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Elias: Kovalchuk move wouldn’t affect choice to stay with Devils

Jul 14, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

Patrik Elias Getty Images

If there’s any sort of upside for the New Jersey Devils out of the Ilya Kovalchuk retirement disaster, it comes from veteran forward Patrik Elias.

The 37 year-old Devils veteran tells Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger if he hadn’t re-signed with New Jersey already, Kovalchuk’s decision wouldn’t have made a difference on him.

“I don’t think it would have had an impact,” Elias said. “For me the decision (to stay with the Devils) was bigger than one guy.”

For Elias, his decision may have come from his own legacy with the team.

Previously in his career as a free agent he had a huge offer from the New York Rangers but the Devils ponied up to keep him there. When you spend 17 seasons and 18 years with a team, sometimes that means more to you when you get older.

Oh… Right.

  1. kegmen7 - Jul 14, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    And that why he’ll be the first forward in franchise history to have his number retired.

    • tmlhockeyfan - Jul 14, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      That seems odd that no forwards have been retired there yet. They’ve had some good ones. Kirk Muller, Bobby Holik, John MacLean could easily be.

      • lateralous - Jul 14, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        MacLean is debatable, especially considering that he scored one of the biggest goals in franchise history in ’88 but retiring either of the other two would just open a can of worms. During Lou’s tenure there’s no shortage of good forwards who had long runs with the Devils. If you retire Holik then you have to retire Brylin, Langenbrunner, Madden, Pandolfo, Lemeiux, Gomez, Sykora, etc. They ought to have ring of honor or some other way to acknowledge those guys and leave the jersey retirements for the truly elite talents with Dano being the special exception.

      • kegmen7 - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:18 PM

        Thats why Kovy and Parise hurt so much….

      • tmlhockeyfan - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:32 AM

        Lateralous, That’s is sort of my point. A LOT of good forwards. Retired numbers aren’t just for elite scorers. If you can retire Daneyko for being one of the best shut down dmen ever, you can retire some of the best shutdown forwards.

        MacLean was the franchise point leader until Elias passed him. That has to count for something.

  2. bronconation7 - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Loyalty…… Now that’s an old school concept. Thanks Patty, you made my day!

    Oh and one last thing buddy. We’re going to need like a 100 points from you this year. Yes, a three digit performance. Thanks!

  3. tmlhockeyfan - Jul 14, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Pretty bad situation for a team to be in. Kovalchuk couldn’t have done it any worse than the way he did. Lost Parise because of him, lost 1st round picks because of thim. Him and his contract are one of the big reasons we had a lockout too.

    That said, at least NJ has Lou at the helm. Devils shouldn’t take too long to recuperate.

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