The Most Shocking Departures from the NHL

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The Most Shocking Departures from the NHL
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Ilya Kovalchuk shocked the world by announcing his retirement from the NHL via a New Jersey Devils press release, but he is not the first to leave the league in a shocking manner. Kovalchuk was an elite player in every sense of the word, and the league will miss his talent. 

Throughout the league's history, players have shockingly retired, defected or left the league for various reasons. In light of Kovalchuk's announcement, here are the most shocking departures in NHL history.

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