Report: Ilya Kovalchuk's release from the Kings being finalized

Kyle Cantlon
NHL Editor
It looks to be the end of the line for Ilya Kovalchuk and the Los Angeles Kings.

Ilya Kovalchuk’s late-career return to the NHL has been a tumultuous one, and now it appears that his time with the LA Kings, at least, is nearing an end.

The 36-year-old and the organization are in the process of finalizing Kovalchuk’s release, the Hockey News reported Wednesday afternoon. Subsequent reports have the two sides currently working out their options, with the situation remaining fluid.

The general consensus, however, is that the two sides are all-but officially done with each other.

Kovalchuk, who was a healthy scratch for the Kings in Tuesday night’s win over the Wild, didn’t speak to the media on Wednesday, but head coach Todd McLellan addressed the situation.

TSN’s Darren Dreger highlighted the financial complexities while noting some of the salary cap implications involved in the release process if the Kings do, in fact, go that route.

Since returning to the NHL after a five-year KHL hiatus, Kovalchuk has posted 19 goals and 24 helpers in 81 contests with the Kings.

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