“This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia. Though I decided to return this past season, Lou was aware of my desire to go back home and have my family there with me. The most difficult thing for me is to leave the New Jersey Devils, a great organization that I have a lot of respect for, and our fans that have been great to me.”
Kovalchuk was just three years into his much ballyhooed 15-year, $100 million contract. Per the terms of the new CBA, the Devils will incur a $250k per season cap hit through 2025 as a result of Kovalchuk retiring. Kovalchuk will miss out on $77 million.
This a huge blow to the Devils (pumps fist), who lost Zach Parise to free agency last year and, now, Kovalchuk, to goofiness. Oh, and they’ll have to forfeit their first round pick in the 2014 draft, too.
Reactions from angry Devils fans using the word fuck… after the jump. Grab a beer, enjoy.