This is shocking because Ilya Kovalchuk, just signed a 15-year $100 million contract a few years ago (he’s leaving $77 million on the table), but according to NHL.com, the forward has played his last game for the New Jersey Devils.
Statement from New Jersey Devils President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello:
“After many conversations with Ilya over the past year on his desire to retire from the National Hockey League, Ilya’s decision became official today. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Ilya and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”
Statement from Ilya Kovalchuk:
“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 wasa prolific scorer during his 11 seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers and Devils, compiling 417 goals and 399 assists for 816 points in 816 games.