Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: new jersey devils
This past July brought more than a couple of eyebrow-raising free agent signings, but the New Jersey Devils' signing of Mike Cammalleri to a 5-year, $25-million contract was my biggest "WHAT?" moment. Today, the Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy explains why the unlikely marriage occurred:
“He played with an edge and had results,” [New Jersey Devils GM Lou] Lamoriello said. “He’s very diligent and he competes. When you see that in a player, it naturally sticks out. When we were looking at the potential free agencies and the type of player we needed, we felt we needed a scorer. Mike stood right out, and he was one of the top players we looked at, if not the top player.”
The money and especially the term were a huge vote of confidence to Cammalleri, who says the courtship lasted longer than the free agent negotiating period. His best years are behind him, but he remains a useful scorer who can play among the top six forwards. The Devils are taking a leap of faith on him, but it works both ways.
“What attracted me to the Devils was the success they’ve had, the template, the way they do things,” Cammalleri said. “I have a belief in how things are done that leads to successes.”
Unlike the team's financial struggles under the Jeffrey Vanderbeek adminstration, however, the fact that the Devils are going to lose money this season is actually good news.
Gulitti reports that "new" owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer are spending a significant amount of money cleaning up the legal messes Vanderbeek left them, and they're also investing a good chunk of money in growing the Devils' "business brand," reestablishing ties with local businesses and significantly bolstering the team's hockey operations personnel:
[O]n the business side (non-hockey operations), O’Neil says the team had just 76 employees immediately following the sale. Blitzer said the number is “more than double” that now after O’Neil has spent the last year building up his department to put it in a position to be better able to grow the business of the Devils.
“You just didn’t have personnel there,” Blitzer said. “It wasn’t like anyone was doing anything negatively in that sense. They literally did not have positions filled that were entirely necessary to run a business like this. We kind of found that a little bit shocking in terms of how depleted it was at the time we went in.”
Via SI's Allan Muir, New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has every intention of employing Martin Brodeur should the legendary goaltender not find the "right fit" with a championship-contending team, but the Newark Star-Ledger's Steve Politi reports that Lamoriello's standing offer involves a front-office job:
What happens if Brodeur gets to a point where he realizes the right fit isn't there? Lamoriello has the answer. The longtime Devils GM said Brodeur has a job waiting for him with the Devils if he decides to stop playing.
"He knows that," Lamoriello said. "He knows he'll be a Devil for the rest of his life. What Marty has done and the type of personality he is, and what his experience is, it's a no brainer. He's a Devil."
But Lamoriello wonders: Does Brodeur want to work? He's been around enough great players to know that this is not always the case.
The New York Post's Larry Brooks' criticism of Martin Brodeur for sticking it out as #30's game diminished has struck me as strangely personal, and today, Brooks reveals that he's known he's had Brodeur's ear all along--because Brodeur would seek out Brooks' advice earlier in his career:
The phone rang in my Boston hotel room on the night of May 6, 1994, as I was writing my column in advance of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Devils and Bruins. New Jersey trailed the series 2-1 after having won the previous match at Boston Garden with Chris Terreri in nets following two defeats at the Meadowlands behind rookie Martin Brodeur.
Jacques Lemaire, the head coach, hadn’t revealed whether he was sticking with Terreri — who had a pedigree at Boston Garden, previously excelling in the old barn when he played for Providence College — or going back to Brodeur, who had outlasted Dominik Hasek and the Sabres in a compelling seven-game first-round series that featured a Game 6 quadruple overtime 1-0 defeat in Buffalo.
The New Jersey Devils dropped their 13th shootout of the season on Friday night, losing 3-2 to the Islanders.
Martin Brodeur may or may not have played in his last game as a Devil on Friday, but when I watched this post-game video of Brodeur's comments, posted by the Devils, I certainly believe that he's going to play somewhere next season:
In theory, the New Jersey Devils are out of the Wild Card race after having dropped a 1-0 decision (which included a controversial no-goal call against the Devils), to the Calgary Flames on Monday night, but Jaromir Jagr was defiant while speaking with the Associated Press:
"In my opinion, I think we're going to get one more chance (to make the playoffs)," New Jersey's Jaromir Jagr said. "It's too strange to finish like that. You've got to believe. It wouldn't make any sense to finish like that. We dominated. Just keep the faith and I think we're going to get one more chance in my opinion. We'll see if I'm right or wrong."
