4/9/18 | 7AM: Ilya Kovalchuk is "set to sign" a 2-3 year deal with the Rangers, according to Russian reporter Igor Eronko.
He is expected to receive a cap hit in the range of $6 million per season. (Sports Express)
Kovalchuk has indicated that he plans to return to the NHL for next season when he is allowed to sign with any team as a UFA.
He can technically begin speaking with teams on April 15 but can not sign his new contract until July 1.
In the KHL this past season, Kovalchuk had 31 goals and 32 assists in 53 games, with 5 goals in six Olympic Games. In the playoffs he had 10 points in 15 games.
Adam Rotter: This didn't seem like as much of a slam dunk as Kevin Shattenkirk joining the Rangers, but it's long been assumed that this is where Kovalchuk wanted to play. Nothing can become official until July 1, and he isn't really supposed to talk to anyone until April 15, but this was going to be the expected outcome. If it's 2-years at between $12 million and $13 million it would be a pretty low risk deal that could net the Rangers a potential 30 goal scorer and hopefully be an example to follow for Pavel Buchnevich, Filip Chytil and others.
You need veteran players and while the Rangers are rebuilding they will want to be competitive and will still want to make a run at the playoffs next year. A team comprised of 18-19-20 year wasn't going to happen but I'd still bet that young players 24 and under make up most of the roster and that there are still some players in their late 10s and early 20s.