Skip to content

Two silver linings for Devils in Kovalchuk retirement

Jul 11, 2013, 4:42 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk AP

It’s not going to be easy for the New Jersey Devils to replace Ilya Kovalchuk in the wake of his shocking retirement.

One of the game’s top snipers, Kovalchuk finished his NHL career with 417 goals in 816 games for New Jersey and Atlanta.

But if you’re a Devils fan, here are two potential silver linings:

1. Kovalchuk is 30 years old. Lately, injuries were starting to become an issue. In 2013, he only scored 11 goals in 37 games. Wear and tear is a real factor in the NHL; for the most part, it’s a young man’s league. (Not everyone is Teemu Selanne or Nicklas Lidstrom.) Kovalchuk still has a few good years left in him, for sure. But his days of scoring 50 goals were probably over.

2. The cap recapture penalty that’s estimated at $250,000 annually through 2024-25 would’ve been much harsher if Kovalchuk had waited a few more years to walk away. For example, if he’d have left after the 2017-18 season (when $79 million of the $100 million contract had been paid out, per CapGeek), the penalty would’ve been an annual charge of around $3.7 million for seven seasons.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Doan won’t be punished for Letang hit

    Mar 29, 2015, 1:38 PM EDT

    Kris Letang

    The Penguins defenseman suffered a concussion.

  2. Panthers sign Bjugstad’s former roommate, Minnesota Gophers captain Kyle Rau

    Mar 29, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Kyle Rau Getty Images

    Rau recorded at least 40 points in each of his NCAA campaigns.

  3. Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen

    Mar 29, 2015, 12:11 PM EDT

    Kris Letang, Steve Downie, Rob Scuderi AP

    The good news is that he’s out of the hospital.

  4. Patrick Roy remains upbeat about Sabres’ Grigorenko

    Mar 29, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    Gabrioel Landeskog, Ryan O'Reilly, Mikhail Grigorenko AP

    Roy coached the forward in the QMJHL.

  5. Canucks earn single point in loss to the Stars

    Mar 29, 2015, 1:40 AM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Vancouver Canucks Dallas Stars v Vancouver Canucks

    Vancouver leads L.A. by three points in the Pacific Division.

  6. Western Conference playoff picture: Wild keep rolling, Ducks and Preds clinch

    Mar 29, 2015, 1:05 AM EDT

    Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle,Jared Spurgeon,Ryan Carter, Marco Scandella AP

    Vancouver creates breathing room in the Pacific Division.

  7. Leafs deliver blow to Sens’ playoff hopes

    Mar 28, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    James van Riemsdyk, Jonathan Bernier AP

    Toronto won for just the sixth time in 34 games.

  8. Blues’ Steen leaves game vs. Jackets (Updated)

    Mar 28, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Alexander Steen Getty Images

    Collided with Cody Goloubef in the first period.

  9. Jones replaces Quick in Kings’ net

    Mar 28, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    martinjonesap AP

    He allowed two goals on nine first period shots.

  10. Video: Glass fined for butt-ending McQuaid

    Mar 28, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 5.39.50 PM

    It’ll cost him $3,897.85.

  11. Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings

    Mar 28, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 5.32.11 PM

    Detroit moves five points up on Boston in the Atlantic with the win.

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (2347)
  2. P. Datsyuk (2242)
  3. H. Lundqvist (2213)
  4. D. Dubnyk (1816)
  5. B. Little (1734)