Kukla's Korner Hockey
Over the Summer, diehard Devils fan, Battle of NY blogger, and Kukla’s Korner “broadcast contributor” Steve Lepore will chronicle his trips to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ during it’s ongoing construction, on target for a grande opening on October 25th (for a Bon Jovi Concert) and a Devils opening October 27th (against the Senators).
By Steve Lepore
Sure, it can be a daunting place to visit. Once in a while, you’ll be propositioned by a man selling cheap roses for Valentine’s Day (even though it’s the middle of July) and the supposed “Newark Boys & Girls Clubs” selling M & M’s. But there’s something that’s a little lost in all the perception and the supposed “evil” that comes out of New Jersey’s second most dangerous city (#1 is Camden, which is basically a suburb of Philly, but no one complains about Flyers games being in a bad neighborhood).
from Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger,
“We always feel we have to play the season in October,” is how GM Lou Lamoriello put it, “and not the summertime.” Which is true, but he’ll have to forgive fans if they followed the news this off-season and reached the following conclusion:
The Devils might be coming to Newark.
The Stanley Cup isn’t joining them.
“Some of the most talented teams we’ve had in this organization never had the same success as other teams,” Lamoriello said, “because they were teams.”
But the architect of those Cup-winning teams has something to prove, that his golden touch is still intact, that his system can thrive even when the top players take the money and run.
He also has an arena to fill. Two more links to a Stanley Cup past are gone, just when the Devils need to put their best skate forward as they try to convince people that the trip to Newark is worthwhile. The arena will attract new fans. A winning team will bring them back.
The New Jersey Devils today named Brent Sutter to the position of head coach. The announcement was made by Devils’ CEO/President/General Manager Lou Lamoriello. As per club policy, no further terms were disclosed.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Brent Sutter’s character, knowledge, energy, enthusiasm, and experience join our organization,” said Lamoriello. “He has been successful at every level and we look forward to him continuing that success in the National Hockey League.”
from Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
The Devils have scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference in Newark on Friday to introduce Brent Sutter as their next head coach.
from the Star-Ledger,
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello returned from his trip to Minnesota, where he laid the groundwork to sign restricted free agents Zach Parise and Paul Martin.
“I met with Mr. Lamoriello and we had lengthy discussions,” said Parise’s representative, Neil Sheehy. “Multiyear is something we discussed. We talked about all the different possibilities and we’re still in discussion.”
Parise, who earned $703,000 in 2006-07, is in position to command a deal in the neighborhood of $4 million per season. A four-year, $16 million contract would seemingly suit both sides.
Martin, who made $2 million last season, figures to at least double his salary.
That would seemingly prevent Lamoriello from signing a big-ticket free agent such as Sheldon Souray or center Alexei Yashin. Souray might be headed for San Jose while Yashin has several lucrative offers to play in Russia.
more on the Devils…
from Darren Dreger & Bob McKenzie at TSN,
NHL sources tell TSN that Sutter is stepping down from his junior club to pursue a head coaching job in the NHL and that Sutter is the odds-on favourite to be named the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils.
“I really can’t comment,” Sutter said. “We will have an announcement regarding the Rebels tomorrow. That’s all there is to say at this point.”
from the NY Post,
“I don’t think we’re complete yet,” Lamoriello said, refusing to discuss Yashin or defenseman Sheldon Souray, among the big fish left in the pool.
Souray may be asking more ($6 million per) than Lamoriello wants to pay. Yashin was bought out last month by the Islanders, who will pay him more than $2 million for each of the next eight seasons. His reputation was further damaged by that Islanders move, but he led that team’s offense during their surprising first half, until he injured a knee, which coincided with their decline.
According to the NHLPA site, the Devils have signed Vitali Vishnevski for $1.4M.
added 11:12am, from the New Jersey Devils,
“Vitaly Vishnevski is a defenseman who brings a physical presence to our hockey team,” said Lamoriello. “He has both size and experience, and we feel he can play our type of hockey.”
added 12:42pm, via TSN,
The New Jersey Devils signed free-agent defenceman Vitaly Vishnevski to a US$5.4-million, three-year contract on Tursday.
Leafs Lunch reporting goaltender Kevin Weekes signs with New Jersey.
Updated 1:15pm ET:
From Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
Intent on giving Martin Brodeur more rest in the upcoming season, the Devils have signed former Ranger Kevin Weekes to be Brodeur’s backup. Weekes did not play the last two months of the season after straining a quadriceps during practice in February. He played 14 games in 2006-07 with the Rangers, going 4-6 with a 3.39 goals-against average.
added 1:26pm, CP via TSN...
The New Jersey Devils have signed unrestricted free agent forward Dainius Zubrus to a 6-year contract, TFP has learned.
*More info on Zubrus weighing his options noted earlier today on KK...
Update 3:22pm ET:
Zubrus is, in fact, listed on the official roster at the New Jersey Devils website at this time.
Update 3:25pm ET:
From TSN - “The New Jersey Devils have signed centre Dainius Zubrus to a 6-year contract.”
Update 4:02pm ET:
TSN’s site has updated to state financial terms for Zubrus contract. Signing is for 6 years for $20.4 million.
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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