Kukla's Korner Hockey
“Before our first scrimmage the other day, before the puck was even dropped, I heard the other team say: ‘Keep your head up, McDavid’. I think it was one of the Stewart brothers (Chris or Anthony). For sure, he’ll get a lot of that. And with good reason. When you have the skill set he has, and you can do the damage he thinks he should be able to do, he’ll earn that attention.”
-Mike Cammalleri of the New Jersey Devils on Connor McDavid at the BioSteel Camp. More by Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun on McDavid and other topics including player talking about the ads on sweaters.
from Rich Chere of NJ.com,
Would you consider doing something with the Devils if you were asked?
"Absolutely. I never realized how hard it was going to be being retired. My wife and I never realized how much we love New Jersey. The circumstances with her sister being so sick at that time dictated some of what happened. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law has passed, so situations have changed.
"New Jersey is my home basically and I feel connected to the Devils a lot. I definitely would consider something. If I could somehow actually help build the next era of Devils hockey — let's be honest, this is a rebuild and they have the right people in place to get it done — I'd be open to that. The Rangers have been better than us. The Islanders have been better. We really do need to build a grass roots level fan base. I have some good ideas on how we can do that.
"I also found players were restricted in their ability to go out and connect with advertisers or whomever. Those two things are how you build a base. One thing I respect about the Rangers, even though they have a good market established, they continue to try to build new fans at every level. That's a no-brainer. That's where the Devils have to start, to convince fans to bear with us. We're not going to be challenging for the Stanley Cup next year. I know that. Ray Shero has a great plan. He's a bright guy. Good people in place. I think there is an opportunity for someone, maybe not me, to help this franchise."
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Unsure of his future in New Jersey after Lou Lamoriello's departure, Jacques Lemaire might soon join his former Devils' boss in Toronto.
Lemaire, who will turn 70 on Sept. 7, said he has spoken about potential jobs with “a couple teams so far” since Lamoriello left the Devils to become the Maple Leafs general manager on July 23. He has yet to talk to new Devils GM Ray Shero, though, about whether the organization wants him to remain in his role as a special assignment coach.
“I don't know what's going on, yet,” Lemaire said today. “I haven't had the chance to talk to the new people (with the Devils). I'm waiting for a call.”
When asked if he might end up working for Lamoriello again with the Maple Leafs, Lemaire replied, “I don't know, yet.”
TVA Sports (French) reports Montreal and Tampa Bay have interest in Lemaire too...
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Will the Devils have a 30-goal scorer?
They haven't had a player score at least 30 goals the past three seasons. Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and David Clarkson each had at least that many in 2011-12, the last time the Devils qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Mike Cammalleri, who came close in 2014-15 when he scored 27 goals, is the most likely to do so. The Devils are expected to get younger up front this season with Reid Boucher, Stefan Matteau and Zacha candidates to see significant time. The fact Hynes wants to attack and pressure the opposition bodes well for players who might not attract all the attention. Cammalleri, 33, who scored nine power-play goals, has scored at least 30 goals twice in his NHL career and had his highest total in six seasons in 2014-15. Adam Henrique, who is entering his fifth full season, had 25 goals in 2013-14 and is capable of building on that.
Will the Devils qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
It's no secret the Devils are in a transitional period, not only within the front office but the personnel they'll have on the ice. It might take some time for all the pieces to come together, learn the system Hynes will instill, and then move forward with that game plan on a consistent basis.
from Rich Chere of NJ.com,
The odds may be against veteran winger Ryane Clowe returning to the ice for the Devils this season as he recovers from his latest concussion, but general manager Ray Shero said he won't make the call.
"It won't be my decision. It will be Ryane and the doctors who make that decision," Shero told NJ Advance Media.
