Can the New Jersey Devils Season Be Saved After Ilya Kovalchuck Signing?

December 31st, 2010 by Tom Schreier Leave a reply »
It has been an abysmal season for last year’s Atlantic Division winners. During the offseason the organization believed it had taken a significant step forward by signing Ilya Kovalchuk long-term while acquiring Jason Arnott (Predators) and Anton Volchenkov (Senators).

Instead, the team is enduring a massive tailspin. As of Friday the team currently has 20 points in 36 games, a minus-53 goal differential and, as a result, sits in the league cellar.

Kovalchuk, a prolific Russian forward who had scored more goals than any other player since he was drafted first overall by Atlanta in 2001, was courted by the Los Angeles Kings and New York Islanders before he settled with the Devils.

The Thrashers had offered him a $101 million, 12-year deal before trading him to New Jersey last season.

New Jersey was the presumable winner in the offseason. They got the forward they needed to complement Team USA superstars Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner, Devil lifer Patrik Elias and prodigal sons Jason Arnott and Brian Rolston.

Instead, the Kings and Islanders appear to have benefited from missing out on Kovalchuk and his mammoth co ...

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