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Kovalchuk thrilled to play with longtime friend Ovechkin

Colton Pankiw   ·   25 février 2020
During yesterday’s trade deadline day, the Washington Capitals announced they had acquired Ilya Kovalchuk from the Montreal Canadiens. In return, the struggling Canadiens received a 2020 third-round pick.

HOCKEY - QUIZ
Who was the first head coach of the Quebec Nordiques?
JACQUES DEMERS
JACQUES PLANTE
MARC BOILEAU
MAURICE FILION
MAURICE RICHARD
MICHEL BERGERON


It has been quite the whirlwind season for 36-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk. The Russian forward started the year off with the L.A. Kings, but after a slow start for both him and the team, they mutually agreed to terminate his contract. This made Kovalchuk a free agent, though he did not garner much interest. A few weeks after becoming a mid-season free agent, he signed one-year, two-way deal with the Montreal Canadiens which revitalized his career.

Kovalchuk quickly became a fan favourite in Montreal, getting off to a very hot start with the team. Although he cooled down near the end of his stay, he still put up a respectable 13 points in 22 games. As much as Montreal wanted to keep him and he wanted to stay, the team was falling further and further from a playoff spot and ultimately decided to deal him to the Capitals yesterday. For Kovalchuk, this meant getting to play with longtime friend Alex Ovechkin, which is something he has never been able to do outside of international tournaments.

“Since we were 13 years old,” Kovalchuk told the media when asked how long him and Ovechkin had discussed playing for the same team. “We played together on the national team but never for the same team. Usually, we battle against each other.”



Though Kovalchuk isn’t the same player he was years ago and it remains to see where he will fit in with the Caps, it will no doubt be fun to see him and Ovechkin on the same team. The two Russians have had outstanding careers, with Kovalchuk being selected number one overall in the 2001 draft, followed by Ovechkin just a few years later going number one in 2004.

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Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
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HOCKEY - QUIZ
Who was the first head coach of the Quebec Nordiques?
JACQUES DEMERS
JACQUES PLANTE
MARC BOILEAU
MAURICE FILION
MAURICE RICHARD
MICHEL BERGERON
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