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Kovalchuk Retiring

 

added 3:38pm,

 

added 3:42pm, Press release below...

Newark, NJ – Today, New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk announced his retirement from the National Hockey League.

Statement from New Jersey Devils President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello:
“After many conversations with Ilya over the past year on his desire to retire from the National Hockey League, Ilya’s decision became official today. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Ilya and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”

Statement from Ilya Kovalchuk:
“This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia. Though I decided to return this past season, Lou was aware of my desire to go back home and have my family there with me. The most difficult thing for me is to leave the New Jersey Devils, a great organization that I have a lot of respect for, and our fans that have been great to me.”

Kovalchuk played 11 seasons in the NHL, including the last four with New Jersey. He retires with career NHL totals of 417 goals and 399 assists for 816 points with 516 penalty minutes in 816 games.

He added 11 goals and 16 assists in 32 career playoff games. Kovalchuk scored 89 goals and 112 assists for 201 points in 222 games, while adding eight goals and 11 assists in 23 playoff games with the Devils. He was traded to New Jersey by Atlanta on February 4, 2010. He was Atlanta’s first choice, and the first overall selection in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Born April 15, 1983 in Tver, Russia, Kovalchuk represented Russia at three Olympic Winter Games, nine World Championships, one World Junior Championship and the 2004 World Cup

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Comments

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Holy shit!

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 07/11/13 at 02:38 PM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

WAT?!?!

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 07/11/13 at 02:40 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

Weird…  Family problems, maybe?

Posted by Zqto on 07/11/13 at 02:44 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Devils will be spending money starting now.

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/11/13 at 02:45 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

that went well

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 07/11/13 at 02:46 PM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

I think Twitter just broke.

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 07/11/13 at 02:46 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Well, I did want him in a Wings sweater at one time.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 07/11/13 at 02:50 PM ET

Avatar

Well, I know where Brunner is going now.

Posted by George0211 on 07/11/13 at 02:50 PM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Does this incur the frontloaded contract penalty in the new CBA?

Posted by Savage Henry on 07/11/13 at 02:54 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

Well, I know where Brunner is going now.

Posted by George0211 on 07/11/13 at 03:50 PM ET

Bingo.

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 07/11/13 at 02:56 PM ET

Paul's avatar

via Corey Masisak tweet,

Via capgeek.com’s benefit recapture calculator, #Devils will lose $250K of cap space through ‘24-25:

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/13 at 02:57 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Well, I know where Brunner is going now.

Posted by George0211 on 07/11/13 at 03:50 PM ET

:sadrofl:

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 07/11/13 at 02:57 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

This dude just threw away 45 milion dollars over the next 4 years…  There’s gotta be something more than “I wanna be with my family”

Posted by Zqto on 07/11/13 at 02:57 PM ET

Paul's avatar

He screwed the Devils, make announcement before ufa day, could have kept Clarkson.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/13 at 03:00 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Zqto on 07/11/13 at 03:57 PM ET

It’s not like he’s going to be hurting for money…

Posted by Garth on 07/11/13 at 03:01 PM ET

SYF's avatar

It’s not like he’s going to be hurting for money…

Posted by Garth on 07/11/13 at 04:01 PM ET

Aye.  The KHL beckons.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 07/11/13 at 03:01 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

I dont think it would be “legal” to retire in the NHL and go play for KHL

Isnt there an agreement for this kind of stuff?  I would assume if he “unretires” the last contract kicks back in?

Posted by Zqto on 07/11/13 at 03:04 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

He screwed the Devils, make announcement before ufa day, could have kept Clarkson.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/13 at 04:00 PM ET

Precisely what I was thinking.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/11/13 at 03:09 PM ET

ClintonVerley's avatar

He left $77 million on the table.

Posted by ClintonVerley from Auburn Hills, MI on 07/11/13 at 03:13 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Zq, yet Radulov enjoys MVP status yearly there.  Hudler went there after arbitration granting contract to the Wings.

“legal” doesn’t matter.  He’ll go play in the KHL, too much money left on the table.

I think it’s more telling that the Devils are hemoraging stars the last couple years.  I’d look at ownership on this one and see if there are some deep running issues.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/11/13 at 03:14 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

New Jersey still has to give up a first round pick for that contract next year right?  Looking at their team, now, that could easily be a top pick.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 07/11/13 at 03:15 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

He’s 30: there is no way in hell he is going to go back to Russian and not play in the KHL.  If he hasn’t already worked out a deal, Medvedev will literally back a truck full of money up to his home everyday until he agrees to join a team, if for nothing but the opportunity to rub it in Bettman’s face, legality be damned.

This the cost of constantly locking players out when they have other viable options available to them.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/11/13 at 03:15 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

I didn’t think he could retire then play in the KHL or any other league and if he does, his contract could technically kick back up but isn’t there a suspended list or something where he wouldn’t count against the cap? And Paul’s right, he screwed them over by not announcing this until after UFA day.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/11/13 at 03:21 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Bollocks. I’m not surprised at all to be honest given the contractual issues they had and what the Devils and Kovalchuk had to go through to get it past the league.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/11/13 at 03:24 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Saw Gulliti tweet that once he officially retires, the Devils can void the contract which would mean he should be free to play anywhere he wants.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/11/13 at 03:27 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Saw Gulliti tweet that once he officially retires, the Devils can void the contract which would mean he should be free to play anywhere he wants.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/11/13 at 04:27 PM ET

Wow.  Magnanimous.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 07/11/13 at 03:29 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Ken Campbell talked with Bill Daly, read his twitter timeline but if Devils accept the retirement, Kovy is free to play.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/13 at 03:30 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Furthering phillyd:

Tom Gulitti @TGfireandice
Lou Lamoriello said Kovalchuk signed retirement papers and his contract is now officially voided.

