Why was Kovalchuk benched?
An alternate captain of the National Hockey League team New Jersey Devils with a left winger position, Ilya Valeryevich Kovalchuk is a famous ice hockey player from Russia. 1999 was the year when his career in ice hockey began its first step towards popularity and stardom. Being the first pick from the overall draft of National Hockey League Draft last 2001, this young man proved to be worthy in becoming one of the Atlanta Thrashers’ players. Barely reaching a year in the profession, he made it to be one of the nominees for the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. And in 2004, he won the Rocket Richard Trophy in grand slam. As the span of his career lengthened, his participation and passion the field of hockey earned him to play in international games such as the World Cup, Winter Olympics and IIHF World U18 Championship.
However, after being traded to the New Jersey Devils in February 2010, he was faced with an issue just last October of the same year. Ilya Kovalchuk was benched by his coach John MacLean of New Jersey Devils during their game one Saturday night. Many were shocked of not seeing Kovalchuk play against the Buffalo Sabres. During an interview regarding Kovalchuk being benched, coach MacLean did not disclose any reasons and just said that Kovalchuk knew the reason and the issue will remain just between the two of them. He also claimed that he intends not to give further explanation to the media and even to Kovalchuk for his action. However, a lot of speculations have been heard that the reason behind MacLean benching Ilya Kovalchuk was that, the player was absent during the meeting held in the morning, right after their pre-skate practice, of that same Saturday.