Found July 11, 2013 on
Ilya Kovalchuk shocked the hockey world Thursday afternoon when he announced he was hanging up his skates.
The New Jersey Devils forward announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday at the age of 30. In doing so, Kovalchuk left $77 million on the table, as he still has 12 years left on a $100 million deal.
Kovalchuk would have made $34.1 million combined over the next three years.
“This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia,” Kovalchuk said in a statement. “Though I decided to return this past season, Lou was aware of my desire to go back home and have my family there with me. The most difficult thing for me is to leave the New Jersey Devils, a great organization that I have a lot of respect for, and our fans that have been great to me.”
The Russian playmaker walks away from the with 816 points in 816 career games played. He scored 417 goals and added 399 assists over his 13 seasons in the league.
BEST OF MAXIM
Just three years after signing a massive 15-year, $100 million deal with the Devils, Ilya Kovalchuk has shocked the NHL world by deciding to hang up his skates.
Almost nine years ago when the NHL was shut down for a season-ending lockout, I traveled nearly 6,000 miles to the Republic of Tatarstan to catch up to and write about Ilya Kovalchuk, once the star for the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnepeg Jets).
A number of things stick out from that trip: The minus-16-degree Celsius temperatures in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan where Kovalchuk...
Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
Ilya Kovalchuk is retiring from the NHL leaving behind 12 years and $77 million, The 30-year-old informed the New Jersey Devils that he plans to return to Russia.
“This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia,” Kovalchuk said in a statement released by...
BREAKING: Ilya Kovalchuk has announced his retirement. #NJDevils #NHL
— NHLDevilsPR (@NHLDevilsPR) July 11, 2013
Ilya Kovalchuk has announced his retirement. This is not a fake.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) July 11, 2013
No, Ilya Kovalchuk did not permanently retire from hockey, he just retired from the NHL. I realize that. For Thrashers fans, though, the news today was rough. How rough? Well, first off, in a city that doesn't care about hockey and yet at the same time needs to "get over losing that team," well, look at what's trending:
Again, of course, no one...
Ilya Kovalchuk stunned the New Jersey Devils and the NHL on Thursday, abruptly announcing his retirement from the league so he could continue his career in the KHL.
Not only will Kovalchuk’s decision cost the Devils an annual cap penalty for the next decade and their first-round pick in 2014′s draft, but it leaves them without their best offensive weapon. Kovalchuk scored 30...
Ilya Kovalchuk's NHL career came to a screeching halt on Thursday, suddenly leaving the New Jersey Devils without one of their best players.
Kovalchuk abruptly announced his retirement from the Devils, forgoing the final 12 years of his contract and leaving $77 million on the table to return to his native Russia, where he is expected to play in the KHL.
While some were not...
New insider? "@AngelinaLawton: Guess I was 7 months early on this secret :) #kovalchuk @NHL @NHLDevils pic.twitter.com/tWeIpErkZc”
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) July 11, 2013
As announced today, the Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk retired from the NHL leaving the New Jersey Devils holding the bag. I am thankful that I don't have Ilya Kovalchuk in a keeper fantasy...
Just 2-years after signing a somewhat controversial 15-year, $100 million contract with the New Jersey Devils, star forward Ilya Kovalchuk has decided to walk away from hockey.
Or at least the NHL.
Kovlachuk, who came to the Devils after beginning his NHL career 11-years ago with the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers is...or was considered one of hockey's elite snipers...
Very little has been made of Ilya Kovalchuk's start in the NHL. Amongst the hubbub of him bolting for Russia, everyone seems to be mentioning the Devils and his point production with them and yada yada yada. You may, if you're lucky, get a mention of him being drafted by the Thrashers in 2001.
This tweet is a perfect example of what I'm talking about:
Ilya Kovalchuk announced his retirement from the NHL yesterday, as he’s decided to return home to Russia to play in the KHL. This news came as a shock to just about everyone in the hockey world, but no one was more rattled than former NHLer and current NBC Sportscaster, Jeremy Roenick. Roenick took to twitter to blow off some steam and let everyone know just how he feels about...
That's the question the pulses through the minds of New Jersey Devils President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello and a legion of Devils fans after Thursday's shocking news that Ilya Kovalchuk had heeded the call of Mother Russia and returned home to a life of fulfillment in the Kontinental Hockey League.
So Kovalchuk has instantly become yesterday's news...
New Jersey Devils superstar winger Ilya Kovalchuk has decided to walk away from the final 12 years and $77 million remaining on his contract, choosing to retire from the NHL to play for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL next season. “This decision was something I have thought about for a