Not playing for the Devils is not playing for the Devils. Whether sitting on his ass or working in some unrelated business or playing for a non-competing hockey team on the other side of the world makes no difference. None of it has any impact on the Devils.
I think he just means that he didn't simply retire and be done with the sport, he retired so he could go play somewhere else. The Devils wanted out of that contract too so it was mutually beneficial at the time.