Some of the NHL players who looked overseas for employment during the NHL lockout are now reluctant to return to North America to play for their NHL team.
The NHL has said that they have an agreement with the KHL that players will return to the NHL once the lockout has been officially lifted.
On January 7th, Lubomir Visnovsky expressed his intentions to remain playing for Slovakia instead of returning to his New York Islanders.
The KHL appears to be taking a neutral stance on the topic. Slava Malamud, Sport-Express foreign correspondent, translated the following from KHL president Alexander Medvedev:
[tweet https://twitter.com/SlavaMalamud/status/288823209015529472 align=’center’]
[tweet https://twitter.com/SlavaMalamud/status/288824457861165056 align=’center’]
[tweet https://twitter.com/SlavaMalamud/status/288816074668007424 align=’center’]
Ilya Kovalchuk has stirred some speculation as he is currently the only NHL player to be listed on the KHL All-Star roster.
A total of nine NHL players were voted in by Russian hockey fans including Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Zdeno Chara and Ilya Kovalchuk.
On Wednesday a revised All-Star roster was released by the KHL and the lone NHL name to appear still on the roster was Ilya Koalchuk.
The NHL website indicates that Andrei Markov played his final game for Vityaz Chekhov Tuesday, and that he will be returning to Montreal on Thursday.