The Devils have announced that after months of contract talks, they have successfully re-signed center Adam Henrique to a multi-year deal. As per team policy (aka – Status Quo) no other details were made official in the initial announcement, but details soon emerged that the deal was worth $24 million for a total of 6 years. Henrique was a restricted free agent this off-season, meaning that if he wasn’t signed before next summer, he would become unrestricted and the other 29 teams in the NHL could make offers for the young, promising forward. After losing David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalchuk this off-season, the Devils did not want to let that happen.
Despite a less-than-desired performance last season (11 G, 5 A in 42 games) Henrique has very quickly cemented his name as a fan-favorite. In the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he scored two series-ending goals, one in double-overtime in the first round against the Florida Panthers, and more notably in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers, a goal that sent the Devils to their 5th Stanley Cup Final.
Re-signing Henrique will no doubt help ease fans after a troubling start to the off-season. Signing Henrique was not enough, locking him up long-term will help fans sleep easy at night knowing that one of their promising young stars will don the red-and-black for another 6 seasons.
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|