Done Deal-ya: Kovalchuk returns

Monday, 07.19.2010 / 11:34 AM / News
By Eric Marin
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Done Deal-ya: Kovalchuk returns

Kovalchuk returns to New Jersey.

WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE AND INTERVIEWS WITH KOVALCHUK


Big decisions take time, but Ilya Kovalchuk has made up his mind: he’s coming back to the Devils.

Since the free agent signing period began on July 1, almost every day brought new speculation on where the two-time 50-goal scorer might be headed. One of the most coveted unrestricteds in history, Kovalchuk finally ended the suspense Monday with the Devils' announcement that he’s staying in the Garden State. A 1 p.m. press conference will be held Tuesday at Prudential Center.

A three-time All-Star, Kovalchuk, 27, is the crown jewel on a roster primed to be an offensive juggernaut in 2010-11. As dynamic a scorer as there is in the National Hockey League, he bolsters a lineup that features a pair of 40-goal scorers in Patrik Elias and Zach Parise.

Kovalchuk compiled 41 goals, 44 assists last season, his sixth straight campaign with 40-or-more tallies. Acquired via trade from Atlanta on Feb. 4, Kovalchuk collected 10 goals and 17 assists in 27 games after landing in New Jersey.

On the power play, Kovalchuk packs a fearsome shot from the point that will be even more potent with the 6-5 frame of Jason Arnott parked in front of opposing goaltenders. Arnott, the auteur of the Devils’ Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 2000, was re-acquired from Nashville on June 19.

Kovalchuk's signing is the most recent move for the Devils, the clear winners of this year's offseason. The two-time defending Atlantic Division champions signed defensemen Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov and goaltender Johan Hedberg on July 1. They hired new coach John MacLean on June 17.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51