Whether or not you want to argue that Ilya Kovalchuk is the face of the Devils franchise, he is and management made that decision when they signed Kovalchuk to that ludicrous 15 year deal. At this current position in the season Kovalchuk has played 18 games and has 14 points (5 goals and 9 assists).
Now it is nice to see that he is spreading the wealth but keep the following stat in mind. David Clarkson, Dainius Zubrus have more goals than Ilya Kovalchuk. Petr Sykora and rookie Adam Henrique have the same amount of goals. That should not be happening. Kovalchuk should be leading the league in goals and right now he is ranked 124th.
With great amounts of money comes great responsibility, or something like that, he needs to be living up to his contract. I’m pretty sure its safe to say that he is not living up to it right now. Now you maybe thinking “Oh well he has 13 more years to live up to his contract.” And my counter statement would simply be, “He is in his prime now but what happens when he gets older?” The time is now for Kovalchuk to get going.
Now Kovalchuk is a franchise player. You build teams around players of his caliber. What do you think the Devils need to do to get the face of the franchise going?