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Ilya Kovalchuk was cramped after his first goal
Credit: Twitter video

At the age of 40, Ilya Kovalchuk made his return to a professional ice surface for the first time since April 28, 2021. To achieve this feat, Kovy is now donning a Spartak Moskva (KHL) jersey, and it hasn’t taken him long to make his mark.

The man who spent over a decade as a superstar in the National League threaded the needle into a gaping net in his return match.

As the saying goes, a goal’s a goal! No matter how, the puck crossed the little red line. All in all, Kovalchuk made an effort to send the disc into the net.

The smile on his face after this backhand shot shows how funny he found it to score in an empty net in his return to the second-best league in the world. He was even cramped!

It was in an empty net, in a 5-2 win over Kunlun Red Star, that Kovy scored his first success. The former Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and Atlanta Thrashers player had never officially announced his retirement.

Here are the complete statistics for this first “return” meeting:

With this unexpected signing, I dare to believe that Kovalchuk, despite his 40 years, was well prepared physically and mentally to be of caliber. Playing on the second combination, with former Devils teammate Andrei Lotkinov and winger Max Tsyplakov, his level had to be more than acceptable.

Just for fun, Kovy took part in 926 NHL games, in which he collected a total of 876 points, including 443 goals, without lifting the Stanley Cup. Nevertheless, during his KHL campaigns, he lifted the Gagarin Cup on three occasions, including one with Bob Hartley.

In a Squall

– A beautiful decoration!

– Kaprizov, Zibanejad and Kane stood out last week!

– I knew Jacob Trouba was a good person inside!

– To you. From me!

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