Bobby Holik was acquired by the New Jersey Devils prior to the the 1992-93 season when he was traded along with the Hartford Whalers second round pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft to New Jersey in exchange for Eric Weinrich and Sean Burke. What happened next was 10 strong seasons from Holik.
Holik is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, winning the Cup with the Devils in 1995 and 2000.
He left the Devils before the 2002-03 season when he signed a contract during the off-season with cross-Hudson rivals, the New York Rangers in a move that was considered Benedict Arnold-esque (that is until Scott Gomez pulled the same move years later.)
In 2005, Holik had his contract bought out by the Rangers and he signed with the Atlanta Thrashers. He stayed with the Thrashers until 2008, and even served as the Thrashers captain in the 2007-08 season.
Holik made a return to the New Jersey Devils in the 2008-09 season, marking the 11th season with the franchise.
He retired after the 2008-09 season.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
Before Ilya Kovalchuk was the Atlanta Thrashers’ number one pick in 2001, he played two seasons in Russia for HC Spartak Moscow. When his NHL career began he was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as league rookie-of-the-year. He has since then made three NHL All-Star appearances and won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer in 2004.
Kovalchuk was traded to the New Jersey Devils in February of 2010 after eight seasons with the Thrashers. After multiple contract offers and some controversial deals, Kovalchuk signed a 15 year, $100 million contract with the Devils.
After a slow first half of the season, Kovalchuk started to get back on his game and lit up. He had multiple streaks throughout the season and plenty of game winning goals (9 to be exact, 50 in his entire career). It was against the Leafs that he scored a game winning goal to give coach Jacques Lemaire his 600th win. In April of 2011, Kovalchuk played his 700th career game (again, against the Maple Leafs!) and got his 700th point on the same night.
He finished his first full season with the Devils with 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points.
Kovalchuk has played in several IIHF World Championships, the World Cup and the Winter Olympics collecting a few gold, silver and bronze medals since 2001. Playing for Team Russia in this year’s IIHF World Championship sent him home with another silver medal.
We love having him on our team and look forward to watching him keep playing in red. I like to call him Goalvalchuk, what’s your nickname of choice?
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
The Atlanta Thrashers were sold to True North Sports and Entertainment. True North’s purchase of the team has been announced and the team will be moved to Winnipeg, Canada. The announcement was made at the MTS Centre in Winnepeg where the team will play after the sale is approved by the NHL Board of Governors in mid-June.
The Jets played in Winnipeg until 1996, when the team was relocated to Phoenix. After the Coyotes announced plans to stay in Phoenix for at least one more season, True North successfully acquired the NHL’s other misplaced southern US franchise.
The Jets moved out of Canada when the Canadian dollar was worth roughly 73 cents American. With player salaries paid in American dollars, but all ticket, merchandise, and other purchases made in Canadian dollars, relocation to the US made sense despite the loyal fan base. Hockey teams with small arenas were not profitable in the 1990s. Now that the two countries’ dollar values are nearly equal, Canada appears to be slated to get another team back. They also have a new arena that currently hosts an AHL team, Manitoba Moose.
The franchise’s leading scorer is our very own Ilya Kovalchuk. He had 328 goals and 287 assists for the Thrashers from 2001 to 2010, where he averaged better than a point per game.