When I first saw Kari Ramo wearing the same white Bauer pads that Miikka Kiprusoff wore, with nearly the same specs--all white with tan nash leather on the boots, simply-strapped, and sporting a Kiprusoff-style "pancake" catch glove, I was stunned by his resemblance to Kiprusoff in both form and function.
According to NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale, the Flames witnessed a Kiprusoff-like performance from Ramo, who pitched a 31-save shutout against an incredibly desperate team:
Via Chris Nichols on Twitter, the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti reports that, should Martin Brodeur consider being traded, he could find himself in Minnesota:
Brodeur, 41, is in the final season of a contract that includes a no-trade clause, so he’d have to approve any trade general manager Lou Lamoriello might be offered. According to two sources, the Minnesota Wild have contacted Lamoriello about acquiring Brodeur as insurance for and possibly an alternative to rookie Darcy Kuemper.
Kuemper, 23, has played in only 23 NHL games, but has excelled in taking over as the Wild’s No. 1 with Niklas Backstrom trying to play through an abdominal injury and Josh Harding out indefinitely. Still, the Wild would like to add an experienced second goaltender to share some of the load and be there to take over if Kuemper falters.
A three-time Stanley Cup-winner such as Brodeur, who backstopped the Devils to the Cup Finals just two seasons ago, would definitely fit that bill. The Wild are reportedly also interested in Jaroslav Halak, who was shipped to Buffalo in Friday’s blockbuster trade that sent Ryan Miller to St. Louis, but are apparently not completely convinced Halak would be the right goalie for them.
Gulitti continues at length and in detail...
Update: And Gulitti took some umbrage with comments made by Hockey Night in Canada's Kevin Weekes:
The countdown is on for the start of the Stadium Series; and the NHL takes a look at the first game of two to be played in Yankee Stadium in New York City by the numbers.
NEW YORK (January 25, 2014) – A look at the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ New York outdoor games at Yankee Stadium “By the Numbers”:
0 Number of hockey games played at Yankee Stadium before the two games to be played at the historic ballpark as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series
2 & 3 The Rangers are making their second and third appearance in a regular-season outdoor NHL game, having defeated the Flyers 3-2 at the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
Ottawa Senators are New Jersey Devils
It wouldn’t take long for the Senators to get a power play as just over a minute into the game Devils are Zidlicky would get called for hooking Erik Karlsson. The Senators power play would lead to a short-handed goal from Stephen Gionta to give the home team the early lead.
Gionta’s goal would be his first of the season followed shortly by another first of the season and Reid Boucher would net his first of the season to give the Devils a 2-0 lead over the Senators heading into the first intermission.
As a Wings fan, I can only congratulate Jaromir Jagr for this one:
Per the Associated Press:
Jaromir Jagr could always score goals -- and on this night, a bunch of other New Jersey Devils did as well. Jagr had a goal and two assists, and the Devils scored four goals in the third period of a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.
Jagr's goal with 3:29 left was the 692nd of his career, tying him with Steve Yzerman for eighth on the NHL's all-time list
In his previous game, he passed longtime Pittsburgh teammate Mario Lemieux. Next up: Mark Messier at 694.
"I don't really chase anything," Jagr said. "I enjoy my teammates and my linemates. I enjoy the game, the way we play. Our line, I like the way our line played. When I'm happy about our game, I know the goals are going to come. That's why I don't really worry about it," he added. "If there's no chances to score goals, then I would start worrying about it."
Before we get started with this the morning after skate this morning take a moment to reflect upon those that have served your country – no matter where you call home. Without those whom came before we would not be here today.
Now - Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
New York Islanders at Montreal Canadiens
Power Play goal all around in the Bell Center last night.
The opening goal of the game came just shy of the two minute mark in the second period as Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher would give the home team the early lead.
It would be a holding call to Canadiens Francis Bouillon for holding that would give the Islanders their second power play of the period, this one leading to a slap shot goal from Pierre-Marc Bouchard to tie the game.
