Thursday July 11th, 2013

Ilya Kovalchuk Ilya Kovalchuk delighted Devils fans in July of 2010, then crushed them in July of '13. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

New Jersey Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk shocked the NHL world today by retiring at the age of 30. Kovalchuk had 12 years and $77 million remaining on his deal, but will return home to Russia instead of remaining with his NHL team. The news shook Devils fans -- and the Twitterverse.

MUIR: Kovalchuk stuns NHL, sparks potential KHL drama

HACKEL: Devils paid high price for little from Kovalchuk

Photo gallery: Ilya Kovalchuk's NHL career

Photo gallery: Biggest sports retirements of 2013

Here's a sampling of the reactions from the social media realm:

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