Originally written on Goon's World  |  Last updated 11/13/14

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 02: Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 2, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Devils 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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 hockey league. NHL.COM --- Kovalchuk's departure frees up more than $6 million in salary-cap space for the Devils, allowing the club to be more active in free agency. But the Devils will have to pay between $250,000 and $300,000 per year in cap-benefit recapture fees for each of the next dozen years. "Right now we just have to take a step back to go forward," Lamoriello said. 'We'll just have to re-evaluate what our options are and do the best we can, but we'll be ready to play when September comes." Kovalchuk leaves the NHL after 11 seasons; he had 417 goals and 399 assists for 816 points in 816 games. After being taken by the Atlanta Thrashers with the first pick in the 2001 NHL Draft, Kovalchuk had 29 goals as a rookie in 2001-02. He scored at least 30 goals in each of the next nine seasons, including six in a row with at least 40 from 2002-03 to 2009-10. With Ilya Kovalchuk departure, the Devils free up six million dollars that that they can use to go after a forward to take Kovalchuk's place, of course forwards like that don't grown on trees. With the departure of Kovalchuk, former Fighting Sioux forward Travis Zajac is now the top paid forward with the Devils. The Devils also have about 10 million dollars to work with under the cap.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peyton Manning to take $4 million pay cut with Broncos

Kevin Durant has ‘no doubt’ he’ll return this season

Sidney Rice, Steve Weatherford to donate brains for research

Bills acquire Matt Cassel from Vikings

Report: Free agents ‘leery’ of Chip Kelly after McCoy trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Steelers hoping Troy Polamalu retires

Herschel Walker proud of championship cheerleader son

Browns OC wants Johnny Manziel 'obsessed' with football

ESPN officially announces 2016 World Cup of Hockey deal

Who won the LeSean McCoy trade?

50 Cent bets $1.6M on Mayweather beating Pacquiao

Are the Suns built for the present as well as the future?

Ndamukong $uh billboards springing up all over Detroit

WATCH: Russian youth hockey teams brawl in handshake line

Prince played high school basketball in Minnesota

Thoughts on how the Eagles got to the end of the 'Shady' era

David Wright called out prospect for eating during scrimmage

Murray State pitcher’s leg kick is entirely out of hand

Panthers sign emergency goalie during game due to injuries

Tim Lincecum’s last best chance

Ten most underrated players in the NBA

Columbus Zoo names newborn penguin after Ezekiel Elliott

Matt Barnes blasts NBA over James Harden suspension

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

Tim Lincecum’s last best chance

Ten most underrated players in the NBA

Stevens: LeBron looks like the MVP

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.