Ilya Kovalchuk shocked the hockey world last summer when he retired from the NHL and signed with SKA Saint Petersburg in the KHL the following week. Would Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin be next?

From TSN:

On Thursday’s edition of Insider Trading on the NHL on TSN, (Pierre LeBrun) reported that there were whispers out of the KHL that one of the clubs may try to approach Ovechkin like they did with Ilya Kovalchuk a year ago.

There’s certainly an argument about whether Ovechkin can lead the Capitals to playoff success, although there’s no denying that losing him to the KHL would be a huge loss to Washington and the NHL.

Ovechkin, who after this season will still have seven years left on a $124 million deal with Washington, according to Capgeek.com, will likely be the only 50-goal scorer in the league this season. He hit the mark for the fifth time in his career on Tuesday.

“Per the terms of our memorandum of understanding with the NHL as it relates to respecting player contracts, Ovechkin would only be free to join a KHL club if he negotiates his way out of his existing contract with the Washington club,” said Medvedev in the statement, according to TSN.