Jul 11, 2013, 9:45 PM EST
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 …
Jan 25, 2015, 9:49 PM EST
“We’re so proud of our city for showing that hockey is such a big deal here.”
Jan 25, 2015, 9:25 PM EST
“This is something I’ll remember for a very long time.”
Marc-Andre Fleury would like to remind the Columbus crowd that the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets in the playoffs
Jan 25, 2015, 8:59 PM EST
“I remember them being quiet in the end when we won.”
Jan 25, 2015, 8:16 PM EST
29 goals in all.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:36 PM EST
11 in total, eclipsing the old mark by one.
Jan 25, 2015, 6:43 PM EST
Chicago will resume play on Wednesday against Los Angeles.
Jan 25, 2015, 6:18 PM EST
Johansen scored again before the first period ended.
Jan 25, 2015, 5:43 PM EST
Vancouver forward gets Team Foligno on the board early.
Jan 25, 2015, 4:58 PM EST
A grab bag of fun as the game rapidly approaches.
Jan 25, 2015, 4:30 PM EST
It’s the 2015 NHL All-Star Game from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, on NBCSN.
Jan 25, 2015, 3:33 PM EST
Team Foligno and Team Toews square off.
Jan 25, 2015, 3:20 PM EST
He’ll probably be OK.
Jan 25, 2015, 2:02 PM EST
The bubble seems limited, at least.
Jan 25, 2015, 12:48 PM EST
He has more control over his chances in the All-Star Game itself.
Jan 25, 2015, 11:54 AM EST
Maybe we should ease up on the guy.
Jan 25, 2015, 10:50 AM EST
A rare opportunity sidetracked by his groin injury.
Jan 25, 2015, 9:30 AM EST
It sounds like he won’t face the same headaches as others who skipped the event.
Jan 24, 2015, 10:03 PM EST
See you all tomorrow.
Jan 24, 2015, 9:41 PM EST
Florida’s All-Star goalie never gave up on it.
Jan 24, 2015, 9:14 PM EST
Just 0.3 away from Zdeno Chara’s all-time record.
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