Originally posted on Fox - The Hockey Guy  |  Last updated 7/14/13
Over the long haul, Ilya Kovalchuk’s departure could help the New Jersey Devils. The latter years of his contract would have proven burdensome to the franchise. He had 12 years and $77 million on the contract he walked away from. Devils hockey czar Lou Lamoriello gained considerable long-range payroll flexibility with Kovaluchuk off to finish his career is Russia. But in the near term the Devils will be hard-pressed to replace his goal-scoring. This team will need young forwards like Travis Zajac (20 points in 48 games last season) and Adam Henrique (16 points in 42 games) to take big steps forward next season. “Time will tell, but it definitely puts us in an awkward position as far as the makeup of our team,” goaltender Martin Brodeur told the Newark Star-Ledger. “We counted on Kovy to give us offense. In our minds we didn’t have to worry about some part of our offense. He was the power play. He played the whole two minutes.“Out of the blue this kills some spirit. Everyone is going to be scratchi
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