Yay for the Devils, the Red Rocket is back! Kovy decides not to mirror the Great One's legacy of moving to the far coast to bring jubilation to the beach bums, opting instead to not have to move his shit at all. Having just moved about 3 times in the last month, I'd make the same choice.
Now that Kovy's broken the seal on the NHL free agent constipation, it begs the question of what happens next. Who are the next movers and shakers? Do Kings fans riot now or later? Do Montreal fans riot on their principled behalf? Why did Kovy choose Joisey? And most of all, how does this affect the standings?
Keep an eye on...
Possibly the second biggest name in player movement rumors over the last two weeks, Gagne has been rumored to go to the Rangers, the Lightning, or the Kings, among others. His regular season value is slightly above league average, tempered always by the possibility of injury, but his postseason contributions are underrated. He will move very soon.
The Ducks and Ryan are still far apart in their negotiations, and Brian Burke smells blood over in Toronto (and it's not Kaberle eating his own head).
When healthy, Bieksa is a highly effective defensemen with a good shot and a mean streak. The Blue Jackets and Sharks are interested as well as the Ducks, and the Canucks would like to get Bieksa out of his locker so that they can gold-plate it for Hamhuis's arrival.
No "old man" jokes here, though when he was drafted Patrick Kane was working his mother's uterine wall like it was a cab driver. The Red Wings and Wild are interested, though let's be realistic here: Modano will sell tickets and be a father-figure to the younger players (which pretty much makes Willa Ford the best MILF ever).
Top 3 Reasons Ilya Kovalchuk Chose Jersey Over Los Angeles
3. He knows nothing about U.S. geography.
2. Found a naked and bound Alexander Frolov in Dean Lombardi's closet.
1. Between the aging Mobsters, abandoned buildings, and smelly landfills, it's like he never left Russia.
What Does Kovalchuk in Jersey Mean for the NHL Standings?
Let's be clear: the fact that he signed exactly where he was the last two months of the season makes this a far-easier conclusion to reach. As far as the Atlantic Division rivals are concerned, this is one of the more innocuous places he could go. They were good, not great with Kovy on their team, and his deadly offensive prowess was somewhat dampened by the fact that the Devils are defensive-minded and Parise-focused in their attack. In all honesty, I think the Devils did more for themselves by the Arnott and Volchenkov signings.
The Devils will still be a solid team, as they were without him. But the fact is, he's not the guy in Jersey, and with fewer shooting opportunities and the usual questionable defense, he becomes a (likely) expensive complementary piece.