NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -Ilya Kovalchuk is staying with the New Jersey Devils.
The team said on Monday that the biggest prize of the NHL free agent market agreed to a new contract, ending weeks of speculation where the high-scoring forward would play next season. Terms were not immediately available.
The Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, Devils and a team in Russia made the biggest runs at Kovalchuk since free agency started on July 1, but he seemingly decided his chances of winning a Stanley Cup were much better in New Jersey.
The 27-year-old Russian was traded to the Devils by Atlanta in February after rejecting a 12-year, $101 million extension offered by the Thrashers.
Kovalchuk (KOH'-vul-chuck) had 41 goals and 44 assists last season in earning $7.5 million, but only 10 goals and 17 assists came with the Devils.