Although Continental Hockey League (KHL) president Alexander Medvedev listed Devils forward Patrik Elias among NHL players who have interest in jumping ship from the NHL to the Russian super league during a radio interview this week, Elias said "no way" this morning.
"No," Elias said after the team's informal skate at Prudential Center's practice rink. "I've got five years left here (on his contract) and, hopefully, that's not going to be it for me. I still believe this is the best league in the world."
When asked if he would consider playing in Russia after his NHL career is over, Elias replied, "Obviously, you can never say, 'no.' You can never say, 'never.' Everybody's got different perspectives on it. I think for some guys it's very lucrative with the money, but the living conditions are not as good as here. If you have a family, it's tough for families to be there. And the most important thing is this is the best league. The best players are here."
Elias contracted hepatitis when he played in Russia for Magnitogorsk during the 2004-05 NHL lockout and admitted that health was a concern.
"I would suggest that guys that go there get vaccinations," he said. "You never know. I guess you can get sick anywhere, but maybe you are more susceptible there."