The NHL decided it was best to reject Ilya Kovalchuk’s $102 million 17-year deal with the New Jersey Devils due to the low salary in place towards the end of the contract. The eight year veteran was set to earn $98.5 million through his first 11 seasons and collect $550,000 in each of the remaining five years from there. The Devils have spoken out in regards to the recent decision with the belief that no rules were broken.
“There is nothing that we have done wrong,” said Devils GM Lou Lamoriello. “This is within the rules. This is in the CBA. There are precedents that have been set. But I would agree we shouldn’t have these. I’m also saying that because it’s legal and this is something that ownership felt comfortable doing for the right reasons.” Despite the controversy, the New Jersey font office is confident that a new deal will get worked out before the start of the 2010-2011 regular season. Check back for more NHL offseason updates right here with us at Ace!
Matt Carle and Ville Leino supplied the early goals in the first 10 minutes of play for the Philadelphia Flyers to cruise past the New Jersey Devils 5-1 yesterday at the Wachovia Center. Courtesy of Kimmo Timonen and Lukas Krajicek, the Flyers found themselves up four before the start of the third. Ilya Kovalchuk then posted the only goal for NJ 10:20 into the final block before Simon Gagne answered back to put the game out of reach.
“I think it was the leaders getting together, stepping up and saying that I think everyone was focusing on the big picture,” said Flyers captain Mike Richards. “Prongs, Kimmo and Gagne, we all thought that and wanted to settle everything down. You kind of get lost in the mix sometimes, and you need to focus on game by game.”
The 38-32-6 Flyers were able to snap a five game skid with the recent victory, winning their last seven of nine at home with six games remaining in the regular season. They are next scheduled to face the New York Islanders Thursday, April 1st. The Devils are set to welcome the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center tonight at 7:00 PM.
Erik Christensen notched the go-ahead goal in the first round of last night’s shootout for the New York Rangers to win over the New Jersey Devils 4-3 at the Prudential Center. Ilya Kovalchuk found the net early to give New Jersey the early edge before Brandon Dubinsky evened the score on a power play 7:32 into the second period. The third block featured two goals from both sides, eventually setting the stage for Christensen in the end.
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist came up with 38 saves, including the crucial stops in three rounds of OT. “We can’t let up because of the situation we’re in,” said Rangers coach John Tortorella. “There is no sense of feeling the pressure here. You lose a couple of games with so few left, you’re done. You have to just go out and play.” New York is next set to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday as the Devils play host to the Montreal Canadiens.
Simon Gagne produced the final goal in overtime for the Philadelphia Flyers to defeat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 for the second time in three days Wednesday night at the Prudential Center. The Devils started strong in the first eight minutes of regulation with two goals from Travis Zajac and Rob Niedermayer. Arron Asham cut the lead in half just 32 seconds after NJ posted their second goal to wrap the scoring in the first block.
The second period featured a Jeff Carter goal to tie it up as the Flyers defense held the Devils scoreless. Both teams suffered in regards to offensive production in the third, leaving Gagne to clinch the win for Philadelphia 3:27 into OT.
“I think it is a good test to show what we are made of, where this team has come from and where this team needs to get to,” said Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger. “We certainly don’t want to make a habit of getting down 2-0 in games and hopefully, that will be the last. Like I said, you don’t do this against the New Jersey Devils too often.”
New Jersey will next play host to the Florida Panthers tomorrow night as the Flyers prepare for back-to-back games against the Montreal Canadiens.
The New Jersey Devils just recently exchanged forward Niclas Bergfors, defenseman Johnny Oduya, prospect Patrice Cormier and a first-round pick in order to add stand-out Ilya Kovalchuck to their roster. The former Atlanta Thrashers captain has collected a total of 31 goals and 27 assists so far this season. New Jersey was also able to pick up Anssi Salmema, a defensemen who was previously a part of the Devils organization before Atlanta brought him in at the trade deadline in 2009.
Despite posting a successful 35-18-2 record, the Devils have been struggling lately in regards to their offensive production. Kovalchuck will certainly expect to make an immediate contribution in this area to keep his new team atop the Atlantic Division standings.
“We felt Kovalchuk was a player who could come and fill the need that we felt we had for an explosive scorer and someone who could add a different dimension to our power play with the type of shot,” said Devils GM Lou Lamoriello. “Then it was just the case of trying to make it work somehow where we could not sacrifice tomorrow.” The Devils are scheduled to host the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 7:00 PM. New Jersey Devils tickets are now available!