Skip to content

BREAKING: Kovalchuk retires from NHL (!!!)

Jul 11, 2013, 3:43 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

Stunning news out of New Jersey — Ilya Kovalchuk has announced his retirement from the NHL.

“This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia,” Kovalchuk said in a release. “Though I decided to return this past season, [Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello] 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.”

“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,” said Lamoriello. “On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Ilya and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”

Kovalchuk, 30, retires with career NHL totals of 417 goals and 399 assists in 816 games.

He also walks away from a $100 million contract with $77 million left to be paid out (around $60 million in the next six seasons).

Per CapGeek, Kovalchuk’s early retirement will leave the Devils with an annual $250,000 cap recapture penalty through 2024-25, the last season of his contract.

Lamoriello confirmed on a conference call with reporters that Kovalchuk’s contract with the Devils has been voided.

It’s expected Kovalchuk will sign with KHL club SKA Saint Petersburg, for whom he played during the lockout.

Related:

Kovalchuk threatening to stay in KHL

Kovalchuk wants to finish season in KHL

Kovalchuk insists he never planned on staying in KHL

Kovalchuk: 2013 was ‘probably my worst season’

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Babcock got a little snippy with the media last night

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT

    Mike Babcock Getty Images

    “You guys when you’re asking me these questions, you guys want to be negative more than me.”

  2. St. Cloud sniper Brodzinski skips senior year, signs with Kings

    Apr 1, 2015, 12:52 PM EDT

    After posting three straight 20-goal seasons.

  3. Patrick Kane is practicing today

    Apr 1, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT

    Kane practicing

    Has it been 12 weeks already?

  4. Slumping Blues lose Tarasenko to lower-body injury

    Apr 1, 2015, 11:48 AM EDT

    Vladimir Tarasenko Getty Images

    Sounds like Ty Rattie is on his way up from the AHL.

  5. Official: Rangers prospect Skjei leaves Gophers, headed to AHL

    Apr 1, 2015, 11:25 AM EDT

    University of Michigan v Minnesota Getty Images

    New York’s first-round pick in 2012 will reportedly join AHL Hartford.

  6. Report: No suspension for Burrows after Gaustad hit

    Apr 1, 2015, 10:56 AM EDT

    Alex Burrows Getty Images

    Vancouver forward was given a five-minute interference major on the play.

  7. Caps unveil new 24-hour radio channel

    Apr 1, 2015, 10:49 AM EDT

    Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom AP

    Caps Radio 24/7 provides “a sense of community among our fan base, with players and fans alike contributing to its content.”

  8. NHL on NBCSN: Flyers won’t fool with Penguins on Rivalry Night

    Apr 1, 2015, 9:37 AM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Philly’s beaten its local rival six times in a row.

  9. PHT Morning Skate: Visual evidence of Drew Miller’s close call

    Apr 1, 2015, 8:36 AM EDT

    scarymiller

    Also: Alex Ovechkin’s peerless goal-scoring work and other links.

  10. Video: Burrows ‘surprised, upset’ he received a major penalty for hit on Gaustad

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:41 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Could the Vancouver forward be facing further discipline from the league?

  11. ‘We just didn’t have it tonight': Lightning lose to Maple Leafs

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:17 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Tampa Bay is in a battle for the Atlantic Division.

Featured video

Can anything stop Tampa Bay?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Letang (1972)
  2. A. Steen (1799)
  3. H. Lundqvist (1770)
  4. D. Dubnyk (1757)
  5. A. Hammond (1754)
  1. P. Datsyuk (1743)
  2. M. St. Louis (1713)
  3. B. Little (1600)
  4. E. Malkin (1582)
  5. S. Weber (1476)