Retirement shock: Roenick rips into Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk, now in the KHL, remains one of the most impacting trade deadline rentals.

Ilya Kovalchuk’s retirement from the NHL caught the hockey world by surprise Thursday afternoon, as the 30-year-old leaves a New Jersey Devils contract with a whopping 12 years and $77 million left on the table.

The Russian superstar is expected to rejoin the Kontinental Hockey League, where he captained SKA St. Petersburg during the NHL’s lockout.

Although Kovalchuk repeatedly stated his desire to remain in the KHL and threatened to return after the lockout, his leaving hockey’s most elite league still rocked those who follow the game closely.

Led by a ticked-off Jeremy Roenick, here are the most potent tweets from an audience that picked its collective jaw off the floor and took to social media: