services of some stars, most notably, Kovalchuk, Washington Capitals' captain Alex Ovechkin and Detroit Red Wings' forward Pavel Datsyuk.

While Ovechkin threatened staying in Russia if the new collective bargaining agreement featured unattractive changes, he ultimately returned to North America fairly quickly.

Datsyuk and Kovalchuk remained in Russia to play in the KHL's All-Star game this past Sunday.

Kovalchuk was vocal in his desire to stay in Russia and play in the KHL. Now, it appears the league will attempt to make that wish a reality.

The 29-year-old star will be entering the third year of a 15-year, $100 million contract this season.

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