The future of Ilya Kovalchuk with the Los Angeles Kings — and potentially in the NHL — appears to be a gigantic question mark.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the team told the 36-year-old that he “will be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.” So, essentially, Kovalchuk will be able to continue practicing with the Kings, but will sit up in the press box for upcoming games.
Kings general manager Rob Blake only said that Kovalchuk is a healthy scratch ahead of the team’s game against the Minnesota Wild at the Staples Center on Tuesday night, per Lisa Dillman of The Athletic.
According to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times, Blake provided nothing more on Kovalchuk’s long-term future with the club.
“He’s a healthy scratch as Tyler Toffoli and Adrian Kempe were,” Blake said, according to Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period.
Through 17 contests this season, Kovalchuk has three goals and nine points. Last season, he scored 16 goals and 34 points in 64 regular season games.
Kovalchuk is currently in the second of a three-year, $18.75 million contract that he inked in July 2018. He’s the second-highest paid forward on the team this season, only behind Anze Kopitar’s $10 million AAV.
Blake has been trying to move Kovalchuk recently, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period. The issue is Kovalchuk has a full no-move clause so it would be his decision as to which team he’d be willing to waive it for.
He also has a modified no-trade clause and no-movement clause attached to the final season of the deal.
Kovalchuk won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy alongside Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash in the 2003-04 season. All three scored 41 goals during that campaign, one that Kovalchuk suited up for the Atlanta Thrashers.
He has 436 goals and 859 points in 897 regular season games.
The Kings currently find themselves last in the Western Conference with a 5-11-1 record.
More NHL coverage on Yahoo Sports