Jul 11, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT
Few – aside from New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, perhaps – saw Ilya Kovalchuk‘s “retirement” decision coming. It’s not surprising that people reacted in dramatic ways, though.
Let’s take a look at what observers had to say about Kovalchuk leaving the Devils and NHL behind for the KHL.
It would be foolish not to start with former player and NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick, who fired up six critical Tweets up following the announcement. Here are (arguably) the two most memorable quips:
I am shocked that kovalchuk would do this to the devils and their fan base!!! Devils lose so much w this decision it’s scary!!! Selfish !!!!
— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) July 11, 2013
Hey Ilya hope u live comfortably in Russia w the money u made from the 23 million u stole from the devils Again I’m right in my analysis
— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) July 11, 2013
(There’s a strong chance “Again, I’m right in my analysis,” will have some legs as a Twitter meme.)
Note to all Professional Hockey Writers’ Association members: DO NOT VOTE FOR ILYA KOVALCHUK AT ANY POSITION ON THE 2013-14 ALL-STAR TEAM.
— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) July 11, 2013
Kovalchuk infiltrates NJ. Costs team Parise, 1st-round pick, destroys cap. Best Russian subterfuge since the cook in Hunt For Red October.
— Dave Lozo (@DaveLozo) July 11, 2013
The National Post’s Bruce Arthur reminds us that playing in a foreign land isn’t necessarily easy, even if you’ve been in North America for years.
As Sergei Fedorov once told me, for Russian players, “it’s never been easy.” Easier now, of course. But still not home.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) July 11, 2013
This won’t provide Devils fans much/any solace, but the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman notes another silver lining for the franchise.
Because without this contract on the books, it will be easier to find a seller or a cash infusion for the team.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 11, 2013
Indeed, TSN’s Bob McKenzie ranks among the many who believe that both Kovalchuk and the Devils were mutually on board with the move. Or at least there were benefits for both sides.
6. When all is said and done, as big a short-term hole as Kovalchuk’s departure leaves in NJ, it’s a divorce of convenience for both sides.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 11, 2013
Metta World Peace – aka the NBA player formerly known as Ron Artest – provided one of the best lines on Thursday:
I’m retiring and playing hockey
— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) July 12, 2013
Meanwhile, many Devils fans (and hockey fans in general) probably relate to In Lou We Trust’s simple headline: “What?”
At least, that’s likely the PG version of their reactions …
Jul 28, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
Jul 28, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT
Potentially a move to Switzerland, or the Czech League.
Jul 28, 2015, 8:39 PM EDT
Returning him to Rochester for a third time.
Jul 28, 2015, 7:39 PM EDT
Washington d-man is expected to miss the next two weeks of offseason training.
Jul 28, 2015, 6:26 PM EDT
Swiss winger came over from Calgary at last year’s deadline.
Jul 28, 2015, 4:39 PM EDT
Nice payday after posting a career-high in goals this season.
Jul 28, 2015, 4:23 PM EDT
“When you look at the structure of our salaries and our cap, it’s important to get those bottom-six cap hits in better shape.”
Jul 28, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT
With the Nurnberg Ice Tigers.
Jul 28, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT
Winning bid to be decided by the end of the year.
Jul 28, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT
“When the games mean something, that’s when he’s at his best.”
Jul 28, 2015, 1:21 PM EDT
The Blue Jackets have done well. The Canucks have not.
Jul 28, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT
Probably looking at another year of junior hockey.
Jul 28, 2015, 11:56 AM EDT
Busy day for Pittsburgh.
Jul 28, 2015, 11:40 AM EDT
Jul 28, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT
Could be a top-six winger. Could be a third-line center.
Jul 28, 2015, 10:08 AM EDT
Arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Jul 28, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
25-year-old didn’t file for arbitration, hoping instead to sign a long-term contract.
Jul 28, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
In the form of a cool $100,000.
Jul 27, 2015, 9:29 PM EDT
But are any teams mulling his return?
Jul 27, 2015, 8:21 PM EDT
Where he’ll work as a community liaison.
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