In shocking news today, Ilya Kovalchuk has announced his retirement from the NHL. No sources have confirmed that he will play in Russia although it is certainly a strong possibility – Kovalchuk played for St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL during the lockout. Kovalchuk has 12 seasons remaining on his current NHL deal and the move leaves the Devils with an annual cap hit of $250k until 2024-25 – in addition to the surrendering of their 2014 first round pick for circumventing the cap to sign Kovalchuk in the first place.
Often a pain to his fantasy owners due to prolonged cold streaks and slow starts, Kovalchuk should be dropped in all fantasy formats as it appears he has no intentions of returning to the NHL in the short-term. Kovalchuk managed 11 goals and 31 points in 37 games in 2012-13 with the Devils.