Archives for May 2007

Is Sidney Crosby still better than me?

This should totally be the new logo.Anyone remember this blog?

Yeah, I proclaimed I was better than Sidney Crosby. How awesome am I?

Well, over the past few months a few angry Penguins fans have voiced their displease for my proclaimation.

So, Pittsburgh fans, I say this to you:

I’m still better than Sidney Crosby.

Just kidding.

I mean, he is apparently the next Penguin Cap’n, so, well, he’s technically one-up on me right now.

Watch your back, Sidney. Once I get bionic knees and sweet talk my way into the NHL, I will surely kick your butt.

Book it.

Jari to the rescue?

UPDATE: The New Jersey Devils have indeed signed Viuhkola to a one-year two-way contract.

Apparently the Devils are about to sign Finnish star Jari Viuhkola.

Yeah, no clue how to pronounce that name…

But, he seems to be a viable checking line center, which is always nice I reckon as we may kinda need one with Jimmy Dowd likely not being retained. Sorry Dowd.

Mr. Viuhkola, 27, is an original draft choice of Chicago (boo), but his career never really broke any NHL sound waves (double boo.) Sounds lovely so far, eh?

Oh Jari, I’m not hatin’ on you. You do have your upside, right?

Well, uh, he’s certainly not a goal scorer (aka not a Gomez replacement), but he seems to be a John Madden type in heart, a Sergei Brylin type in work ethic, and a Cam Janssen type in scoring. Mix them all together and you might just get a halfway decent player.

I certainly hope so…I certainly hope so.

Admit it, you totally watched the OC.

A little of this, a little of that, Part 2

Poor Sun...…I still hate the offseason.

Alas, time to discuss goalies and wingers!



It is entirely possible that Scott Clemmensen may not be retained by Louie Lams. I’m not so sure where he stands here, because Marty did slow down as the regular season wound down and was horrifically inconsistant in two rounds of playoff glory, so it’s entirely possible that Louie is going to want a goaltender who can take some of the load off of Brodeur’s shoulders. Let’s not get crazy here — it’s not like we’re going to see Marty give up 20 games or so, but I do think he should rest a solid 10-15 games next season.

So, is Clemmensen capable?

I think he is, but as we saw this past season, Mr. Claude Julien had absolutely no faith whatsoever in #40. So sad. Clemmensen will never be a starter in this league, but I think he could be a quality #2. He has a good eye for the puck and is not afraid to take a hard shot to the chest, but his rebound control is terrible and he does have a bit of trouble moving from post to post. His biggest downfall? He simply doesn’t have experience. Such is life when you’re backing up Martin Brodeur, though.

Who’s available?

Much like Clemmensen, Macdonald hasn’t seem all that much playing time in his young career, and playing for a terrible Boston Bruins team surely didn’t help his stats, but I think Joey has potential. He’s shined in the AHL, but that doesn’t always translate into big league talent. I do think ultimately he can succeed in a limited role with the Devils.
WILL IT HAPPEN: He’ll sign at league minimum, which is nice. I think it’s possible.

Remember the days when Brian Boucher was supposed to be the Next Great Goaltender for Philadelphia? Granted, they have one of those every year, but still, Bouch seemed like he was actually going to, well, not suck. He did have that nine million game shutout streak with Phoenix, but that was pretty much the last positive thing we heard out of Camp Boucher. I do feel bad for Brian, though, cause he really did look like he was going to be a damn fine netminder. I guess giving up a three game playoff lead in the Conference Finals really shook his confidence, eh? Poor, poor Brian…
WILL IT HAPPEN: As crappy as Booooooosh has become, he’ll still probably want some money to boost his fragile ego. He still has the potential to be an amazing netminder, though, and I’m not sure he’s ready to give up the fight and fade into New Jersey backup obscurity. I doubt it’ll happen.

