Kukla's Korner Hockey
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:
via Bob McKenzie of TSN,
New Jersey Devil forward Patrik Elias has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in New Jersey Federal Court against his former agents, Mark Gandler and Todd Diamond, sources tell TSN.
The court documents were reportedly filed yesterday in New Jersey.
In the suit, Elias alleges fraud, embezzlement, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of US Federal Securities Laws.
thanks to a KK member for the heads-up
from The Maven,
Lamoriello’s current assistant coach John MacLean has just thrown his hat into the ring.
Matter of fact, Johnny Mac – one of the all-time New Jersey hockey heroes – just told me so.
My question was simple: “John, how interested are you in the head coaching job?”
To which Mac shot back: “I’m definitely interested.”...
Pat Burns would love to return behind the bench now that he’s feeling healthy again. Other possibilities include Scott Stevens, Mike Sullivan and – if he’s released by San Jose – Ron Wilson.
from the AP via the Akron Beacon Journal,
“We have gone this far, it would be foolish not to see what’s out there,” Gomez said. “That doesn’t man anything. It doesn’t mean I am leaning one way or I don’t want to be here. I have talked to all the guys that have played here and gone through this. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Gomez went to arbitration last summer and was awarded a one-year, $5 million deal.
After collecting 13 goals and 47 assists in the regular season, and four goals and 10 assists in the postseason, Gomez can expect even more next year.
from The Maven,
No question, Lou & Co. wanted very much to reach The Finals this Spring. And why not?
But reality tells us that only two get that far. Finishing in the Final Eight out of 30 ain’t bad.
Consider this: the 82-game schedule is a marathon out of which emerge 16 playoff teams.
Over the past decade, Lamoriello’s clubs have survived that marathon and gained a playoff berth every year.
Can the free-spending Flyers make that statement? No. The Islanders? Heck no. Rangers? Nix.
In a span of a dozen years, Lou’s sextet has won three Stanley Cups. Flyers - none. Isles - none. Rangers - none.
from The Maven,
There’s no point in beating around the bush; New Jersey lost primarily because Martin Brodeur failed to play goal up to his previous standard.
The cheapies he allowed simply cannot be rationalized because there were too many at critical junctures in decisive games….
Lou Lamoriello needs a new coach. The best bet would be Ron Wilson, should he become available. I’d also support Pat Quinn.
Talking to Scott Gomez, I get the feeling that he’s gone, barring some miraculous sales job. Scotty wants to play a more wide open game and in the unlikely event that he gets some assurance of that, I’m convinced he’ll want to play elsewhere.
from Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger,
For the Devils to move forward as a franchise after another second-round postseason loss, Lou Lamoriello is going to finally have to come to this conclusion: He is not an NHL coach.
He has to ditch the Steinbrenner on Ice routine. He has to make finding—and keeping—a new head coach his first priority. If that new leader is John MacLean, the assistant who handled the Xs and Os during this failed playoff run, then Lamoriello should accept the growing pains.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Maybe one playoff series can be won that old-fashioned way, but not two, and not in this NHL. Since winning their last Stanley Cup in 2003, the Devils have won a total of 11 playoff games. That number wouldn’t be good enough to qualify as a success in one tournament, let alone over the course of three, for this great but now fraying franchise.
Times change. So does fashion. The Devils haven’t.
For the first time in the Lou Lamoriello Era of Excellence, that is not a good thing.
from the AP via TSN,
The Senators will face either the Buffalo Sabres or New York Rangers in the conference final with the winner earning a trip to the Stanley Cup finals. While Ottawa has been to the playoffs the last 10 years, it has never made it to the finals. The only time they made the conference finals, the Devils beat them in seven games en route to winning the Cup.
Whoever faces the Senators will go up against a team that’s getting great goaltending, outstanding play from its top line of Spezza, Alfredsson and Dany Heatley (two assists in Game 5) and all the little things from the role players.
more on the game tonight…
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
Now the Senators get a chance to shut down the Devils and their building tonight.
“That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?” said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips, who scored the overtime winner in Game 6 of the 2003 Eastern Conference final here to force Game 7 back in Ottawa. “That’s definitely our goal.”
The Devils will have home-ice advantage tonight and it will be interesting now to see if New Jersey coach and GM Lou Lamoriello, who fired Claude Julien as coach with just a couple of games to go in the regular season, will change his philosophy regarding the matching of lines. Lamoriello obviously thought he could do a better job behind the bench.
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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