The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Ilya Kovalchuk to one-year, two-way deal on Friday as per reports from a number of sources.
After leaving the Los Angeles Kings, Kovalchuk was looking for a home to continue playing in the NHL and he’s found it with the Habs. A deal that will pay him $700K in the NHL and $70K in the AHL, it will be interesting to see how much playing time Kovalchuk gets in the NHL and if he can hold a spot on the roster.
The two-way nature of the deal comes as a bit of a surprise considering no other team appears to have stepped up to offer a one-way contract. There were whispers that the Capitals and Bruins might have had interest but the Canadiens have won the day and are providing the 36-year-old with another crack at proving he’s still got what it takes to be a contributor as part of the best hockey league in the world.
This comes less than 24 hours after the organization also added Marco Scandella in a trade from the Buffalo Sabres.
Darren Dreger reports the injury situation in Montreal played a factor in the Canadiens willingness to sign him and that Kovalchuk felt he had the best opportunity to play here. The Canadiens recently announced that Brendan Gallagher would be out indefinitely with a concussion.
The 6’03”, 222 lbs forward recorded nine points (3 goals, 6 assists), 12 penalty minutes and 35 shots in 17 contests with the Los Angeles Kings in 2019-20. One of his goals and three of his points came on the power play.