Even though his eventual retirement modified his narrative with the New Jersey Devils, buying and selling for Ilya Kovalchuk was enormous for the franchise.
Oops, Lou did it once again.
The New Jersey Devils and then-basic manager Lou Lamoriello took the NHL’s breath away soon after Jersey’s group obtained forward Ilya Kovalchuk from the defunct Atlanta Thrashers in February 2010.
The blockbuster deal not only triggered a signal that the Devils had been all-in on contending for a fourth Stanley Cup championship, but totally shocked the hockey local community. Although the Russian celebrity broke fans’ hearts just a few seasons later, let us revisit the Devils’ enormous trade for Kovalchuk.
Prior to the trade, New Jersey was on speed to generate its ninth division title and was bidding for another franchise report for wins in a time (fifty one, 2008-09). Nonetheless, the Devils rated towards the bottom of the league for targets scored and it was apparent they had been in want of another celebrity on offense to complement Zach Parise.
The fact is that NHL groups want celebrity prowess in all areas on the ice to compete for Lord Stanley — it’s not up for discussion.
Lamoriello pulled the bring about on the Kovalchuk deal and turned back the clock to the times when he concluded noteworthy trades, which sent the Devils into the playoffs as Cup favorites.
What had been the details of the trade?
New Jersey obtained Kovalchuk and reacquired defenseman Anssi Salmela in addition to a 2010 second-spherical draft decide on. Atlanta’s second beloved hockey group off all-time then acquired Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier, Johnny Oduya, moreover a very first- and second-spherical draft decide on in the 2010 draft.
Followers may be asking yourself: Who had been Bergfors and Cormier?
Bergfors was a top rated prospect for New Jersey at the time and so was Cormier. The latter was chosen for the duration of the second spherical at the 2008 NHL Draft. As for Oduya, he established himself as a top rated-tier blueliner for New Jersey and ultimately won two Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks.
If just about anything, Oduya was the only player that offered any benefit for the Thrashers soon after the trade.
Bergfors retired from the NHL soon after the 2011-twelve time and only dressed in seventy nine profession games with Atlanta, when Cormier skated in much less than 40 contests in the NHL.
Atlanta’s 2010 very first-spherical decide on ended up currently being Kevin Hayes, but most admirers are knowledgeable he didn’t skate in the league till joining the New York Rangers in 2014-fifteen. The second-spherical decide on turned out as a no-title skater, and it appeared that the Devils had been the clear-cut winners from the enormous trade.
Kovalchuk ran with the Devils till the conclude of the 2012-13 campaign just before shockingly retiring and leaving New Jersey for Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. Followers recall that “Kovy” recorded an spectacular 2011-twelve time, which also performed a major section for New Jersey advancing to its fifth Stanley Cup Remaining physical appearance.
No. 17 earned 201 details in 222 standard-time contests with the Devils and recorded back-to-back thirty-intention campaigns in 2010-eleven and 2011-twelve — regardless of whether it stings or not, he was excellent. Sorry, Jersey.
Although New Jersey arguably should really have under no circumstances signed Kovalchuk to his enormous fifteen-12 months deal in the 2010 offseason, the winger does go down as one particular of the major steals in franchise heritage and one particular of the most gifted gamers to at any time lace up the skates with the Devils.