Kukla's Korner

Devil's Advocate

Down to Business

Well, its finally back. There is no use crying over lost time, so here are some news, notes and quotes since the news broke the lockout ended in NJ.

Petr Sykora, who played for the Devils last season, is hoping to be invited back to Devils camp again after his contract expired after the previous season. If you remember, Sykora entered the training camp last year and was originally expected to be a long shot to make the team. Not only did he make the team, he contributed 21 goals and 23 assists.

From Rich Chere of The Star Ledger:

“I’m excited for the game. It’s about time they start playing again, but for me I have no job so I’m in a different situation than a lot of guys,” Sykora told The Star-Ledger via telephone from the Czech Republic.

He would like to be invited to the Devils’ training camp, but knows that is a long shot at best.

“Of course. I always expressed that I want to come back to New Jersey. That’s my No. 1 choice,” he said. “That’s where I want to play, but who knows what is going to happen. Hopefully it happens, but if not, I have to move on and find another job in the NHL or play in Europe.”

Lou Lamoriello would not discuss it when the question was posed to him.

Martin Brodeur also spoke with Tom Gulitti on his Fire and Ice blog about the lockout and wanting to play again. (Brodeur had a lot more to say other then this. A good interview that Devils fans should read.)

“It just tells me that I’m not ready to retire,” Brodeur told me today. “I was itching to come back, listening to the news and just getting bored and trying to find things to do. I know when you retire and you move on it’s a lot different. I’m really excited about the game and to get back at it and try to build it back up a little bit.”

Brodeur, who has been through three lockouts and one players’ strike, is concerned about the impact this latest lockout will have on the game.

“It’s sad for me to hear that a lot of people think the game has been damaged and people won’t come back,” he said. “I don’t enjoy that much when people comment like that. We’ll get back all the guys and try to give them the game of hockey. It’s not the business of hockey that the fans should be a fan. The business of hockey (stinks). It’s not fun. The game of hockey is great and we’ll just work hard to get these people back.”

David Clarkson, one of the player representatives for the Devils, also offered his opinion to Gulitti on the progress of the negotiations.

“It’s just that you’re glad that it’s over, glad that it’s back to work,” he said. “You think of all those people that were affected that work in rinks and do things. But, sometimes these things happen in sports or in business and everyone’s work. So, hopefully all those fans come back because as players we’re pretty excited to get back at it.”

“I always felt we were close. I felt that way for a while,” Clarkson said. “I’m just glad that negotiations started happening and on a side not just to tell everybody the unbelievable job Donald Fehr did and our reps and the people that work in the office, Michelle Stajan (coordinator of community relations and player marketing) and all the people that worked, they were up all hours of the night. I’m sure people on the NHL side, too, the people behind the scenes. Don was amazing. He showed how strong our union was and how united we were. This is a great thing for our union to show how strong we are. I think the people who were behind the scenes don’t really always get noticed, but they do a lot of hard work.”

Clarkson was an unexpected workhorse for the Devils last season, scoring 30 goals and 16 assists. He is entering the final year of his contract with the Devils.

“Right now, I’m just excited about getting back to the ice,” Clarkson said. “But this is my last year there (on his contract) and for me I’m just going to go out and play. No one’s said anything to me before or during (last season), so my job is to go out on that ice and I’m fortunate enough to play a game that I love and I’m not thinking about that or anything else.”

Chere also talked about the players in the AHL and those who went to the KHL in regards to training camp. Adam Henrique will also miss a little bit of time as his cast was just taken off the other day.

"Lamoriello said NHL players currently playing for the Devils’ Albany (AHL) affiliate — Adam Larsson, Stephen Gionta and Jacob Josefson — would be recalled for the brief training camp. Adam Henrique won’t be ready to play until the end of the month since he is recovering from torn ligaments in his left thumb.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Anton Volchenkov, both playing in Russia’s KHL, will fly back and won’t be so reliant on training camp. Most players have been skating regularly on their own and the Devils’ entire coaching staff has been in New Jersey throughout the lockout.

"It’s important we have the time to make sure guys get back and get five, six days of camp," Salvador said. "We can always go an extra week longer (in the spring) and squeeze in a game here or there. I’m more concerned about not rushing everything at this moment."

The speculation is that the Devils will open up on Jan. 19 on the road against the Winnipeg Jets at 3 p.m. according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

Filed in: New Jersey Devils, | Devils Advocate | Permalink
  Tags: adam+henrique, bryce+salvador, david+clarkson, ilya+kovalchuk, martin+brodeur, petr+sykora


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About Devil's Advocate

I am an all around NHL fan. I love to watch Atlantic Division, and root for the Philadelphia Flyers. Just because I cheer for the Flyers, doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with the other teams in the division, specifically the New Jersey Devils. Devils Advocate will provide you with the most important Devils news, filled with my opinion about the selected topic.

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