Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the New York Post,
The Most Loyal Devil may leave New Jersey today, low-balled by Lou Lamoriello when any decent raise would have brought Brian Rafalski to Newark.
“It appears I’ll be reaching free agency,” Rafalski told The Post yesterday. “I’m interested at this point to see what happens and how much interest there is out there.”...
“Detroit’s my hometown, and the Midwest is the area I grew up in, so I’m very comfortable there as far as lifestyle goes,” Rafalski said. “At the same time, I have friends and family in many places.”
from The Record,
“Brian wants to stay, so we’re going to do whatever we can to make it work,” Zito said.
Zito said he had a productive sit-down with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello while at the NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend.
“That went well and we’re going to continue to talk,” he said.
more on the Devils…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Impending free agent Jed Ortmeyer appears on his way to being a former Ranger. “No progress,” Ortmeyer’s agent, Mark Witkin, told The Post. “Either they’re playing it cool or they don’t want him.”
Lamoriello said he has no timetable for announcing the team’s next head coach. The Post has learned that the GM has spoken with Brian Sutter, but it is not known whether he is a candidate.
Lamoriello stated the team’s Newark arena will open on time in October, but added, “We’ll play on the road for the first month.”
read the meat of the article regarding the Rangers draft picks…
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
The Oilers and Flyers could be trying to land a big one before tonight’s NHL draft.
League sources say both teams may have made calls to Devils GM Lou Lamoriello about acquiring the negotiating rights to centre Scott Gomez, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
It’s believed the Oilers, who have three first-round picks, can offer the most attractive package to the Devils.
from The Maven,
This is the time of year when Lou Lamoriello completes his head-coach search. With the Entry Draft coming up, it would not surprise if Double L announces his new bench leader any day now….
I’m guessing it’ll be Brian Sutter, who has experience, savvy and toughness. I was tempted to call this coaching scenario “The Meadowlands Melodrama” until I realized that Lou just moved his offices from East Rutherford to Newark.
more hockey talk, including the Bruins, the Senators and the Predators situation…
From the CP via TSN,
The New Jersey Devils signed defenceman Andy Greene, prospect Matthew Corrente and European veteran Jari Viuhkola on Wednesday.
Greene recently completed his first professional season. The 24-year-old split his time between AHL Lowell and New Jersey, making his NHL debut on Jan. 12. He had one goal and five assists for six points in 23 games for the Devils.
from Tom Gulitti of the Record,
Lamoriello has said several times over the last two years that MacLean, 42, will make an excellent head coach “someday”. If that day is not now, then when?
What else does MacLean have to prove? Is there an NHL assistant coach or a minor league head coach more qualified to do the job?
The only other understandable choice would be rehiring Pat Burns. It is unknown, however, whether Burns, after two battles with cancer, is healthy enough to handle the demanding grind of coaching again.
After hiring MacLean, there’s one other important move Lamoriello must make: Get out of the way. It must be clear that he won’t be pulling the strings from behind the scenes—something he didn’t do with Julien.
via the NY Post,
Lou Lamoriello yesterday told The Post the Devils will pick up the option on Sergei Brylin’s contract, preventing their ace utilityman from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
In addition, Lamoriello said he will tender qualifying offers to all of his big club restricted free agents, all but ensuring Cam Janssen and Johnny Oduya will remain with New Jersey. That announcement also will cover Zach Parise and Paul Martin.
from KK member SteveNJ...
As a kool-aid drinking New Jersey Devils fan, you take a great deal of pride in a lot of things. Three Stanley Cup Championships, four Finals appearances, a youthful offense that should come of age in the next couple of years, and oh yeah, that Brodeur fella. He’s pretty good.
One thing that we are not proud of is the situation in our arena. The Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey is insufficient. There is construction all around (The budding “Xanadu” project which is supposed to bring malls, a ballpark, and an indoor snowboarding complex) that makes it near impossible to park. Add that to the third highest ticket prices in the NHL, and it’s been tough going for us the past few years. Don’t say it’s lack of fan support, or fan apathy, because not a decade ago, this team drew 17,000 fans a game. We simply need a new, more convenient home.
Fortunately, owner (as Doc Emrick once said “He was a season ticket holder for a long time, and he liked the team so much, he decided to buy it”) Jeff Vanderbeek has given us one. Please, enjoy this video of the soon-to-come Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey:
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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