Won’t happen. Move along…

We will always love Clemmensen.It’s only fair to list Clemmensen and his Baby Devil counterpart, Mr. Frank Doyle. We’ve already discussed Clemmensen’s pros and cons, so let’s talk about Frank real quick. Doyle isn’t half bad. He has no NHL experience under his belt, but ya gotta start somewhere, eh? If Clemmensen isn’t retained, it’ll be Doyle’s job to lose in training camp — if he puts together a fine camp, he’ll easily be the backup. If he falters, then I can easily see Lou putting in a call to Clemmy as a last minute signing, provided Scott doesn’t look elsewhere…which he probably will, but will anyone else be willing to sign him to a major league contract? Doubtful.
WILL IT HAPPEN: Either scenario is possible.



This team desperately needs offense, but I’m not too sure how much money Lou will ultimately have to work with so this wishlist is really nothing more than me pining and yearning for players that will most defintiely not sign with the Devils. Of course, that still won’t stop me from doing so…of course!

‘Zus would be great because he can double as a winger or a solid center…and better yet, I’ve loved this man for years now. I can’t tell you how happy I was when the Flyers traded him to Chicago, because, you know, naturally I cannot be a fan of a Philadelphia Flyer.

He's a rockstar.Handzus only played eight games last season. Scary. He was sidelined with a nasty knee injury, and knee injuries are always cause for concern — they can easily become a chronic problem for some players. Alas, Zus would be the prototypical Devil — great defensively, solid playmaker, and questionable offensive talent…which sucks. He’s absolutely huge though at 6’5″ and nearly 220 pounds. Yum. I want this man on the Devils.
WILL IT HAPPEN: I sure hope so. I think Michal would fit in wonderfully on the Devils, I really do. He’d look great on the top line with Elias and Gionta, and I think having Patty work with a fellow Czech would make Cap’n quite happy.

Now, I couldn’t see how Dallas wouldn’t possibly retain Nagy, but if by some freak occurance they let him walk, I’d be somewhat interested to see him on the Devils. Granted, unlike ‘Zus, Nagy plays no defense whatsoever and has quite a smaller frame, but he does pack quite an offensive punch. I’d like to see how he’d fare on a line with Langenbrunner and Zajac, while moving Parise up to the top line and giving Cap’n the center duties.
WILL IT HAPPEN: In a word? No.

Such a beautiful image.RYAN SMYTH, NEW YORK ISLANDERS
How awesome would it be to have a workhorse like Smyth on the Devils? It would seriously be a match made in heaven, for sure. This guy is truly the definition of “hard work” and his dedication to the game is really a sight to see. I can’t possibly think of a downside to Mr. Smyth other than the fact that the competition for signing him will be quite ridiculous, potentially raising his price tag way too much for the Devils to handle.
WILL IT HAPPEN: I can dream, right?

A little of this, a little of that, Part 1

No fun.Did I ever mention how much I hate the offseason?

Seriously bumming me out folks.

Alas, with an unusually long summer comes unsually long speculation, rumors, and hearsay about where this player may or may not go, or if that player will re-sign with his team or, well, not so much.

Of course, the Devils have their own respective fish to fry, but what about the other guys out in the free agent pool? Who might sign with the Devils, who will laugh in Louie Lams’ face, and who will beg to be part of this awesome franchise?

I like to ask questions.

…especially when there are so many questions to be asked.

Alas (oh that’s totally my word!), here are the potential A’s to aforementioned Q’s…from my standpoint, of course.



If Scott Gomez decides to leave the team, Louie will desperately need to sign a center. Of course, Gomez will easily dictate what will actually be available in the free agent pool. It is quite still fresh in my memory how a Mr. S. Niedermayer more or less f’ed over the team by waiting so long to sign with the Duckies, giving Lamoriello little room for free agent signings, because, well, the quality of defensemen left in free agency was quite minimal at best. Thank the man up above that Brian Rafalski waited oh-so patiently for Niedermayer to make his decision, otherwise our defense would have looked even more disgusting than it does now. That’s just downright scary.

Enough about Niedermayer, he’s ancient history now. Let’s assume, though, that Gomez does indeed sign somewhere else. Who’s actually available?

Logo dreams!

