(Well, he did get six points in five playoff games this past April. Also, and you might think this sounds crazy, but Kovalchuk has actually been going to Lemaire and asking him to help him become better defensively, and I'll be damned if he hasn't looked more competent in the Devils' end over these past few weeks. It'll be a process, but I'm optimistic.)
With that said, Ilya Kovalchuk under $7M is, quite frankly, a bargain. Yes, he's playing like **** this year and has third-line stats, but hell, the entire team has been playing like ****. (Kovy is actually leading the Devils in goals as of now.)
I'm giving the likes of Kovalchuk, Tallinder, and Clarkson a pass on this season. I refuse to judge those signings based off of 33 games under John "Ya Know" MacLean. Hell, said three players have been playing MUCH better under Lemaire, and Kovalchuk has been playing with a PPG during this little 6-1-1 stretch the Devils had.
I will admit Sather's recent success as a GM, but nothing will stop me from laughing at the fact that a man who had a cap hit roughly $500,000 lower than that of Ilya Kovalchuk is currently wearing an AHL jersey.