Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/02/17 at 07:35 AM ET
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
He is Patrik Elias, the greatest forward ever to play for the Devils and one of the great two-way forwards of his generation who probably sacrificed some 75-100 goals and 150-200 points off his lifetime 408-617-1,025 total in order to accommodate the unyielding defense-first philosophy of the only organization for which he ever worked.
Except, as Elias told me when we chatted upon the announcement of his retirement, it probably wasn’t much of a sacrifice at all to become an indispensable part of two of the three Stanley Cups the franchise won while reigning over the Eastern Conference for more than a decade.
“There are no regrets for me,” said New Jersey’s forever No. 26, who next year will have his sweater raised to the rafters to accompany those of franchise bedrocks Martin Brodeur, Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Ken Daneyko. “Maybe I could have had different numbers somewhere else, but I was happy winning championships. I was happy making the playoffs every year and I was happy knowing we had a chance to win every year.
“You either adjusted in New Jersey or you didn’t stay. We were all proud of being part of those teams. I wasn’t just a one-way player. If they wanted to move me from wing to center, I did it. I played the PP and the PK. I could check. I’m very happy being known for that.
“When I look back, the thing I am most proud of is that I spent my entire career with one team,” Elias said, before referring to the man who ran the show. “You know, I wasn’t the only one to make that decision. Lou [Lamoriello] kept me for all those years, too.”
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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.
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