Both Sabres are unrestricted free agents come July, and it’s probably going to prove quite difficult for Buffalo to retain both men. I’d love nothing more than to have either player on this team, especially Drury, as we’d finally have a scoring center to, well, put the puck in the net. The Devils are actually quite weak in center depth, so this pipedream would really put a smile on my face. Unfortunately, I do think this would easily be just that — a pipedream and nothing more.
WILL IT HAPPEN: Not so much, but crazier things have happened.

I dream!Ah, another playmaking center. I’d like to have Arnason. He has potential. I know, I know, lately the Devils have kinda failed in the “he’s got potential, but he’s not playing up to it” area, but I could see Arnason becoming a solid player in the Devils system. My biggest concern with Tyler would be if the system ended up stifling his offensive development, which could easily aggrivate the lad. Last thing we need is another headcase. But hey, it helps that’s he’s an American…cause, Lou likes Americans, ya know?
WILL IT HAPPEN: It just might.

Stumpel could be somewhat fun, couldn’t he? Age does play a factor here, as Stumpy is 34 now, but he could fill the vacated Gomez role nicely. I love his size, but he doesn’t use it too much to the best of his ability. Stumpel is also natural passer and also comes from the solid playmaker-mold, but injuries have played a role in his career and that’s the last thing we need — someone else to spend his days in longterm IR obscurity.

He could be fun, seeing as he’d easily win most of the faceoffs he took, but he’s also kind of on the downside of his career. 35 years old and inconsistant in the scoring realm, Mr. Smolinski’s only true perk is his skill in the faceoff circle. I’d pass.
WILL IT HAPPEN: Probably not.

I’m going to go ahead and assume Brian Rafalski will be retained. As much as it pains me, we ultimately need him. However, I do think that if by some freak occurance that Gomez is signed, Mr. Rafalski might as well pack his bags. It’ll be one or the other, and Rafalski will probably win out.

Otherwise, it’s my hope that Rad Brad Lukowich is also signed. I worry a bit about Rad Brad — the pickings are slim for free agent defensemen, and he’s had a relatively solid year. He could potentially be snatched up by a defensively desperate team for more money than Louie Lams would be willing to give Rad Brad. That’s not to say Brad doesn’t deserve it, but let’s be honset here, he’s not a top two defenseman.

This is merely to say that Rafalski isn’t retained. Sutton would never happen otherwise. He’s not all that great defensively, which seriously kills any thought to sign him, but he is adequate. He might be able to help out on the point for our struggling powerplay, I do absolutely love his shot. Otherwise, I’m not too sure how much of an upside Andy really has.
WILL IT HAPPEN: Rafalski leaves? Maybe. Rafalaski stays? Not a chance in hell.

He dreams!Ah, could we possibly see the return of Mr. Souray? Who knows, Lou does seem to like giving players a second or even third go around with the club, so it’s entirely possible. I think it could happen. His offensive upside is nice, but I do worry about his horrid -28 and 135 penalty minutes. That’s just a bit much, don’t ya think? Adding his size to the lineup would really be fun though. And adding Souray to the lineup would certainly boost our defense credibility, if only in name and nothing else at least.
WILL IT HAPPEN: I could see it, but money will play a factor.

If Souray would boost our defensive credibility by name, Pratt would boost our credibility in talent. He’s not going to score any goals, that’s for certain, but he’ll get the job done in the defensive zone. He doesn’t do much wrong, as his game is quite basic, but there’s not too much wrong with that. He also has a nice 6’3″ frame to work with, but barely weighing in at 200 is somewhat concerning.
WILL IT HAPPEN: Eh. Don’t really know.

So, that’s enough wishing for now. Check back for part two, where I’ll plead and pray for backup goalies and scoring wingers. It’ll be fun, really!

Post Says: Brie-Cheese Stayin’

So good!Mark Everson is reporting that Sergei Brylin’s option will indeed be picked up by the Devils, but, well, Mark Everson kinda sucks so we’ll just have to assume that this is hearsay until further confirmed.

I know, I know, why even report it if there isn’t any confirmation?

