Report: KHL Team 'Close to Signing' Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Nabokov
Sports Express posted that Kovalchuk was "close to signing" with the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg franchise, although the site didn't cite the source for its information. Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman, has not commented on the negotiations, which were reportedly close to being finalized with the New Jersey Devils earlier this week.
"We discuss terms of the agreement, but it's hard to say when they finish," SKA general manager Andrey Tochitsky told Sports Express.
L.A. Times hockey columnist Helene Elliott reported the Kings and Kovalchuk's representatives were "re-engaged" in negotiations, days after talks fell apart.
Dmitry Chesnokov, a Washington-based blogger for Yahoo!, wrote on Twitter that Nabokov has accepted a four-year deal with SKA.
While it would be unprecedented for a player of Kovalchuk's stature in the prime of his career to leave the NHL, Nabokov's potential departure would be less of a shock. Nabokov, who turns 35 at month's end, is the top free agent goalie, although it appears teams are unwilling to offer a major contract.