New Jersey Devils fans wasted no time taking their thoughts to Twitter after Ilya Kovalchuk signed with the Los Angeles Kings.
New Jersey Devils fans have been waiting a long time for the day that forward Ilya Kovalchuk would make his official return back to the NHL after the Russian superstar left Jersey’s team hanging when he retired from the NHL back in the summer of 2013.
Then, Kovalchuk had just completed his third year of a 15-year contract that was signed in 2010, but the winger decided he wanted to go back to Russia and join SKA St. Petersburg on a four-year deal.
It was around the same time that not only saw Kovalchuk depart Jersey, but also saw David Clarkson and Zach Parise bolt via unrestricted free agency (UFA).
It was a dark and confusing time for the Devils and their fans.
Up until this past season, New Jersey hadn’t qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2012 when the team reached the Stanley Cup Final with Kovalchuk as a key asset in the process.
Since the Russian sniper left to go play in the KHL, there were always strong rumors that Kovalchuk would, in fact, come back to the NHL, but more than likely sign with the Devils biggest rival, the New York Rangers.
It didn’t happen. Instead, Kovalchuk officially made his return after his KHL contract expired with SKA this offseason and signed with the Los Angeles Kings.
The 35-year-old and 2018 Olympic Gold Medal winner almost signed a mega contract with the Kings back in the 2010 offseason, but, somehow, the Devils managed to ink the superstar instead.
This time around, the former 40 goal-scorer signed a three-year contract worth $6.25 million (AVV) with Los Angeles and while Devils fans will only see him twice next season, they’re already ready to let him hear and feel the constant “boos” in which former Devil Scott Gomez once endured after he signed with the hated Rangers in 2007 UFA.
Below are New Jersey Devils fans reactions over Twitter to Kovalchuk making his return back to the NHL. Let’s just say, “The Rock still remembers.”
I want to go to devils vs kings just to witness how much ilya kovalchuk gets booed
— DarkDevil26 (@Darkest_Devil26) June 23, 2018
BREAKING: F Ilya Kovalchuk has agreed to a 3 Year Contract an average of $6.25M per year, with the Los Angeles Kings. Devils fans, get your tickets to the Prudential Center for the first Kings vs Devils game, and get ready to boo the heck outta him.
— NJ Devils memes (@NJ_Devilsmemes) June 23, 2018
Whatever Devil lays out Kovalchuk first time he crosses the blue line on February 5, I will buy your jersey immediately. You hear me, Patrick Maroon?
— Michael (@ThatsJustPr1me) June 23, 2018
I’m taking donations to pay what ever Devil takes out kovalchuk . Hoping we can buy a car or a house for this person .
— jimmyice (@jimmysdevs) June 23, 2018
The New Jersey Devils even got in on the action. The Devils host the Kings on Feb. 5, 2019.
Feb. 5, 2019. ? pic.twitter.com/OeJG6xgq3r
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) June 23, 2018
Devils going Crazy ex on Kovalchuk pic.twitter.com/VwXHA7ilWC
— Kevin List (@klist94) June 23, 2018
LA can have Kovalchuk. He’s useless. I see a buy out in the future.
— Jerzey Devils (@Tequilasunrize4) June 23, 2018
2/5/19. Kovalchuk returns to New Jersey. You bet I will be at that game booing him so loud that my face will turn more red than the Devils jersey’s themselves.
— Charlie Borges Jr (@CarlosMontoya71) June 23, 2018
Kovalchuk leaving the Devils was a blessing in disguise and we are better off for it now thank you very much.
— NB (@ANikmareOnElmSt) June 23, 2018
I'm genuinely happy for Kovalchuk, but as a Devils fan, god damn it, I wanted him back.
— Caitlyn Martin (@karmacaitlyn) June 23, 2018
The entire #Kovalchuk situation makes me salty. It's ironic he chose L.A. after leaving N.J. high and dry. Its the team Devils beat out the first time. Hope he plays out the entire contract.
— Steve Palumbo (@Faultlinehockey) June 23, 2018
Looking forward to seeing Kovalchuk quit on the Kings like he did with the Devils and Thrashers.
— Cub Carson (@CubCarson) June 23, 2018