The New Jersey Devils were just sucker punched by their former star. Ilya Kovalchuk has decided to go home, and play in the KHL. Kovalchuck who only four days ago announced his retirement from the NHL leaving 12 years and $77 million on the table; has signed a four-year deal to play with St. Petersburg SKA. Kovalchuk has said it was a choice of home over money, but rumor has it that his new contract is tax-free.
Kovaluchuk played with the SKA during the lockout, and put together 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points in 36 games during his time there. Kovaluchuk was drafted No.1 overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2001 . During his NHL career he managed 816 points in 816 games. Kovalchuk has seemed unhappy dating back to 2010 when he was traded to the Devils.
Former NHLers are sounding off about Kovalchuck.
@Jeremy_Roenick : Kovalchuk is as selfish as they come!!!! I’m appalled. I feel bad for all u devils fans. U deserve better than that!! (sbnation.com)
Again, the Russians and the foreign people can have their cake and eat it, too,” he said. “They don’t like it here? ‘Hey, I’ll just…go back to the KHL and grab $77 million!’ And hey, why shouldn’t he? Hey, it’s tax free! So right off the top he’s saving 50 percent. (Don Cherry: found on SI.com)
I understand this is a business, but what Kovalchuk just did is completely off the mark. I would have more respect for him if he just said I don’t like it in Jew Jersey. It more of a timing thing. He should have waited a month or two before making this move. If it was really about going home then stay down, and enjoy being home.