Between TSN's Darren Dreger's "Dreger Report" entry about the Flames' mandating of shot-blocking "skate fenders," ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's "Rumblings" and an as-yet-un-captioned TSN's Insider Trading segment featuring both Dreger and LeBrun, rule change chatter and trade talk are both heating up ahead of next Tuesday's GM's meetings.
In his "Rumblings" article, LeBrun discusses the hot-button issues of goalie and "staged" fights...
I think the theme of the fighting discussion next week, if it is indeed held, will be along the lines of continuing to find ways to minimize some aspects of fighting in the game, just like the NHL's implementing the helmet rule this season in which fighters have to keep their lids on or else get an extra penalty for fighting without it. Calm down, fighting fans, the idea is not to completely ban fighting, but rather to get rid of some of the elements hockey people no longer want.
For example, Gabriel Landeskog's fight with Alex Chiasson last Friday night is what people still want to see: an emotional fight between two good hockey players that most hockey people feel strongly still has an important place in the game. But having two enforcers go at it in a staged fight? That has grown stale for many people.
One idea that could come up next week is the current rule that stipulates three fighting majors and you’re thrown out of the game; why not make it two fighting majors and you’re out, instead?
LeBrun outlines a few more points of emphasis for the GM's meetings...
Jaromir Jagr scored the game-winning goal in the New Jersey Devils' 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning...
And for a little while, both NBCSN and the NHL thought that Jagr set a record for the most game-winning goals ever, as the AP's recap notes:
What becomes of Peter Laviolette and how much heat is there now on Paul Holmgren?
[Darren] Dreger: For the moment Laviolette and his family are trying to stay below the radar. Obviously Laviolette is not happy with the way things ended with the Philadelphia Flyers so he may lay low. He wants to coach again in the NHL and given his resume it's believed that he will get another opportunity.
If things don't materialize in the NHL say before Christmas, I'm told Laviolette would consider going over to Europe and coaching there. It's not too far-fetched that Laviolette and his family would consider that.
As for Holmgren, he was looking for Ron Hextall. Since Holmgren took over as GM of the Flyers he has been constantly trying to lure Hextall from the Los Angeles Kings. There's no imminent danger for Holmgren and the belief is he will go out on his own terms and Hextall ultimately would be his successor.
Jaromir Jagr missed the New Jersey Devils' preseason with what was probably a groin injury, and his performances in his first two regular season games involved a single shot taken in 15:40 played against Pittsurgh last Thursday (the Devils lost 3-0) and a -2 and a shot in 13:40 played against the Islanders on Friday (the Devils lost 4-3 in a shootout).
The New York Times' Pat Hickens reports that Jagr was also demoted during Friday night's game, and while it's early--very early--Hickens wonders aloud whether an incredibly short summer (thanks to Jagr's foray into late June with the Cup-finalist Bruins) and a preseason-less campaign have yielded simply a backfire or two from the revving engine of an "Old Warhorse," or perhaps something more ominous:
“It’s tough,” [Devils coach Pete] DeBoer said after Friday night’s loss. “He didn’t play any exhibition games, he missed all of training camp. He gave us some strong shifts in the overtime and down the stretch.”
While he is not the same player who won five Art Ross trophies as the league’s leading point scorer and who was selected for nine All-Star teams, Jagr showed flashes of brilliance Friday. He still glides smoothly and strongly on his skates and still commands a defender when he has the puck. He nearly picked up his first point in the first period Friday, setting up [Ryane] Clowe at the goal mouth, but Clowe’s shot hit the post.
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed
It Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins Puck dropped in Boston to start the season for the two Atlantic teams’ first game of the 2013-14 season. Neither team wasted much time getting on the box score; however, to start it was on the penalty side. A hooking call to Bruins Reilly Smith would lead to a shorthanded goal by teammate Chris Kelly.
