Has Kovalchuk ruled out the Rangers?

USA Today

Ilya Kovalchuk is coming back to the NHL this season. That much we know for certain. Other things we know is that Jeff Gorton has spoken to him and will reach out again.

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Over the last few days, Kovalchuk has switched agencies and is now with the group that represents UFA, John Tavares. The Islanders have also brought in Lou Lamoriello who’s top priority is to keep JT and improve the players around him.

One of those players may just be Ilya Kovalchuk, who revealed in an interview with Darren Dreger he still keeps in close contact with his former GM, from Jersey.

“He’s one of those guys you want to always keep in touch with and ask him for advice …he’s a great man,” Kovalchuk added in reference to his relationship with Lamoriello. –Dreger

In that interview Kovalchuk explained how winning the Stanley Cup is his most important goal in making a decision. Not necessarily money or geography like many have speculated. Still, the reports of a 2-3 year deal and an annual cap hit of 6M persist.

With Rangers committed to a rebuild, can we safely assume that the interest level between both sides aren’t as high as many thought? Time will tell, but it’s starting to look like the Islanders and not the Rangers would be a better fit.