It Appears The Blue Jackets Are Interested In Being The Team That Takes Ilya Kovalchuk Off The Devils' Hands
"You have yourself a deal..."
...is what I would say if almost any trade that netted an NHL caliber upgrade was slid across my desk in an effort to get the most high maintenance of mercenaries shipped out of town.
Now luckily I'm not Ray Shero, or my PTSD would have me biting the bullet to give almost any team - other than the Rangers - directorial order over a walking, talking soap opera. You shouldn't give away assets - especially those that are hypothetically capable of scoring 25-30 goals in a season - so a certain amount of hardball is necessary. However, if this drags on into August I'd rather pay off Putin to get Ilya Kovalchuk executed than haggle over which young, underachieving talent he is worth in what has become a barren, costly black market for Top-4 defensemen.
Simply put, I want what's best for the New Jersey Devils and it's getting to the point where I think what's truly best for the New Jersey Devils is to focus on the future while relieving themselves of the most polarizing person from their past. We are talking about a guy whose name has already come up dozens of times this summer and he's not even back on North American soil yet. Obviously I hope that the Devils are able to retroactively recoup some of what they inevitably gave up by taking a homesick, money hungry toddler at his word (i.e. signature), but I think doing so in a timely fashion is just as important to a franchise as whatever (under)payment they receive in return. Idle hands might be the Devils' playground, but this offseason will immediately become more fun the instant those hands are free of the shackles of an aging, Russian malcontent's incessant indecisiveness. I'm not even going to look at Columbus' pipeline on the blue line out of fear of baseless optimism, and I hope Ray Shero gets something done shortly so I don't have to.
P.S. Already laughing at the prospect of Ilya Kovalchuk and Artemi Panarin being under the watchful eye of John Tortorella. Mostly because it's the NHL equivalent of feeding filet mignons to a stray dog.