In a surprising move on Thursday, the New Jersey Devils announced the retirement of superstar forward and often face of the organization, Illya Kovalchuk. The official press release from the Devils can be seen here.
At 30-years-old, Kovalchuk was just three years into a 15-year, $100 million contract. The announcement came as a shock, but reports claim that Kovalchuk will seek ice time in his native Russia with the KHL.
Kovalchuk played 11 seasons in the NHL, including the last four with New Jersey. He retires with career NHL totals of 417 goals and 399 assists for 816 points with 516 penalty minutes in 816 games.