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The Rock, NJ • United States • 35 Years Old • Male
source nj.com

The best news John MacLean received this summer was getting hired to coach the Devils.

However, the signing of Ilya Kovalchuk today ranks a close second.

"I have a smile on my face," MacLean said.

Now it will be MacLean's job to fit a talented individual into the Devils' team concept.

"We all know that, even looking at him on another team, that he's an exceptional talent," MacLean said. "As I've stated before, I have not heard from anybody throughout the organization a bad word about him. He's a tremendous teammate and addition. He'll have no issues playing for the team.

"He signed here for a reason, to try to win a championship. This organization has a good history of that, so you know he wants to be part of the team. That's what I'm excited about."

This could make the Devils favorites in the Eastern Conference.

"He adds a tremendous amount," MacLean said. "As far as us being the team to beat, I think we're going to be a very competitive team in this conference. But you say that now. There are a lot of things that have to fall into place as you go forward.

"I'm very confident with him in the lineup that we're going to be one of the top teams."

Eighteen days after the NHL free agency market opened, Kovalchuk finally made his decision. For a time, it appeared he preferred Los Angeles, trying several times to complete a deal with the Kings.

MacLean doesn't see anything negative about the way Kovalchuk went about making his decision.

"Not at all," the coach said. "When you're dealing with the kind of contract and the talent he is, everybody should be giving him more credit for making decisions. It seems to me he's a very clear thinker to go through the process of a major decision. Sometimes people tend to rush things or worry about what other people are doing. He thought clearly on this and wanted to make the right decision to be happy. And I think he is."

"I was never involved in negotiations or anything like that. Lou was doing the negotiating with him and the decision was going to be Kovy's whether or not he wanted to come here," MacLean said. "I'm just excited he's going to be part of the Devils."
Filed Under:   new jersey devils   kovalchuck  
July 19, 2010 8:54 PM ET | Delete
He just doesn't seem to fit the Devils way of playing - defense,defense, defense. Except on the power play he will seem out of place. I think it will be a mistake that they signed him, he was a much better fit in LA. The Devils don't have the offensive horses to play his style.
July 20, 2010 12:12 AM ET | Delete
Well I totally agree with you..but it might be time for the devils to change their style.
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Blog Archive

10 On Kovi free agency
12 WOW The Devils Make A Great Move!!!!
12 John MacLean is hands on as Devils open prospects camp
12 Is Ilya Kovalchuk moving closer to signing with Los Angeles?
13 Has Kovalchuck lost his footing with New Jersey Devils Fans?
13 Elias understands Kovalchuk's dilemma
14 Elias excited for what future holds
15 Lots of talk but nothing to announce yet on Kovalchuk
15 Kovalchuk Looking Less and Less Likely for New Jersey Devils
15 Kovalchuk desperately wants to be the highest paid Russian!!
15 Devils don't offer veteran center Eric Chouinard a contract
15 Anton Volchenkov: Devils were my second choice
15 MacLean meets the A-Train
16 Are Ilya Kovalchuk's salary demands tied to Alex Ovechkin?
16 Newly-signed Tyler Eckford wants to play his way into a job
16 Devils' World Won't End if Kovy Bypasses Newark
18 Kings believed they had a 50-50 chance of signing Kovinuts
19 Brian Rolston knows that changes are coming for Devils
19 Devils' signing of Ilya Kovalchuk puts a smile on John Mac!!
19 Dainius Zubrus: signing Ilya Kovalchuk was to shake up the Devils
19 What might happen next?????
20 Who Will Go???
20 Which Contracts Will Lou Dump Now?
20 Left winger Ilya Kovalchuk, there is significance to #17
21 Once Kovalchuk's deal is settled, attention to Zach!!!
21 NHL doesn't believe Ilya Kovalchuk will stay untill Age 44
21 contracts similar to Ilya Kovalchuk's deal with Devils
21 NHL Players' Assocation issues statement On Kovi
21 Lamoriello statement on Kovalchuk signing
21 ’t win Ilya Kovalchuk contract showdown
22 It's in hands of Ilya Kovalchuk and union
22 NHL might have picked wrong fight
22 LA Kings Dean Lombardi backs up Kovalchuck Contract
24 NHLPA to file grievance
25 The Kovi Saga
25 NHL prosecution merely a temper tantrum
26 Devils wait for players' union to file grievance
26 contract could trigger a war between Devils and NHL
27 Decision on Kovalchuk is expected nexty week
28 Kovalchuk contract could be restructured by arbitrator
28 Yann Danis Going to KHL
28 Mark Fraser Signed....
29 Newly-signed Mark Fraser vows to be 'mean, physical Player
30 Arbitrator has been agreed upon
30 Kovalchuck Hearing?????
31 Arbitrator - Richard Bloch a NEw Jersey Native
31 Association agree on arbitrator to rule on Ilya Kovalchuk
03 Kovalchuk will attend contract hearing
03 Devils will wear retro jerseys March 18 vs. Washington
04 D day for Kovi and the Devils
05 Roller Hockey at the Jersey Shore
06 Jim Dowd Shore High School Hockey Game set for Sunday
06 Is this is a set-up between Lou and Gary???
09 The arbitration decision coming today
11 Translated article from soviet sports kovalchuck
11 Devils name Rick Kowalsky head coach at Albany
12 HEATS ON!!!!
12 Where do the Devils stand in the market???
16 Today might be the day
16 90 million over 10-13 for kovi?
16 Russian News Paper Reports Devs and Kovi....
17 Contract submitted???
18 Another Quiet day in the Kovi Front
19 Devils still waiting to see what happens with Kovy
19 “Status Quo” On Ilya Kovalchuk And Devils
20 Devils After Marc-Andre Bergeron???
20 Kovi wants nothing to do with the KHL
20 Elias on the Move???
21 Questions Surround Devils in Wake of Kovalchuck saga
22 Brian Burke Testified Against Ilya Kovalchuk Contract???
22 Devils Bringing Hockey Back To Atlantic City
23 Patrik Elias could be moved to sign fellow winger Zach Paris
23 Today could be the Day!!!
23 News 1130 out of Vancouver Reports on Kovi
23 Possible contract for Kovalchuck
23 Devils add more youth to the roster
23 EJHradek_ESPN Reports NJ Devils meet with the NHL
24 News 12 New Jersey Reports on Kovi Contract...
24 Bryce Salvador to Stars...
25 NHL 2 Devils 0.....
25 Lamoriello not frustrated by Kovalchuk process
25 Commish denies report of deal rejection
26 – NYPOST.com
26 Looks Like KHL is out of the question
27 Could this be finalyy over???
30 Devils could part with Zajac if Kovalchuk stays
30 ’ contract, but Kovalchuk retires
31 ’s official decision on Kovalchuk’s TODAY!!!!!
31 Niemi a Devil?????