Once a Devil, Always a Devil: Ilya Kovalchuk Stays In New Jersey

Todd CordellCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2010

As most fans know, forward Ilya Kovalchuk has decided to stay in New Jersey after all. This move surprised many, but not me. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that. I said several times that he would stay in New Jersey all along.

The rumored contract extension is 17 years in the $115 million dollar range. The deal is front-loaded and will pay him just over $600,000 a year in his final five to six years.

In Kovalchuk's short time in New Jersey, he has been more effective than many people think. If you look at his regular season stats, he had 27 points in 27 games and had 6 points in 5 playoff games, which is very impressive for a player like Kovalchuk. He left a very offensive team in Atlanta to join one of the most structured teams in the NHL in the Devils. One thing that limited his success was the lack of chemistry he had with the team.

I beg to differ with those that think this is bad news for New Jersey. Kovalchuk will know where he is playing right from the start of training camp and will have a lot of time to build chemistry with his new coaches and teammates.

Kovalchuk will help out players like Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Patrik Elias as they will all have more time and space as opposing teams will be to busy trying to contain Kovalchuk.

The press conference announcing the signing is tomorrow at the Prudential Center.

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I know many of you will have different views than I do and I invite you to share them by posting your thoughts in the comments section.

This article and more can also be found at MTRmedia.com

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