E.J. Hradek of ESPN has an interesting suggestion for the New Jersey
Devils: forget about signing Ilya Kovalchuk and focus on other, more
Simply, I’d tell GM Lou Lamoriello not to waste any more time with
Move on. Let it go. Make other plans.
If the Devils want to win another Stanley Cup — that’s Lamoriello
singular goal — I’d use any available cap space to address their
glaring weakness on defense and make an effort to acquire another pivot
to center their second line.
It’s tough to argue with his logic, especially when you consider the
price it’s going to take to sign Kovalchuk. While Devils fans likely
won’t be happy with what they gave up for what was ultimately a rental
player who contributed nothing in the postseason, there are other issues
with the team that need addressing.
The team already has talent up front and especially on the left wing,
and when you sit back and see what Kovalchuk did with the Devils it’s
obvious he was just never a good fit.
If Lou Lamoriello is intent on keeping on with the same system, and
going with a coach who will embrace it, then Kovalchuk will never fit.
The Devils ask their forwards to play too much defense, a style that
will never work for Kovalchuk. He’s not exactly the “rush back and
defend the zone” type of player.