Well, there really isn’t much else to report about, sadly enough. I’m still quite bummed that we’re in the midst of such a looooooong offseason, but such is life.

I suppose having Brylin around for another year ain’t such a bad thing, provided he isn’t called upon for any unrealistic duties here. I’m sorry, but Brylin should merely be a utility man at this point — not some star center that he never was or will be, okay? That’s not to say I don’t like Sergei at all, because I really do, but let’s be honest here. Dude ain’t getting any younger. If I had my say, he’d fall into a Sergei Nemchinov type of role…but, well, being somewhat weak in depth at center and with our scoring forwards in general, it kind of throws a huge wrench into that whole plan, now doesn’t it?

Oh, and apparently Everson has the inside scoop on Paul Martin, Cam Janssen, Johnny Oduya, and Zach Parise, proclaiming that each player will receive qualifying offers. There certainly is the possibility that Martin and Parise will be difficult to easily retain…but then again, when is something that is difficult easy in the first place, right?


So, ladies and gents, to sum up, we really don’t know anything other than what Everson reports, and if his brilliant journalistic capabilities of past are any indication, this all likely means that Paul Martin has died, Sergei Brylin will sign with the New York Rangers, and Cam Janssen will win the Hart Trophy.



…or, well, the organization, at least. Yes, the man with the silly spelling of what really should be “Thomas” has decided to return home to his native Finland to give European hockey another shot. The NHL was just too fast for the young lad, I fear. Alas, best wishes to Tuomas!

TRENTON DEVILS HERE WE COME! Yes, it’s true — the Trenton Titans are no more. Well, sort of. The name is gone, but the team remains. Louie Lams announced that the ECHL’s Titans will now grace the Devils name…Baby Baby Devils maybe?


We gots a brand new DONATE button, fashioned nicely on the right side of the site. Donatations are fun and all, but better yet — you’ll be safe knowing that any donations made will go towards the betterment of my wallet…I mean…the site.

No, seriously, we’d love to have all the fancy stuffs that those other blogs have, but, well, with no money that’s kind of hard. So, in short, give us money!

Offseason Thoughts

Is there something to be learned from the second round disappointment against the Ottawa Senators? You bet there is. Watching the Sens throughout the postseason, the Alfredsson/Spezza/Heatley line remind me a lot of the Elias/Arnott/Sykora line of 2000. They just seem to have an enormous amount of chemistry together and certainly are doing some damage this postseason. While the “EGG” line has had its moments, it certainly hasn’t come close to the A-Line or the Spezza Line in my opinion.

Skill level is a great thing to have in this game but it doesn’t make up for a lack in chemistry with your linemates.I think we can all agree that Scott Gomez is probably headed to another team this summer and that we should be looking for his replacement. Did you know that the Devils went 8-2 this season with Gomez out of the lineup? That reason and that reason alone is why I would permanently put Brylin up on the line with Gionta and Elias. I thought about breaking up Parise and Zajac to replace Gomez but I did see some hints of great chemistry there, especially in the playoffs and for that reason, I would leave that line alone for the time being.

We still need to bring in some guys this summer so here are my top 3 players I think could really help this team:

Mike Comrie – He’s been doing very well for Ottawa in the postseason which might him a tough to get our hands on. Sure, he doesn’t have the assist numbers that Gomez has but he has been a solid goal scorer and assist man the last two seasons and would help recover the numbers being lost if Gomez departs.

David Tanabe – I know Tanabe is a little prone to the injury bug so this choice might not go over so well
with the masses but I believe he’s got the ability to do well on this team. I don’t think he ever really fit well into Carolina’s style of play and therefore doesn’t have great numbers. He’s a quick defenseman and does really well handling the puck.

Jeff Friesen – I am not one who enjoys bringing old players back but I think if the number is right for Lou, Friesen would certainly fit in with this team again. We know he has the ability to score, in key moments and he just might add a spark to this team.

