This may be a blessing in disguise. Kovy obviously was no longer the dynamic Atlanta Thrasher Kovlachuk after the injury he suffered in 2012. So we get this massive albatross contract off our books before the wheels really fall off his game.
This is what I'm thinking as well. Short term it sucks and we'll have to scrap to make the playoffs this year. Long term, we can probably build a more balanced team.
As for him doing this AFTER free agency started, it might have actually helped us sign Ryder/Clowe if they didn't know he was bouncing.
If there's one thing I know about Kovy, it's that he's a patriotic as **** Russian. He would not retire from hockey a year before he has the chance to play in the olympics in his home country. He's not quitting hockey, he's quitting the Devils. ******* move if true.
if he plays in the olympics, he's gonna have a target on him from his former teammates.
"The New Jersey Devils will forfeit their first-round pick in 2014 (they elected to use their first-round picks in 2011, 2012 and 2013), as the result of a penalty sanction due to cap circumvention when signing Ilya Kovalchuk. The penalty also included a fine of $3 million and the forfeit of the Devils third round pick in 2011."
double scummed, guy makes 23 mill and just dips and this is legal?
All the crap the team went through to sign him. The things given up in the trade and penalties... Kovy leaving the most profitable years of his deal and 77 mil total on the table, the land he bought and house he just built... I don't get it...
So let me get this straight, Kovalchuk retires, Devils will have offense troubles now this year, say they have a horrible record, well guess what they have to forfeit their 1st round pick BECAUSE of Kovalchuk.