The Los Angeles Kings have put Ilya Kovalchuk on unconditional waivers Monday for the purpose of contract termination.
The two sides have been in a standoff for over a month, with Kovalchuk last appearing in a game on Nov. 9. The 36-year-old has, however, continued to skate and travel.
Kovalchuk received the final signing bonus in his contract on Sunday - for $2.65 million - and has only a salary of $700,000 remaining for this season. He will, however, continue to count against the Kings' salary cap at a hit of $6.25 million through next season if his contract is terminated. He will become an unrestricted free agent once the move is official.
The Russian winger scored three goals and posted nine points in 17 games with the Kings this season. He had 16 goals and 34 points in 64 games last season, his first since returning to the NHL after five years in the KHL.
He signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract with the Kings in 2018 and is currently set to earn a salary of $4.25 million next season, which LeBrun notes he is expected to walk away from. His $6.25 million cap hit is third-highest on the Kings this season, behind Drew Doughty ($11 million) and Anze Kopitar ($10 million).
A veteran of 897 career games, Kovalchuk has 436 goals and 859 points in the NHL.
The Kings are last in the Western Conference this season with a 14-18-3 record.