Elias: Kovalchuk move wouldn’t affect choice to stay with Devils

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If there’s any sort of upside for the New Jersey Devils out of the Ilya Kovalchuk retirement disaster, it comes from veteran forward Patrik Elias.

The 37 year-old Devils veteran tells Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger if he hadn’t re-signed with New Jersey already, Kovalchuk’s decision wouldn’t have made a difference on him.

“I don’t think it would have had an impact,” Elias said. “For me the decision (to stay with the Devils) was bigger than one guy.”

For Elias, his decision may have come from his own legacy with the team.

Previously in his career as a free agent he had a huge offer from the New York Rangers but the Devils ponied up to keep him there. When you spend 17 seasons and 18 years with a team, sometimes that means more to you when you get older.

Oh… Right.