To be fair to both sides, we (the Devils) are not without our own fault or shadiness either.
Didn't Lou invent the whole "trading an injured player/dead contract" scheme. I forgot who the player was (was it Malakhov?) but Lou was one of the first. Also, the Kovalchuk debacle will go down in history as probably the only situation of its kind. Until a full tell-all report is written by Lou one day that tells me otherwise, til the day I die I will believe that it wasn't Kovalchuk's decision to leave the Devils for the KHL. At the time, I remember most of the league's fans reacting in our favor, like "Damn, Devils got screwed," or "Good riddance, have fun in the KHL!" or stuff like that. But if I were an opposing fan (and now looking back), I'd be way more skeptical. I have no doubt there was a 10 person meeting at the NHL offices between Bettman, Vanderbeek, Lou, and the owners, and the Kovalchuk scenario was drawn up there to facilitate the sale of the organization to Harris & co. We'll never know how close to the brink Vanderbeek pushed us to financially/ownership-wise, because of that meeting and because of what Kovalchuk did. If I WERE a Rangers or Flyers fan, this would piss me off.
Why would the new owners want to get rid of Kovy? Yeah his contract will be ugly towards the end, but for the next few years he is a marquee name, something we really haven't had the past couple of seasons outside of maybe a past-his-prime Jagr.
I still think it was a case of Kovy wanting to have more money (less taxes and no escrow over there), playing in an easier league with less games and being home.