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Kovalchuk to Remain in KHL for All-Star Game

17:46 09.01.2013 (Last updated 18:06 09.01.2013)

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  • Ilya Kovalchuk

  © RIA Novosti. Vladimir Fedorenko

MOSCOW, January 9 (R-Sport) - This weekend's KHL All-Star game will feature New Jersey Devils wing Ilya Kovalchuk, according to the league's website, despite an unofficial end to the NHL lockout.

Most of the 40-plus NHL players to spend the lockout in the Russian-based league, including Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin, have already returned to North America for preseason training.

But Kovalchuk has continued to play for SKA St. Petersburg, and said after a game on Tuesday: "Will I stay in Russia? We'll see. Time will tell. We shouldn't rule it out."

The 29-year-old forward was included in a 17-strong roster for the Western Conference All-Stars team in this weekend's clash with the East in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Kovalchuk, who has racked up 18 goals and 22 assists in 35 games with conference-leading SKA this season, has defended his decision to stick around for now, saying that he is fully entitled to do so because the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement is yet to be signed.

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See also: NHL | Alexander Ovechkin | Ilya Kovalchuk

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