Today, the New Jersey Devils unveiled the largest re-acquisition in team history, holding a press conference to announce the official re-signing of superstar forward Ilya Kovalchuk.Craig Custance of The Sporting News assembled some of the key quotes from Kovalchuk, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello and new head coach John MacLean.
As for why Kovalchuk picked the Devils, his words ring out like a promo for movie sequel.
He said he was impressed with the professionalism of the organization and that he learned a lot about winning in his short time there. “There is unfinished business,” Kovalchuk said. “That was the biggest reason.”
When did Kovalchuk decide that New Jersey was it? A bit more recently than you’d think and the number “17” plays into things in a rather cryptic, Jim Carrey film sort of way.
“It was a couple days ago,” He said. “Actually on July 17 too. It’s kind of weird but it is. Actually four years ago, my dad passed away on July 17, that’s maybe a little bit special for me. That where we sit with my wife and the kids and decide we’re going to go to New Jersey.”
John MacLean was asked if the Devils would be a bit more offensive in their style and with the kind of talent the Devils have stockpiled at the moment, it’d be a shame to lock it all away playing defense-first hockey, right? MacLean was happy to toe the line.
“We certainly hope so. We have a lot of talent, definitely we have to let the talent play but in saying that we’re not going to put [Marty Brodeur] in a position where we’re going to have a shootout every night.”