Mar. 2, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) on the bench during a game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Roundup: Your Morning Links


Welcome to your NHL Roundup, where we provide you with your Morning Links from around the NHL.  The action on the ice may be over but there is never an off-season off the ice.

The fallout of Ilya Kovalchuk’s sudden retirement continues, with his own mother declaring he never truly wanted to be a Devil:

Ilya Kovalchuk didn’t want to be a New Jersey Devil.

It was July 2010, and the NHL had never seen an unrestricted free agent go to market with Kovalchuk’s skill, stats and relative youth. The problem for Kovalchuk: Only a handful of teams could afford his demands in a capped NHL; and soon it was only the Devils, who traded for him that February from the Atlanta Thrashers (RIP), the Los Angeles Kings and SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL bidding for his services.

In the wake of Tuukka Rasks’ big new deal, Patrice Bergeron got one of his own:

“I started my career as a Bruin, they’re the team that believed in me as an 18-year-old coming in, and now I’m really happy now to say I will hopefully retire a Bruin,” Bergeron, 28 this month, said Friday. “That’s a goal. That’s what I want. … I’m really proud to be a Bruin, hopefully for life. I have a lot of pride every time I step on the ice as a Bruin. I couldn’t be happier.”

The Buffalo Sabres and first round pick (8th overall) Rasmus Ristolainen have come to terms on an entry-level deal:

The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen, a first-round pick in this year’s draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The deal with Ristolainen, the No. 8 pick, was announced Friday night.

Ristolainen was the first of two defencemen selected by the Sabres in the first round. Russian prospect Nikita Zadorov was taken with the No. 16 choice.

And lastly, the Leafs feel like they’re in a bad spot with prized prospect defenseman Morgan Reilly:

The 19-year-old defenceman is in no-man’s land, caught between being too good for junior and perhaps not yet ready for the NHL. He’s too young to play in the AHL with the Marlies, yet Rielly is at the point where he might be bored dominating the Western Hockey League.

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Tags: Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Featured Ilya Kovalchuk Morgan Reilly New Jersey Devils Patrice Bergeron Popular Toronto Maple Leafs