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Tags: boston+bruins, calgary+flames, ilya+bryzgalov+to+the+echl, los+angeles+kings, minnesota+wild, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, tim+thomas+returns, vancouver+canucks, vlasic+skate+to+face, washington+capitals
ESPN's Scott Burnside's relieving Pierre LeBrun in the "rumblings" department today, offering "ramblings" instead. Among them:
Like most people, we’re fascinated to see how the Daniel Alfredsson experiment turns out in Detroit. But the one thing that we still can’t get over is that the NHL decided not to act on Alfredsson’s blunt acknowledgement that his previous contract with the Ottawa Senators was, in fact, a blatant attempt to circumvent the salary cap under the previous collective bargaining agreement. Alfredsson told reporters before training camp that when the four-year deal was signed neither side expected Alfredsson would play in the contract’s final year -- worth only $1 million in real money even though the cap hit was $4.875 million annually. It was exactly that kind of wink, wink, nudge, nudge deal that the league had been warning teams about for years -- Alfredsson made $7 million in each of the first two years of the pact -- and which ultimately cost the New Jersey Devils mightily in their first attempt at a contract for the erstwhile Ilya Kovalchuk. The so-called cheat deals were, in theory, eliminated by new parameters put on contracts in the new collective bargaining agreement and the league’s position is that they are going to look forward instead of back. Good news for the Senators, but maybe in the spirit of CBA détente, the league should forgive the Devils the first round draft pick they must forfeit next spring for having done no worse than what Alfredsson admitted the Senators did in his case.
I'm curious as to why the Flames aren't being dinged for allowing Miikka Kiprusoff to retire early, too, but that's just me...
Following up to the post Paul made earlier about how the Cost To Buy The Devils could reach Well In Excess Of $300M the Devils Public Reltasions department has announced this evening that the Devils will be hosting a major news conference tomorrow (Thrusday, 15 Aug. 2013) at 11:00 a.m. EST.
According to Tom Gulitti at Fire Ice:
The official announcement will come in a Prudential Center news conference at a 11 a.m. Thursday that a controlling ownership share in the New Jersey Devils and the lucrative operating rights for the arena have been sold to a group headed by investment banker Joshua Harris, multiple sources told The Record.
An individual with knowledge of the sale agreement said Harris’s group will pay “more than $320 million,” a stunning price for a team that has been mired in debt.
Harris and his primary partner, David Blitzer, are also part of the group that purchased the Philadelphia 76ers for a reported $280 million in 2011.
From the New York Islanders:
The New York Islanders announced today that they have agreed to terms on a two year contract with defenseman Mike Mottau.
Mottau, 32, spent the last three seasons with the New Jersey Devils. Last season, the Quincy, MA, native scored a career high 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) and a +4 plus-minus rating in 79 games with New Jersey.
“Mike is a solid puck-moving defenseman who will bring more experience to our blueline,” said General Manager Garth Snow.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Mottau found a home, but the injury to Mark Streit obviously created an opening the Islanders needed to address.
Good for Mike and good for the Islanders.
Add Andy Strickland to the list of those surprised to see defenseman Mike Mottau still unsigned.
Look I know this summer hasn’t been a good market for D-men but can someone explain why former Devils defenseman Mike Mottau is still sitting at home without a contract?
This is a topic New Jersey players were discussing amongst themselves inside the Devils dressing room just the other day…It won’t be long before a team either suffers an injury on the back end or realizes a young player they were hoping to give the job to just isn’t quite ready.
The bottom line is Mottau will play NHL hockey somewhere this season.
We wrote about this last week in the same sort of light, but Stickland hits on some finer points.
Read the full post on Mike Mottau at Strickland’s site TrueHockey.com.
From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere:
It was a seemingly unremarkable December morning at the Meadowlands.
The Devils, off to a solid start to the 1997-98 season, had just concluded their morning skate in preparation for that night’s meeting with the St. Louis Blues at Continental Airlines Arena. But John MacLean, the franchise’s all-time scoring and games-played leader on the morning of Dec. 2, 1997, was about to drop a bombshell.
Holding court in front of his locker stall, MacLean revealed that he had asked general manager Lou Lamoriello for a trade and would not consider signing another contract with the Devils when he became an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Per various sources, the Nashville Predators continue their busy day by trading their Captain, Jason Arnott, back to New Jersey Devils for prospect Matt Halischuk and 2011 2nd round pick.
Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s Tweet:
Martin Skoula to New Jersey is confirmed. Done.
added 11:20am: Leafs get a 2010 5th round pick in return.
From Tom Gulliti at Fire & Ice,
There appears to be a slim chance it will happen before tonight’s game against Boston or it might not be until later this week, but the Devils are about to name Jamie Langenbrunner as their captain.
The usually-talkative Langenbrunner became extremely tight-lipped when asked this morning if he had been given the captaincy.
