Jul 12, 2013, 8:05 AM EDT
Zajac was so surprised when he first heard the news that he reached out to Record writer Tom Gulitti to see if the reports were true. Martin Brodeur also used the word “shocker” to describe his reaction.
“I was like, ‘What? I’m the one who should be having that news. Not him,’” Brodeur, 41, added.
Devils captain Bryce Salvador also used the word of the day, but added that “you’ve got to respect” his desire to play at home.
Brodeur took things a bit further and suggested that the lockout might have played an important role in Kovalchuk’s decision.
“When you go through what he went through with his contract and the controversy and everything and to finally settle on a number and you turn around and that number is change dramatically because of the new CBA, that might have ticked him off a lot,” Brodeur said. “And for him, if there wasn’t a lockout, he would have never tasted the KHL.”
Brodeur added that as a player, he can understand Kovalchuk’s decision, but as a man that’s invested decades into the New Jersey Devils, he’s disappointed.
“He committed himself for a long time and when you turn around a few years after and you decide to just leave everything, it’s not like we’re getting anything for him,” Brodeur said. “If anything, it’s costing us money on the cap ($250,000 per season for 12 years as the cap recapture penalty for retiring before the end of the contract).”
One other sentiment that multiple Devils shared: Replacing Kovalchuk isn’t simple. But they’re going to try and win anyways.
- Report: Hawks feel Kane ‘disrespected’ team, have received trade calls 82
- Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane? 75
- Hall of Famer Al Arbour passes away 22
- Poll: Who will be San Jose’s next captain? 24
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance 95
- Gio won’t go: Flames extend Giordano for six years, $40.5M 13
- Pens’ plan for now: Crosby starts as Kessel’s center 25
- O, Dear: Russia fined $85K for skipping Canadian anthem 31
- Kings ink Ehrhoff to a one-year, $1.5 million deal 27
- Quebec City, Vegas advance to final phase of NHL expansion process 50
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance (95)
- Report: Hawks feel Kane ‘disrespected’ team, have received trade calls (95)
- Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane? (76)
- Lucic jokes about running through Rask ‘like I did (to) another goalie’ (40)
- Poll: Will Kessel score 40? (38)