“The CBA will not be signed until Sunday,” Shalaev told Lysenkov. “So Kovalchuk (has) no employment relationship with the NHL, and he is going to Chelyabinsk. …We are disappointed that all the other NHL stars were quick to go to North America. …
“Will Kovalchuk play in the KHL till the end of this season? Do not hurry up. Wait till Sunday…”
Actually, the electronic vote to ratify the new CBA is expected to be completed by the players on Saturday (NHL’s Board of Governors are voting today) and training camps expected to open Sunday, but that is not official yet.
So, if camp does open Sunday and Kovalchuk does play in the KHL All-Star Game, he would miss the first day of camp with the Devils (which would likely be physicals).
Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told Gulitti that Kovalchuk hasn’t asked permission to play in the All-Star Game, but also said he’s not 100 percent sure when the camps or the season will start — ergo, he’s not going to jump to conclusions.
For more on this story: Mike Halford, NBC Sports Pro Hockey Talk