5 Former New Jersey Devils Who Could Retire This Offseason

There are a lot of interesting New Jersey Devils players who are coming to the end of their careers. This year, there is one major headliner and a bunch of interesting names beyond that.
Former New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Former New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports / Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
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Retirement is inevitable in hockey. Some players can play into their 40s. Others see their careers continue until their late 30s. Then, there are the careers cut short by either injuries or ineffectiveness. Those stories are always hard to believe, a player retiring in his 20s, but these things happen unfortunately.

One thing that we don't know is when Jaromir Jagr will retire. That's why you won't see him on this list. Despite being 52 years old, Jagr has shown no signs of slowing down with Kladno. However, there are a few surprising names who could retire this offseason.

Ilya Kovalchuk

We'll start with a dirty name on this list. Ilya Kovalchuk might be the most hated player in the history of New Jersey Devils fans. Scott Gomez and Bobby Holik both left the Devils to sign lucrative contracts with the Devils biggest rivals, the New York Rangers. Yet, they aren't nearly as hated as Ilya Kovalchuk.

Everyone knows why. Kovalchuk signed an insane 15-year contract with the Devils to keep him in New Jersey through the end of his career. The $100 million was supposed to be enough to entice Kovalchuk away from the Los Angeles Kings and the KHL. Then, the lockout happenedin 2012. Coming off a Stanley Cup Final appearance, the NHL season started late, and Kovalchuk was able to get a taste of KHL action and likely some seedy conversations that convinced him to end his NHL career.

Of course, technically, Kovalchuk already "retired," which is how he got out of his Devils contract. He returned to the NHL only after he turned 35. Then he left for the KHL again. This time, it feels like it's about over. Kovalchuk is 41 years old. Rumors are swirling that his career is at the end. We don't think any Devils fan will shed a tear. It's ironic the Devils will continue paying for Kovalchuk after he officially retires.