Only problem I have with this viewpoint...why would he care about being perceived as a "villain"? The only people who would possibly feel that way and hate him are jilted Devils fans, and how often is he going to have to deal with us? Once a year tops, unless his team meets ours in the SC Final? It's not like he was our pal off the ice, and he's got several million reason$ not to give a flying fvck about how we feel.
Because I think he is genuinely a good guy and knew how we would be perceived once he left. Believe it or not, I think he cares somewhat if Devils fans hate him. I think he felt bad/guilty about the whole thing, and prolonged it until it was time to sign the contract. Just my take.
Zach did not bring us a Cup, strung us along leading the entire fanbase (and likely management as well) to think he would resign for a year...and OUT THE DOOR! As someone else pointed out, we owe him NOTHING. I will boo until my voice is gone...
This season has proved that all you have to do is be decent in the regular season, decent enough to get into the playoffs, and that being hot at the right time with a good team is better than being cold at the wrong time with an amazing team.