It seems very possible, if not likely, that doctors will recommend Clowe not risk having another head injury. He has endured several in recent years and admitted at the conclusion of last season that he has contemplated retirement for the first time.
continued plus and update on the heath of Bryce Salvador...
from Ken Daneyko at The Players' Tribune,
I’ve never told anyone this story until now, but during the second game of Lou’s tenure, we were playing in Toronto, and they were really giving it to us. One of Lou’s biggest frustrations with the team he inherited wasn’t just that we weren’t all that good, but that we’d get beat up and pushed around too much. In general, we didn’t carry ourselves in a way that demanded respect. At some point during the game against the Leafs, Claude Loiselle received an elbow to the head by Wendel Clark, a talented young player who was tough as nails. It looked bad, and Claude was woozy coming to bench.
After seeing that, I hopped over the boards for my shift and challenged Wendel to a fight at center ice. I don’t remember who won it, but I’m going to safely assume I took a few good shots.
We ended up losing the game, but afterwards Lou came up to me and stuck his hand out to shake mine, and I noticed he was gripping a couple of $100 bills. My eyes kind of widened and I looked at him seriously and said, “What’s this for?”
He goes, “I like what you did tonight. You stuck up for a teammate. Now take this and get yourself something nice.” I said, “That’s not necessary. This is my job.” Then Lou got a little hot, looked me in my eye and said (minus the expletives), “I want this team to understand that we’re in this together, thick and thin, on and off the ice. Read between the lines!”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
... with the coach Mike Babcock already hired and not the least bit intimidated about what the GM may or may not say or want to do and Brendan Shanahan evidently making the real calls in the organization, you have to wonder as to how effective he’ll be. After all, when he was in Jersey he was pretty much all powerful. What he said was law until the final days of his time there. In this case, it’s Babcock who holds all the power when it comes to running the team.
Lamoriello’s peculiar dictates ran the Devils and it made life miserable for many, which is why most players tried to get out of New Jersey as quickly as possible with the exception of lifers like Patrick Elias, Martin Brodeur and Ken Daneyko.
Who can forget Igor Larionov telling the story of how, at age 42, when he was finishing his career, he wasn’t supposed to have a glass of wine with his dinner the night before the game. And, as we know now given his involement in Napa, Iggy understandably took wine very seriously.
In the team pictures taken in civilian clothes, everyone had to wear the same color shirt and tie. Members of the media were not allowed to go into any of the coaches’ offices, even if invited, which they most assuredly were not but only because of Lou’s dictates. No player was allowed facial hair as he obviously considered them far too immature to be able to make their own personal choices.
Legend had it he had security cameras installed in the hallway so he could tell which player was talking with which reporter at all times.
from Rich Chere of NJ.com,
Lamoriello should be applauded for what he did in his 28 years with the Devils, including five trips to the Stanley Cup Final, but he paved his own way out the door once ownership changed.
1. He stonewalled upper management's marketing attempts
As long as he was winning Stanley Cups and has past owners' support, Lamoriello was allowed to refuse attempts to market the team through use of players, fan events and alternate jerseys. However, once the team became an also-ran four out of the last five seasons and dollars-conscious owners moved in, he was a roadblock.
Ownership tried to ease Lamoriello into the modern world, but he fought it and continued to keep practices closed, argued against marketing ideas and even handcuffed the organization's own website from covering the team more extensively.
2. Stumbled as a general manager
Age wasn't the reason Lamoriello was nudged out as GM. It was because he seemed to lose his touch. His recent track record of free agent signings was not good, signing several players for more than they were worth. He also created roster situations that hamstrung coaches like John MacLean.
Newark, NJ – After 28 years, including three Stanley Cup Championships, five Eastern Conference titles,andnine Atlantic DivisionChampionships, theNew Jersey Devilsco- owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer announced today that Lou Lamoriello has made the decision to resign as the team’s President in order to pursue other opportunities. He previously stepped aside as General Manager on May 4, when Ray Shero was named to the position.
“Lou Lamoriello created and defined what it meant to be a New Jersey Devil,” said Harris. "His brilliance in shaping this franchise into one of the most storied and celebrated organizations in sport will make him a New Jersey Devil for life. He represented this organization, our current and former players, the state of New Jersey, and the greatest fans in the National Hockey League in a manner that exemplified character, class, and dignity.
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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