New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk on Thursday announced his retirement from the NHL.
"This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia," Kovalchuk said in a statement released by the team. "Though I decided to return this past season, Lou [Lamoriello, general manager] was aware of my desire to go back home and have my family there with me. The most difficult thing for me is to leave the New Jersey Devils, a great organization that I have a lot of respect for, and our fans that have been great to me."
"After many conversations with Ilya over the past year on his desire to retire from the National
Hockey League, Ilya's decision became official today," Lamoriello said in a statement. "On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Ilya and his family all the best in their future endeavors."
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