Originally written on Kukla's Korner  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Probably the biggest shock of the off-season is the retirement announcement of Ilya Kovalchuk.  He is 30 years old and his contract with the New Jersey Devils runs until 2025.  The New Jersey Devils have voided his contract with his signing of retirement papers.  This allows him to play in any league outside the NHL.  He is expected to sign with St Petersburg in the KHL - where he played during the lockout. This is a surprise move but I will suggest motivations for why this may have occurred.  Kovalchuk enjoyed his time in the KHL and was not enjoying playing in New Jersey.  They are a non-playoff team and a lot of the blame for that falls upon his shoulders as their highest paid player.  He leaves behind a significant amount of money by getting out of his contract.  There is $77 million that he is due to still be paid.  Obviously this is not a purely financial decision.  Kovalchuk is already extremely rich from money he has already made playing in the NHL and he will be well paid...
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