At Puck Daddy, Dmitry Chesnokov writes that Ilya Kovalchuk almost requested a trade from the Devils last season after going through the worst season of his career.
Chesnokov writes, “The criticism and public pressure came hand in hand; it affected Kovalchuk to the point where he almost requested a trade from the Devils.”
It was recently discovered by Ilya’s mother, Lyubov, who points out that Ilya had those thoughts.
Lyubov said in a an interview,”It was difficult to work with that coach [John MacLean]. He didn’t really let Ilya play…”
He didn’t voice it loud, but that decision was becoming ripe. He told me on the phone: ‘That’s it. I am going to the general manager.’ [And I said] ‘What are you doing, wait! So much was done to get your contract with the Devils approved. And now you will quit?'”
In 81 games, Kovalchuk picked out a career-low 60 points (expect for his rookie season where he played 65 games and had 51 points). Prior to the season, Kovalchuk signed a huge 15-year deal.