“Something will happen soon,” he said. “Let’s just leave it at that.”
What would it mean to Langenbrunner if he were named captain?
Update 6:37pm ET: Langenbrunner is now officially the captain, it appears. Gulliti updates that he was wearing the “C” in warmups. (*thanks to a KK reader for pointing it out…)
Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice asked Devils’ GM Lou Lamoriello, “What’s Wrong with the Ice?”
Lamoriello said the problem has been with a malfunctioning computer that is supposed to regulate the ice’s temperature, hardness, etc. These things can be affected by numerous factors: the outdoor temperature, humidity, being covered for basketball games, concerts and other events. For Sunday’s game against Atlanta, they turned off the computer and changed the settings manually. The idea, however, is to get the computer working properly.
“We’ve been talking to CIMCO and had people from the NHL here to work on (the ice),” Lamoriello said. “This is the best system in the country. There’s no excuse not to have the best ice. We’re completely comfortable that this is all going to get straightened out.”
via Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The schedule for teams in the Eastern Conference will get tougher next season when the NHL adopts a new schedule….
“It’s going to be tougher,” admitted Devils coach Brent Sutter, “but there’s nothing I can do about it. When you’re a coach, someone gives you the schedule and you play the games.”
from Fire & Ice,
Left wing Jay Pandolfo said he will not play in Friday night’s home game against Montreal because of the “pelvis area” injury he sustained in the third period of Wednesday’s 4-2 win over Dallas. “I won’t be able to play tomorrow,” he said. “It’s disappointing. You never want to be hurt, but, hopefully, it’s not that bad. I think it’s day to day.”
Pandolfo’s ironman man streak will end at 307 consecutive regular season games (the third longest in team history). He last missed a regular season game on Jan. 18, 2003 against Carolina because of a mild concussion (that was the last of four consecutive games he sat out).
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
While the print media was oozing doom and gloom after Islanders edged New Jersey, Sutter steadfastly insisted that he saw many positives—and he was right.
Plus, his boss, Lou Lamoriello hardly was in a panic mode either.
It didn’t hurt that Jamie Langenbrunner had returned to the offense and Colin White soon would follow on the back line.
more on the Devils…
from the NY Post,
It has been two months and Colin White’s blurry vision may not improve much more. He’s considering playing against the Penguins here tonight, but even if he doesn’t, the time is near. He needs to know, and so do the Devils….
If White, making $3 million, isn’t able to resume his career, the Devils will have to replace him or endure a season of struggling. Sources say the Devils have already looked around, just in case.
One glaring possibility would be Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski, who used his no-trade clause to turn down a trade to the Islanders this summer. Jovanovski is struggling with the struggling Coyotes, although Newark might hold little more appeal than Nassau.
from George Vecsey of the New York Times,
The woman was in the heartland of the opponent, wearing a fancy orange and blue jacket commemorating the four Stanley Cups won by the Islanders, albeit a quarter of a century ago.
“New York?” she shouted. “Is this the train to New York?”
It was, indeed. Parallel steel rails now connect the three hockey franchises in the area.
from the AP via TSN,
Martin Brodeur gave Patrick Roy some company in the 500 victory club.
Brodeur reached one of hockey’s rarest milestones, stopping all but two shots in a modest effort thanks to some of New Jersey’s usual stout defense and earned his 500th NHL win.
Brodeur made 26 saves in the Devils’ 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night and joined Roy as the only goalies in NHL history with that many victories.
Top 5 Goalies- Wins
1. Patrick Roy, Mon-Col 551
2. x-Martin Brodeur, NJ 500
3. x-Ed Belfour, Chi-SJ-Dal-Tor-Fla 484
4. Terry Sawchuk, Det-Tor-Bos-LA-NYR 447
5. x-Curtis Joseph, StL-Edm-Tor-Det-Pho 446
more at NHL.com
added 10:20pm, from John Kreiser at NHL.com,
“It was a long time coming,” said Brodeur, who finished with 26 saves. “I’m happy it’s done and we can move on now.”
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
If ever Lou Lamoriello and his rookie coach Brent Sutter had a challenge on their hands, they do now, TODAY, Saturday, as they take on the Flyers this evening in Philadelphia.
