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 …
May 29, 2015, 9:53 AM EDT
Draft picks to hire other team’s fired employees has rapidly become the standard.
May 29, 2015, 9:14 AM EDT
Detroit wants to keep Tony Granato.
May 29, 2015, 8:25 AM EDT
Friday’s collection of links.
May 28, 2015, 11:16 PM EDT
“They need to hear our anthem, that’s a part of losing.”
May 28, 2015, 10:02 PM EDT
Sharp says Blackhawks are ready for “whatever [the Ducks] throw at us.”
May 28, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT
Victor Hedman: “We’re prepared for this.”
May 28, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT
Retirement remains a possibility, and it might be his call.
May 28, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT
Even their first names are similar (Jordan and Jaden). Fun times ahead …
May 28, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, specifically.
May 28, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT
“The fact that Mr. Peladeau is a separatist…we know very well whether it’s the owners of the team in Toronto or the owners of the Canadiens, they’re not separatists and they don’t want Quebec to separate.”
May 28, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT
Says that “the expectation is to win right now.”
May 28, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT
Meanwhile, in the West, Corey Crawford has the edge in big-game experience over Frederik Andersen.
May 28, 2015, 3:39 PM EDT
Was set to become a UFA on July 1.
May 28, 2015, 3:26 PM EDT
Bit of a theme developing here…
May 28, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT
Pens to receive third-round pick in 2016 as compensation.
May 28, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT
After scoring 80 points in 56 games for Youngstown.
May 28, 2015, 2:08 PM EDT
Rangers goalie knows he can’t rely on history to defeat the Lightning.
May 28, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT
The former Penguins coach is still under contract to Pittsburgh.
May 28, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT
Former Preds forward, who played for Roy in junior, is currently with KHL club CSKA.
May 28, 2015, 12:22 PM EDT
Has spent the past three seasons coaching the Flyers’ AHL affiliate.
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 24
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 11
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 44
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 16
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 7
- Caps’ Backstrom undergoes arthroscopic hip surgery 6
- Report: Sens’ Murray to retire after next season 1
- Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7 49
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6 1
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)