Report: Kovy could make $20M per season

Ilya Kovalchuk may be walking away from $77 million of the New Jersey Devils' money, but it doesn't appear he'll be taking a pay cut to play in the KHL.

In fact, speculation is that he'll be getting a hefty annual raise.

According to SovSport, a Russian sports website, it would not be surprising if Kovalchuk makes between $15 million and $20 million a season, minus a 13 percent income tax.

That means Kovalchuk could make up 12 years of NHL salary in just four or five years playing for SKA St. Petersburg.

Kovalchuk's mother spoke to SovSport. Her interview was translated by Yahoo's Puck Daddy blog.

"Of course," Kovalchuk's mother said, when asked if her son liked playing for SKA St. Petersburg during the NHL lockout. "Otherwise this question about leaving the NHL wouldn't even be raised. And so it happened.

"Besides, there were some problems in New Jersey. You know there will likely be a change of ownership there. It's unclear how everything will turn out."

She also said U.S. taxes, as well as an NHL escrow system, contributed to Kovalchuk's decision. "So the pendulum swung for Russia," his mother said.