Ilya Kovalchuk looking forward to return to Atlanta in a Devils jersey

In a city that embraces the tomahawk chop, Chipper Jones and college sports moreso than hockey, Ilya Kovalchuk was still someone very special.
They may have had some trouble understanding his Russian accent, and he their southern drawl, but for more than eight seasons Kovalchuk forced Georgians to pay at least some attention to the Thrashers.
Now he wonders how they will react when he returns to Philips Arena Tuesday night wearing a Devils jersey, well aware that he turned down lucrative offers to sign a contract extension with the team that drafted him first overall in 2001….

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