Since joining the Montreal Canadiens, forward Ilya Kovalchuk has recorded five goals and 10 points in 13 games after his contract was terminated by the Los Angeles Kings earlier in the season.
The 36-year-old said Thursday he's in no rush to decide on his future with the team, having only signed in Montreal last month.
"We’ll see," says Kovalchuk when asked about the possibility of staying with the Habs. "I’m pretty sure we’ll have discussions with the GM and my agent will talk to them so we’ll see whats going to happen but like I said a lot of times I love everything here. We have a special group here so it will be fun to stay."
The 36-year-old is signed to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000 for the rest of the 2019-20 season. The Habs are currently seven points out of a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division with the trade deadline looming.
"No, we just want to push because right now we have so many games against teams we’re chasing so it's important to play well," says Kovalchuk on whether he was thinking about the trade deadline. "We got to battle through that and that’s the only thing I'm thinking about right now. Let's talk about it in two weeks. Let's see how we do in the next five to six games then we talk."
Kovalchuk was slotted into a top-six role with the Habs right away by head coach Claude Julien, including see time on a line with Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar.
"You try to play as good as you can and use strength to help your team to win," says Kovalchuk. "Obviously the little details in the system, it takes a few games but now I know exactly what we’re doing so it's much easier."