Originally posted on Thrashing the Blues  |  Last updated 7/11/13
  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 here cares that the Thrashers best first overall pick just quit his NHL job for (probably) SKA St. Petersburg. Nope. Not at all. The shock here is pretty palpable, more so than you'd expect from a city who lost their NHL team and a city who lost said team's captain over three years ago. Kovalchuk, though, means a lot to Thrashers fans. To many of them who were very young when they started to go to games, Kovalchuk is the Thrashers, more so than any other player. Enthuasistic young player that lived on the edge? Frustrated older captain that took too much on his shoulders as the team had another losing season? Explosive offensive talent that teased so much great potential? That was Kovy, but at times that was the team, too. Towards the end of Kovalchuk's tenure, many fans - myself included - grew frustrated with his selfish play that sometimes hampered the team. Looking back on it now, with the benefit of no bias, doesn't it seem like he was trying to be the team? That he was going to have his club succeed whether they wanted to or not? In retrospect that doesn't seem so bad. Many of us were excited at the new start the trade to New Jersey gave the Thrashers, though now it doesn't seem to have given either the Thrashers or the Devils much of anything. It does give us a chance to reflect on how much fun we all had watching him in the uniform, and how easy it was to support him in last year's Stanley Cup Finals. Time heals all wounds; I'm sure that there will be many SKA St. Petersburg fans created in Atlanta tomorrow.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

It’s not even June, but the San Francisco Giants are probably screwed

Odell Beckham Jr. appears to take shot at Ben McAdoo

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker