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The Kovalchuk Effect: Examining What Ilya Kovalchuk Has Brought To New Jersey And How Much He Means To The Franchise

Will Kovalchuk Remain With Devils?
Michelle Kenneth Yardbarker.com May 27, 2010

There are a lot of dynamics that go into a successful team. For the Devils, Lou Lamoriello makes sure that the person he selects to add to his roster is an individual that he knows will fit into the locker room.

For Ilya Kovalchuk, he seemed to be a perfect fit to the roster. His passion to join a team that could win was more important than the dollars and cents in the end. He proved that by turning down the $101 Million, 12-year contract offer from the Atlanta Thrashers. He also followed it up by telling the press in New Jersey that he wanted to be part of a winning team. He would take a pay cut if that’s what it meant to remain a part of a winning team.

For Devils management, that is music to their ears.

As the rumors are currently running rampant that Kovalchuk already has two KHL offers on the table, it could be just a ploy (by announcing it in the media) to get the Russian more money from NHL teams. Just how much are the Devils willing to pay Kovalchuk to keep the superstar there?

You can look at the stats all you want. You can look at the salary cap all you want. What I’m looking at is just how valuable it is to the Devils to keep the happy Russian on their roster.

The comparison between Kovalchuk and Zach Parise has been made constantly over the past few months. In the dollars and cents category, it’s not Parise that brings the masses to Prudential Center. He never has. In Kovalchuk’s short amount of time with the Devils, the numbers at Prudential Center have skyrocketed. Sales for Kovalchuk Devils merchandise also skyrocketed. It was such a hot item, the words, “Sorry, we’re sold out,” could be heard coming from the lips of various retailers.

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