I thought you needed a new post anyway, after all the hilarity and frivolity of the sublime Ilya Kovalchuk saga.
I will say this, no matter who did what or why, this is both a complete blessing and an absolute curse to the Devils.
It’s a blessing, nearly a miracle actually, because a franchise in such financial distress is getting out of $77 million worth of bad contract without having to spend big in a buyout. And Kovalchuk’s retirement is going to cost the Devils just $250,000 in cap-recapture penalty, albeit through 2024-25. That’s couch change in today’s NHL. The cap hit won’t hurt the organization whatsoever.
That said, the move hurts the Devils competitively, obviously. Lou Lamoriello put all the Devils’ Zach Parise eggs in Kovalchuk’s basket, and now they have neither, not to mention no David Clarkson. The Devils will be able to spend to improve, but they aren’t getting a former-future-Ranger Parise or a Kovalchuk, or even a Clarkson. So this team that missed the playoffs comfortably last season is going to be worse going forward.
Well, at least they will have Ryane Clowe … for quite a while, barring more concussions.
Here is audio from Lou Lamoriello’s conference call yesterday, courtesy of the Devils.
Photo by Getty Images.