Clearly, as far as dark days in the Devils franchise go, Kovy "retiring" ranks waaaaaay the hell up there. Goes without saying...and even worse, as fans it was damned near impossible to see this coming. We were all blindsided today, and as expected, we all experienced a lot of emotions and feelings, and pretty much all of them were negative.
I am disappointed, but now that the shock is over, I can't say that I am angry with Kovy necessarily. Don't get me wrong, as far as CR1976 the Devils fan goes, the fvcker's dead to me forever, but the human being in me sees it this way:
He's not American. He's Russian. Clearly Russia feels right to him in a way America never did.
It's easy to say, "Well, if he had any doubts about staying here, he shouldn't have signed that deal." He signed it in 2010. It's now 2013. A lot can happen in three years. People can change. What seemed like a great idea in 2010 can feel like a lousy one a few years later. Since Kovy clearly had a change of heart and no longer wanted to be a part of this franchise, it's a good thing that the Devils are no longer on the hook for paying him $77 million. Yes, it's going to hurt in the short term, but Kovy's contract was a bad one the minute it was signed. I can't imagine he could've held up continuing to carry the workload that was being asked of him. His deal was going to be a rough one in time (same as Parise's). With this contract null and void, new opportunities WILL present themselves, but I'm not going to pretend that the Devils became a better team today.
So in short, I can't bring myself to hate Kovy.
But I can hate the NHL right now. Because today showed that the brand has been cheapened, and the NHL has no else to blame but themselves for this. They've taken the brand for granted for too long, and because of their arrogance (thank you Gary Bettman), they allowed another game to ride into their turf and become a competitor for the world's best players' services. This is such a sad joke. The NHL is supposed to be the best league in the world, the league where the top players from all-around want to compete for the right to hoist hockey's ultimate trophy. That's supposed to be a fvcking NO BRAINER! Remember, it wasn't so long ago that Russians were yearning, screaming, begging for the chance to play in the NHL...not the opportunity to go BACK!
With Kovy's defection, to me, everything about the NHL took a hit today. The league, how it's perceived, the Cup...somehow all of it seems a little less significant, a little less important, and the NHL is not a league that can afford to take hits to its credibility like this. One of its best players willingly turned his back on what is allegedly THE friggin' PREMIER hockey league of the world. I'm still amazed that this could even happen, regardless of the circumstances.
Anywhere, just curious where others who are somewhat breathing normally again are.
While still in shock and will miss his style of play immensely and what he brought to this team, I share almost the identical thoughts and feelings as you. Well put!