One of Russia's greatest hockey players will now usher in his country's next generation.

Ilya Kovalchuk was announced as GM of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation on Monday morning, tasked with overseeing the team that will take part in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing. 

While Kovalchuk is a legendary figure in Russian hockey circles, this is somewhat of a surprising appointment given that, as of August 25th, the veteran sniper had publicly stated that he had not been considering retirement. 

Kovalchuk last played for the KHL's Avangard Omsk in 2021, racking up 17 points in 16 regular-season games. Now, he will be tasked with building a roster capable of capturing Gold in the first Olympic Games to feature NHL talent since 2014.