Updated 05:59 AM EDT, Wed, Apr 21, 2021

Ilya Kovalchuk Retirement: Jeremy Roenick Blasts Russian On Twitter

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Ilya Kovalchuk's decision to retire early from the NHL has surely angered a number of New Jersey Devils fans. However, no one was angrier about the retirement than former NHL star Jeremy Roenick.

Roenick wrote a series of messages in which he blasted Kovalchuk over his decision.

"Uwill all see now why I have talked negatively about kovalchuk !!! He doesn't want to play for the devils and he'll end up in the KHL!!!" he tweeted. "Kovalchuk is as selfish as they come!!!! I'm appalled. I feel bad for all u devils fans. U deserve better than that!!"

He added, "I am shocked that kovalchuk would do this to the devils and their fan base!!! Devils lose so much w this decision it's scary!!! Selfish !!!! I'm so irate right now. I feel bad for Lou lamoriello. Gave a 100 million dollar contract to a player who has no care for the NHL! Hey Ilya hope u live comfortably in Russia w the money u made from the 23 million u stole from the devils Again I'm right in my analysis."

Kovalchuk shocked the world when he announced Wednesday that he was terminating the final 12 years of his 15-year contract with the New Jersey Devils. In doing so, Kovalchuk is walking away from $77 million that the organization owes him.

"This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia," Kovalchuk said in a statement released by the New Jersey Devils organization. "Though I decided to return this past season, [general manager] Lou [Lamoriello] was aware of my desire to go back home and have my family there with me. The most difficult thing for me is to leave the New Jersey Devils, a great organization that I have a lot of respect for, and our fans that have been great to me."

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