Following a pair of home losses to the Rangers and then Islanders, New Jersey has a team that struggles to score goals at even strength and is egregiously futile when they have a man advantage.
On top of it all, they seem to lack overall zip over a 60-minute period, and remarkably, invariably suffer a bad break.
from Game On,
Alive and well. Patrik Elias and Scott Gomez.
By a remarkable scheduling coincidence, they meet on Wednesday night at The Rock for the Rangers’ first trip to Newark’s fabulous Prudential Center.
In a sense, it’s a meeting of The Comeback Kids: both player-wise and team-wise.
from Multichannel News,
National Hockey League games on Madison Square Garden Network and Fox Sports New York have skated to a fast start during the 2007-08 season from a ratings perspective.
Through its first 11 New York Rangers telecasts, MSG averaged a 0.85 household rating in the New York DMA, according to Nielsen Media Research data, an 85% jump over the same number of contests last season. Network officials also noted that the Broadway Blueshirts have notched a better than 1.0 mark in four of their last five telecasts.
more and some Devils numbers too…
from the Record,
Patrik Elias still had something he wanted to say to Sutter, though. So, as the rest of the team headed for the locker room, they leaned against the boards in front of one of the benches and talked for more than 10 minutes.
“I initiated the talk,” Elias said. “It was just to make sure we’re on the same page, to know what he’s thinking in certain situations and what’s behind some of the things he did. I just want to make sure that I play the best that I can play for this team. I want to help this team and I’m well aware of what I can bring.
“I just want to play better.”
From the AP,
ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose apologized Tuesday for negative remarks about the area around the New Jersey Devils’ new Prudential Center arena.
In a video segment posted on ESPN.com last week, Melrose described the recently opened arena as a “beautiful new building” but added, “Don’t go outside if you have a wallet or anything else, because the area around the arena is just horrible.”
Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and Municipal Council President Mildred Crump took exception to the remarks and called for Melrose to apologize.
“All of us make mistakes, but it’s a shame when it’s at the expense of 300,000 people,” Booker said, referring to Newark’s population.
From Dave Molinari at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“He’s such a great athlete,” Brodeur said. “What I look at is a guy’s ability to skate, and he’s a really good skater. The foundation is his mobility, how athletic he is, how competitive he is.
“Everything is there. It’s just that sometimes a couple of things are going the wrong way and the next thing you know, everything doesn’t fit.
“But when he finds a way to put everything together, relax and be patient, he has so much skill, so much speed, that he’s going to be all right. I love watching him play, because he’s a spectacular goalie.”
from Fire & Ice, Devils Coach Brent Sutter after a 5-0 loss to the Penguins last night….
“Our effort was brutal outside of our goaltenders. If it wasn’t for the goalies, it probably would have been 8-0 or 9-0. To me, tonight was a total lack of professionalism by our commitment as individuals and as a group, our preparation for how to play. It’s totally unacceptable.
“I will not accept that. That’s not even close. That’s players’ accountability to the front of that jersey.”
from the NY Post,
A black Toronto native whose parents immigrated to Canada from Barbados, Weekes envisions the marvelous new arena invigorating the strife-stricken city and its residents. With Newark’s largely black population, not hockey’s usual fan demographic, Weekes hopes he can provide a link to the community.
“I’d like to think I can make a positive contribution, and when you have people who contribute positively, they are ambassadors,” Weekes said. “It’s extremely important for the sport, too, at the end of the day. We want to have as many different people, ages and demographics as possible among our fans.”
From Rich Chere at the Star-Ledger,
Those lucky enough to attend the Devils’ first game in the Prudential Center agreed that the $375 million structure has everything.
They were fairly certain the same cannot be said for the Devils, who seem to be lacking something 10 games into the season. Whether it is a goal-scorer to kick-start the offense or an experienced defenseman to solidify a shaky defense corps (did someone suggest Richard Matvichuk?), the Devils are very much aware that if they do not start winning on this three-game homestand the whispers about a shakeup will become a roar.
from Rangers Report,
This was Devils coach Brent Sutter speaking to reporters today about facing Scott Gomez tomorrow:
“I had no impact on Gomez whatsoever. I was never here when he was a New Jersey Devil and personally I could care less. It was his choice to decide where he wanted to go play. It was his choice not to want to play in New Jersey anymore and that’s his prerogative. So, to think that we should be easy on him is dead wrong. We’ll treat him like any other player…It’s his choice to across the river and play there. That’s up to him. But our job is go to there and win a hockey game.”
more on the Rangers including Callahan out with knee sprain…
from Fire & Ice,
Brent Sutter: “It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s first class and beyond. Obviously, it’s a beautiful facility and Mr. Vanderbeek has done a great job and Lou in doing what they needed to make it the way they wanted it to be.
