Mar 19, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on New Jersey Devils right wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) during the first period at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

BREAKING: Ilya Kovalchuk Retires

Apr 25, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) avoids Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) during the third period at the Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Penguins 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

While he’s not a current member of the New York Rangers, nor has he ever played for the team as well, he has been one of our fiercest competitors since arriving in the NHL, and quickly became the most hated Devil, besides Martin Brodeur.

Yes, Ilya Kovalchuk has retired. And if you go on Twitter and follow other Ranger fans, you can join in on their laughter.

I had my fair share of laughs, but its shocking.

Remember, Kovalchuk was planning on staying in Russia after the lockout ended, but due to his big NHL contract, he was forced to come back to the NHL, or face proper penalties.

Him retiring, is due to him wanting to go back to Russia, spend more time with his family, and we’ll more than likely see him play in the KHL.  Conversations about his retirement were on going during this past season, according to Lou Lamoriello, the teams GM.

The Devils lost a first round pick in next year’s draft because of him, they lost their chance to resign Zach Parise, cause in the end, they chose Kovalchuk.

The Devils will have to pay $250,000 as a recapture penalty until the 2024-2025 season.

It will take a long time for Devil fans to get the sour taste out of their mouth, but the Rangers still have Brad Richards

Here’s a highlight package I found of Kovalchuk during the 2011-2012 campaign. As a player you got to respect him, regardless of the jersey he wore. Unfortunately, for him it was one of our fiercest rivals.

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