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Ilya Kovalchuk hopes Jagr, Devils win Stanley Cup

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Nearly five months after abandoning the New Jersey Devils to return to Russia, Ilya Kovalchuk spoke out about what he hopes for his former team. And his words might be shocking.

While not many fans in New Jersey may be sending Kovalchuk the warmest of wishes across the pond, the former Devils winger seems to be hoping for the best for his old team and the even older face in Jaromir Jagr that they brought in to replace him.

"Well, I hope that he's going to bring the Stanley Cup to the Devils," Kovalchuk told iDNES.cz on Monday from the motherland.

Jagr, 41, potted his 692nd goal in Friday's win over the Carolina Hurricanes and currently leads the Devils in points with 22 (11g,11a). The production by the veteran is no surprise to Kovalchuk, who called Jagr " one of the best players in the world".

As for Kovalchuk, he leads his own team, SKA St. Petersburg, with 30 points and apparently has no regrets in his abrupt departure from New Jersey to rejoin the KHL.

" I feel better here with family," Kovalchuk said. "I'm so close with my mother and my sister and in Russia I have a lot of friends."

Friends would likely be difficult for the 30 year old Russian to come across in New Jersey, where he spent his final four NHL seasons, but that doesn't deter him from checking in to see how the Devils are doing.

"I usually watch just the highlights on the internet. Now they're doing much better."

In 816 NHL games, Kovalchuk tallied 417 goals and 399 assists for 816 points.

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