Ilya Kovalchuk is a player that plays only for money, not for the love of hockey. Unfortunately for the New Jersey Devils they have been considered one of the most consistent teams since 1995. Last season they finished the regular season strong but now they are challenging for last place in the NHL. If it wasn't for worse management with the New York Islanders than the New Jersey Devils would be in sole possession of last place.
So Atlanta Thrashers don't resign Ilya Kovalchuk then the tables would be turned. However Atlanta now sits 2nd in the Eastern Conference and is 21 points ahead of New Jersey in the conference standings. The Devils signed Kovalchuk to sell seats and to increase scoring, yet New Jersey is last in the NHL in goals for with a horrible 58. The last place New York Islanders have 65.
It makes you wonder how the lockerroom is in New Jersey now. If I was Martin Brodeur I would demand a trade of a team that has not only made the worst acquisition in it's history but they are going to suffer long term salary cap problems that will prevent them from winning a Stanley Cup as long as Kovalchuk is still being paid a salary. This is the same problem the New York Islanders had years ago signing Alexei Yashin to a stupid large contract. Now John Tavares has no real players to play with as salary cap money is going towards players like Yashin and Rick DiPietro who has essentially guaranteed money and might not play in the NHL for very long with his knee problems.
In conclusion, Ilya Kovalchuk has just sunk one of the greatest teams in the East but you can't blame him. Management can only be blamed for this. I think the LA Kings are happy they lost out on the Kovalchuk sweepstakes