Jay Pandolfo: “It’s really nice. Just the size of it, the facilities, the concourse, everything. We’re going to be spoiled down there.”
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
Watch the Devils in the opposition’s end. Their players are sticking around to try to make things happen on offense rather than automatically dropping back to defend. Even defensive specialists like John Madden and Jay Pandolfo are free to take the odd chance.
Crowds have been dwindling in New Jersey, so this new style of play – along with a brand new building – may help revive interest in the team. I’m not certain the Devils have the personnel at this point to be a Cup contender, but clearly the club is moving in the right direction.
From Guest Contributor, Steve Lepore
“It’s ‘The Rock’, and it opens in 10 days” chimed Mike Emrick to open the Devils-Penguins broadcast on Wednesday night. The reason I mention that quote is because, when I heard the esteemed, multiple-Emmy Winning broadcaster say it…it became real to me, for the first time since all this commotion began! We will be playing in a new building in a mere week! Bon Jovi will be there for 10 days starting next Thursday!
OK, the third one’s not so exciting, but it’s amazing to think that the New Jersey Devils will be playing in a new home in the largest city in the state on October 27th against the Eastern Champion (and the Devils exit sign in the playoffs) Ottawa Senators. Here is some info that will get you primed and ready for “The Rock” on the corner of Mulberry and Edison.
from Fire & Ice,
“I’m not talking about the road anymore,” Sutter said. “I’m tired of talking to you guys about the road, the road, the road. God, we played in Pittsburgh last night and it was a 30-minute flight here and they’ve been lying around here all day to play today. They’re pros. That’s what you’re supposed to do. You play games on the road. It doesn’t matter where you play hockey games. You’ve got to play.”
from Fire & Ice,
Center John Madden, a former Selke Trophy winner and defensive specialist, scored his team-leading fourth goal, but admitted he’s not used to these kind of games.
“I’m not at all,” he said. “We had a lot of chances. So did they. It’s definitely different, a different look. Very entertaining for the fans. I’d like to keep the puck out of our net a little more and continue scoring like we have been. I think that’s doable.”
more on the Devils…
from the NY Post,
Colin White’s vision is still blurry, nearly a month after a self-deflected puck hit his right eye. The Devils defenseman told The Post yesterday he’s not even thinking about playing hockey yet. He’s concentrating on getting his vision back, still uncertain whether surgery may be required.
“Every week I’m being checked out. It’s just going to be a slow process. We’re taking our time with it to make sure everything’s right,” White said yesterday from New Jersey.
from Tom Gulitti of the Record,
Sutter has spoken often already about the adjustment period for the players. After having done things a certain way forever, it’s understandable that they need time to adapt.
At the same time, however, Sutter might need to do some adjusting himself. Sutter’s belief in himself and his system is impressive, but good coaches adapt to the talent they have, too.
I’m not saying he should abandon his system after just four games. In fact, it’s refreshing to have a coach who doesn’t relentlessly match lines to the point that his best offensive players don’t get on the ice.
From Rich Chere at the Star-Ledger,
Parise’s story has been well-documented. The son of former NHL player J.P. Parise, he was bypassed by his father’s old team, the Islanders, in the 2003 entry draft. The Devils picked him 17th overall, and both the Islanders and their fans have agonized over the decision ever since.
After leading the Devils with 31 goals last season, his sophomore season in the NHL, Parise is regarded as one of the league’s rising young stars. This past summer the Devils signed him to a four-year, $12.5 million contract and it figures to be a bargain if he does what everyone believes he will do.
“He can be one of the best players in the league,” right winger Brian Gionta said. “He’s a young guy still (23). He broke out last year, but there is still a lot to be seen from Zach. He has a lot of skill, he works hard and he has a nose for the net.”