Found July 12, 2013 on
Fox Sports South:
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 played for the local team, Ak Bars, was one. So did the sight of the suns setting at 3 p.m. The calendar had yet to hit December, but already the wide Kazanka River had frozen. It was the coldest place by far I had ever set foot.
When it came to takeaways regarding Kovalchuk, his visceral dislike for the team and the league he was playing for stand out. All of which render his decision to retire abruptly from the NHL at age 30 and forgo the 77 million he was guaranteed on his contract now terminated all the more baffling. Kovalchuk reportedly has done so in order to play with SKA St. Petersburg in Russ...
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.
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...
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:
I can’t help but be bothered by the news that Ilya Kovalchuk walked away from the New Jersey Devils and the $77MM remaining on his contract. I should be happy as a Rangers fan that one of our principle division rivals has been weakened tremendously but that joy is tempered by the appearance that Lou [...]
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...
So, Mr. Kevin DeLury emailed myself, James and Adam on this past Friday night and informed us that he would be taking the week off to personally see that Ilya Kovalchuk makes it safely back to his new home in St. Petersburg, Russia. So while Kevin is away, the remaining three of the us will assume control of the blog for the next 5 days as we wait for anything NYR related to come...
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