Roenick rips Kovalchuk as ‘selfish’

Ilya Kovalchuk‘s NHL career came to a screeching halt on Thursday, suddenly leaving the New Jersey Devils without one of their best players.

Kovalchuk abruptly announced his retirement from the Devils, forgoing the final 12 years of his contract and leaving $77 million on the table to return to his native Russia, where he is expected to play in the KHL.

While some were not caught completely off guard by Kovalchuk’s decision to return to his homeland (“I’m never surprised by anything that happens in this game,” Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said), others were downright angry.

Former NHL player and current NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick is one of the latter, and he proceeded to tear apart the winger in a lengthy Twitter rant, calling Kovalchuk’s decision selfish and appalling.