I just don't think he was that big an impact player. The hole left was a hole there anyhow. There was no edge offered by his name. He was a nice solid player but to me it all evened out and he just wasn't any big deal on the team.
This is how I like to look at the situation, and it's funny, because literally the day before this whole thing happened, I was sitting, and thinking, comparing Kovalchuk to other NHL superstars.
How I ultimately felt, after comparing him to most notably, Giroux, was that yes, they both bring amazing skill and talent to the game, but Kovalchuk's game wasn't very electric. We rarely saw Kovalchuk net a late game, or go ahead goal.
His game was just very static, carry the puck through the neutral zone, stop by the boards, wrap the puck around the corners. He never really tried to create chances for himself with dekes, in his last year or two, he was just a pure shooter, and a pure shooter that played a criminal amount of minutes.
A final thought that I was left with, after this all happened, was how our shootouts are going to suffer dearly. There was a significant drop off when we lost Parise, now losing them both, our only dependable shootout guy is Patty, other than that, we're screwed.