When defenseman Anton Volchenkov left the Ottawa Senators yesterday for a 6-year, $4.25 million-per-season deal with the New Jersey Devils, he left the only team he’s played for in the NHL.
In finding a new hockey home, Volchenkov’s main motivation was the length of the deal; the security of a contract given the shot-blocking, physical game he plays.
I spoke with Volchenkov last night about his decision to sign with New Jersey and how this challenge will be different than the one in Ottawa:
Q. Congratulations of the new contract. What are your feelings now that you signed a 6-year contract with the New Jersey Devils?
VOLCHENKOV: Well, actually, these are some unusual feelings, because I have been playing in the NHL for 8 years now and all for the same team. Of course it was tough to leave and change teams, but on the other hand I am very happy that I signed with a club that always plays in the playoffs. I am looking forward to all the future battles.
Were the Devils your first choice? Or were there any other clubs that were in serious contention?
Well, there was a choice for me. I did have it. But the Devils’ offer was a really firm one. And since they were the most persuasive that’s the one I was seriously considering. So I decided to sign with New Jersey.