Something else the Devils should have learned against Ottawa (and Tampa Bay for that matter) is we lack in the size department. Lou needs to add size on this team so we don’t get pushed around. I am a huge Cam Jannsen supporter but lets face it, the guy doesn’t contribute that much offensively. We need to find someone this summer that can contribute to the offense and not let his team get pushed around. That is a tough thing to find but I am sure its out there waiting for us. From what I saw of Clarkson, he might be the man for this. He didn’t get much ice time but I think he deserves a chance next season. I also think it might be time to bring up Chris Minard and Nicklas Bergfors and see what they can do in the NHL.


After carefully reading through seven amazingly-awesomely done blog submissions, I narrowed the choices down to two bloggers. It was definitely a difficult decision, but I really think I made the right choice in bringing Darren aboard.

HEYO!!!!Darren is no stranger to the blogging world, writing for his own Devils blog Drop the Puck. When Darren sent me an e-mail expressing his interest in working with me on the site, I just couldn’t say no. The guy has talent!

I’m really excited to work with Darren, and I think he’ll definitely bring a new kind of energy to the site that hasn’t been experienced before.

It’s going to be fun working with ya, Darren!

Joe will never be replaced by any means. I still wish him nothing but the best in everything he does and I know he’ll kick major butt at whatever he chooses to do in life, and as always, Mr. Bechtel is always welcome to come back on board as a contributor on the site. This may have been my brainchild, but I could have never brought this site to light without Joe.

But enough of the sappy saps from this blogger, it’s time to celebrate! Darren will be making his debut shortly, so sit tight!

Thanks to everyone who submitted, your entries were all awesome!


Oh boy folks, it’s coming! Expect big news tonight! It’s going to be good times!

For serious!


UPDATE 10:47 PM ET THURSDAY: I have received four of the five blog entries for those who expressed interest. I will be making a final decision by the end of the weekend — if anyone still wants to send something in, go right ahead! I will accept submissions until 9 PM Sunday. I will then make a formal announcement on my new 2MA partner around 11 PM ET Sunday. Thanks!

Oh, and on a final note, I just wanted to say that the blog submissions I’ve received have been amazingly awesome. You guys are making the decision quite a difficult one for me, but hey, that’s a good thing!

Sad face!

Well, thusfar we have three FIVE potential candidates for the open writer’s position on the site. As always, Joe is always welcome to come back on board as a contributor, and I highly encourage him to consider the thought.

Alas, there is still an open call for those interested in being my 2MA partner. Wanna take the job? Shoot me an e-mail, tell me a bit about yourself and what kind of writing experiences you’ve had — whether it be in school, work, or for leisure. I’ll also ask candidates to give me a brief writeup on something Devils-related. Maybe the offseason, maybe the playoffs, maybe Brad Lukowich. Okay, not so much the third, but you get the idea.

Can’t wait to hear from yous guys!

Back to biz’ness: Offseason Questions!

So, we’re sadly faced with the way-too-long summer ahead of us, and with long summers come lots of questions — come on, you weren’t expecting any different with the New Jersey Devils, were you?

You too can be the head coach of the New Jersey Devils!QUESTION #1: Who the heck is going to be the next head coach?

Ah, probably one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the boys. I would love to sit here and speculate the possible candidates for the job, but let’s face it, that’ll do nothing. Did anyone really predict Claude Julien would be crowned coach last season? I sure didn’t. Alas, I suppose it could be possible for Johnny Mac to finally take the reigns, but we know better — with Louie Lams and the Devils, there ain’t no thing as a sure thing.

I think at least we can hopefully assume that Lou will not stand behind the bench anymore. Sure, he’s uh, already said it and all, but that aside, he wasn’t really that amazing of a head coach. The idea of it is certainly fun at first, but the novelty wears off. It just won’t work.

Yeah we've used it before, but it's so good!QUESTION #2: Will Scott Gomez remain a Devil?

In short, no.

I really am breaking the rule I just imposed not even two paragraphs up the page, but it’s my site, I can do what I want damnit! Ha.

Seriously, though, I cannot for a second see Mr. Gomez donning the Devil black and red for another season. He’ll easily command top dollar, and for Louie Lams to award him would be absolutely ridiculous. I’m sorry, but Gomez was poo this season. He had an above average playoffs, but I still wasn’t happy with his inconsistant defensive play.