The KHL will be thrilled with this.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 07/11/13 at 03:41 PM ET

Avatar

But if the Devils void the contract don’t they run the risk of Kovy returning to the NHL to play for the team of his choice?

I agree with those who have stated that there may be some NJ ownership issues that played a role as well.

Posted by evileye on 07/11/13 at 03:45 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Ken Campbell talked with Bill Daly, read his twitter timeline but if Devils accept the retirement, Kovy is free to play.
Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/13 at 04:30 PM ET

Wiping that ridiculous contract from the books probably just balanced the Devil’s budget; what do they care if it costs them a little cap space in the mean time.

And with what Daly is saying, Kovalchuk could just as easily play for the KHL for a year, unretire and return to the NHL after that, either playing for the Devils on a more managable contract, or having his rights traded to another team to do the same there.  Not a bad way to get out of an untradable contract and still make a boatload of cash in the KHL for as long as he wants to stay.  Why didnt Vancouver think of this for Luongo?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/11/13 at 03:47 PM ET

perfection's avatar

WoW!!!!

what a jerk… such horrible timing. how does he not announce this before free agency? did he even consider this a possibility before signing that contract? he’s either a jerk or an idiot or a combination of the two.

could this have something to do with the financial uncertainties in New Jersey?

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/11/13 at 04:08 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Why didnt Vancouver think of this for Luongo?

Probably because Luongo doesn’t want to play in Russia and they can’t force him to do so when they’ve got a signed contract paying him to play here?  That’d be my crazy wild guess.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/11/13 at 04:12 PM ET

Avatar

Did Lou ask Kovy not to announce this until after July 1 in hopes of attracting a UFA or two to sign with the promise of joining Kovy on the first line? Lou seems above board, but I don’t think he was caught unaware that this was going to happen.

Kovy isn’t leaving any money on the table, he will get plenty of tax free money out of the KHL, play in Sochi and then come back to the NHL and choose a soft landing spot. May even be NJ and they can get out from under the contract while transitioning away from the Brodeur era. Big question, does Lou ask the NHL to rescind the first round penalty since they really didn’t circumvent the cap?

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 07/11/13 at 04:13 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Allan Muir of SI collected a boat load of tweets on the retirement, check them out if you have not been following on twitter.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/13 at 04:32 PM ET

pautna's avatar

What a flakey little bitch. Thank god the Kings didn’t sign her!

Posted by pautna on 07/11/13 at 04:50 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Probably because Luongo doesn’t want to play in Russia and they can’t force him to do so when they’ve got a signed contract paying him to play here?  That’d be my crazy wild guess.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/11/13 at 05:12 PM ET

#1 it was a joke

#2 After the way VAN and its fans have treated him, could one year in Russia really be all that bad?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/11/13 at 06:13 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Allan Muir of SI collected a boat load of tweets on the retirement, check them out if you have not been following on twitter.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/13 at 05:32 PM ET

Is everyone else besides McKenzie unclear that this is a mutually agreed upon separation?  The Devils have $230mil in debt and the NHL is trying to broker a sale to a new owner/group.  Getting rid of $77mil in long term committed money makes the team a whole lot more attractive to potential buyers, from a business standpoint.

Kovalchuk has an untradable, unbuyoutable contract (especially in the Devils case) and would be stuck playing somewhere he obviously doesn’t want to be for the next 12 years.  Now he gets millions tax free in Russia, and could in all reality come back to the NHL at any time if he so chooses.

If this weren’t the case, I would have to believe that the NHL would fight this tooth and nail behind the scenes, but the piss poor ownership in NJ has backed them into a corner that looks alot like the corner they were in with the Coyotes if they don’t move fast.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/11/13 at 06:25 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Posted by Hootinani on 07/11/13 at 07:25 PM ET

I’ve got to agree.  The Devils are hemorrhaging money and this was the only way to completely get rid of his contract.  Notice that several players who have gone to the KHL while under contract have just headed over there, while Kovalchuk specifically “retired”.  I’ve also never seen an NHL team capitulate so easily to being poached by the KHL.  And Lou Lamirello has always been a pioneer in finding loopholes.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 07/11/13 at 06:47 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Is everyone else besides McKenzie unclear that this is a mutually agreed upon separation?  The Devils have $230mil in debt and the NHL is trying to broker a sale to a new owner/group.  Getting rid of $77mil in long term committed money makes the team a whole lot more attractive to potential buyers, from a business standpoint.

The long term commitment and it’s effect on buyers is a very good point.  I’ve not seen that mentioned elsewhere but it’s quite possibly the single biggest reason to do this.  With Kovie, the Devils were probably locked into an expensive middle-of-the-pack team for the next forever.  Now they can bottom out and execute the Chicago/Pittsburg/Edmonton plan.  That’s undoubtedly far, far more attractive to a potential owner.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/11/13 at 07:02 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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