This is the culmination of a few weeks worth of drama that revolved around Kovalchuk's desire to remain in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League for the remainder of the 2013 season. After the NHL and NHL Players' Association came to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, Kovalchuk stated that he would not decide on returning to the league until reading the final document.
In subsequent interviews, he admitted that he would rather stay in Russia than return to North America.
However, with a contractual agreement still in place, as well as his family still living in North America, the likelihood of his staying in the KHL seemed slim.
Despite his return to the Devils, the situation might not be completely resolved.
On Monday, a report surfaced stating that KHL president Alexander Medvedev was planning on traveling to North America in February to discuss the potential of buying out the remainder of Kovalchuk's contract with the Devils.
He will be entering the third year of a 15-year, $100 million contract this season.