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Ilya Kovalchuk

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FILE - In this May 13, 2013 file photo, Russia's Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates his goal during the 2013 Ice Hockey World Championships match against Austria in Helsinki. Though not a free agent, Ilya Kovalchuk has taken one step closer to returning to the NHL after spending the previous four seasons playing in his native Russia.The start of the league's new business year at noon Saturday places the Devils in a position to sign Kovalchuk to have him either stay in New Jersey or — more likely — trade him to another team. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Jussi Nukari) FINLAND OUT

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FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2015, file photo, Russia's Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates after scoring during the second period action of the Channel One Cup ice hockey match against Finland in Moscow, Russia. New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero has had preliminary talks with Ilya Kovalchuk's agent regarding the former No. 1 draft pick's pending return to the NHL four years after bolting to play in his native Russia. In speaking with agent Jay Grossman on Monday, May 8, 2017, Shero says he’s keeping all options open regarding Kovalchuk's future. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk reacts after scoring a goal against Finland during the first period of a men's quarterfinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk reacts after scoring a goal against Finland during the first period of a men's quarterfinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk and Russia forward Alexander Ovechkin react after Kovalchuk scored a goal against Finland in the first period of a men's quarterfinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk reacts after scoring a goal against Finland during the first period of a men's quarterfinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk reacts after Kovalchuk scoring a goal against Norway in the second period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk reacts after Kovalchuk scoring a goal against Norway in the second period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk reacts after Kovalchuk scoring a goal against Norway in the second period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk knocks the puck past Norway goaltender Lars Haugen for a goal in the second period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Russia forward Ilya Kovalchuk, left, reacts after scoring against Norway goaltender Lars Haugen for a goal in the second period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)