The New Jersey Devils lose their star player Ilya Kovalchuk to retirement after eleven years in NHL. Ilya Kovalchuk, who has 12 years remaining in his contract decided to go back to Russia and leave $77 million dollars on the table. The New Jersey Deals will be able to void the remaining $77 million dollars when Kovalchuk retirement becomes official. This was something that Ilya Kovalchuk has been thinking about for quite a time now and even goes back to 2004-2005 lockout. When the lockout occurred that year, Ilya Kovalchuk spend a lot time with his family in Russia. “This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia,” Kovalchuk said in a statement released by the team. The New Jersey Devils President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello wasn’t surprised about his decision and what he had to say regarding Kovalchuk retirement. “After many conversations with Ilya over the past year on his desire to retire from the National Hockey League, Ilya’s decision became official today,” Lamoriello said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Ilya and his family all the best in their future endeavors.” During the lockout he played with KHL with SKA ST Petersburg and returned to New Jersey played 48-game regular season. Kovalchuk scored 417 goals and registered 816 points in 816 career games with the Devils and Atlanta Thrashers.