He can sure razzle dazzle the heck out of the opposition with his bee-yoo-tee-ful puckhandling skills, but it more or less ends there. The Devils stifle him to an extent, really, and he needs to be on a team where he can feel free to continue puckhandling his butt off and not worry about backchecking. In New Jersey, it won’t fly. He’ll find a team with lots of cap room to spare and more than willing to shell out the dollars on him, that’s for sure.

Go razzle dazzle yourself to LA, Scotty. We’ll miss you if you miss us, okay?

Mr. Anger Management!QUESTION #3: What are we going to do about the defense?

In a perfect world, I’d really love to see both Brian Rafalski and Colin White off the team. Unfortunately for me though, this world ain’t close to perfect, so who knows what will happen.

Rafalski is an unrestricted free agent, but Colin White? Not so much. He’s got a nice hefty longterm contract to deal with, and it’s so hard to trade those bad boys away…literally.

I really am just so sick and tired of Mr. Anger Management. It’s one thing to be tough, but it’s another to continually take dumb penalties on a game-to-game basis. He still is quite a promising defender, and yeah yeah, I know that Scott Stevens himself had quite the anger management problem early in his career, but that was then and this is now. There’s little room for error with one of the weakest bluelines in recent memory, so I’d love nothing more than to see Colin White traded for a high draft pick at the Entry Draft, but we all know that’s just a foolish pipedream.

Rafalski, on the other hand, isn’t getting any younger and if this is who we have to be our number one defenseman, then I’m quite sad. He’s not bad by any stretch, not in the least, but I’d really rather use the money for a better source. Unfortunately, yet again, the world is not perfect as the free agent market for defensemen is quite slim, so Rafalski will likely have to do.

Who is this guy?QUESTION #4: Backup?

Sure, it’s easy to think the Devils don’t have a backup goaltender, but, well, they actually do. Meet Scott Clemmensen, the NHL’s most underworked player. He gets a fairly decent paycheck for wearing a butt imprint into the bench, but I still feel amazingly bad for him. He’s not that bad! Sure, he really was never going to be a starter anywhere, but I still think he could have been a relatively decent #2 goalie had he actually been giving some playing time. Too late now though. Now he just comes off as a goaltender that will kick your team’s ass…in the AHL.

Clemmensen had to wait until enough cap room could be cleared in order to re-sign with the Devils last summer. He waited and waited, practiced with the team under no insurance policy, and waited some more. Man, he sure sounds dedicated to his team, right?

Wrong. He knew it at the time, as sad as it was, that New Jersey would unfortunately be his only shot at seeing any big league time this past season. No other team would sign him. Poor Scott.

What makes this year different? He’s had no more playing time, and his numbers aren’t all that great either. Oh man. I feel awful for him.

I don’t think the Devils will retain Clemmensen this time around. They have a perfectly capable netminder down on the Baby Devils named Frank Doyle that could easily fill Clemmensen’s role. They also have Jordan Parise waiting in the wings. It almost brings a tear to my eye, oh Clemmy!

It’s my hope that if the Devils do not wish to retain Clemmensen that he will be able to sign somewhere else, but I am highly skeptical. Maybe Phoenix could scoop him up for a two way contract? Who knows.

Hearts for Lukowich!QUESTION #5: What about the others?

Erik Rasmussen, Sergei Brylin, Jim Dowd, Jay Pandolfo, Mike Rupp, and Brad Lukowich are all unrestricted free agents. Of the list, I’d love for the Devils to retain the latter two. I suspect Brylin will be retained as he should have a team option, but stranger things have happened. Rasmussen has no use on the team and his spot can be easily filled by a David Clarkson or a Rod Pelley, and for Dowd goes the same. Pandolfo will without a damn doubt be re-signed, but Rad Brad might be a bit trickier. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Mr. Lukowich this season, but overall, I’ve really liked his play. With the pickings not so hot on the market, Lukowich could possibly be tempted away by some relatively decent dollars. I hope not.