Archives for June 2007

Hop on board the Gomez Express!

Jackpot for Gomez!
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Where-oh-where will Gomez go? Where he’ll stop…nobody knows!

Where do you think Mr. Gomez will choose as his next destination come July 1st?

Free Agent Stuffs

Glamor shot!RUPP GIVEN ANOTHER GO

Scratch one UFA off the list — Mr. Rupp has re-signed with the New Jersey Devils.

The ’03 Cup-clinching goal scorer re-upped with the boys for a two-year, $1-million contract. Not bad.

I’m thinking Erik Rasmussen’s days with the Devils are all but over at this point.

Would you agree?
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LOU AIN’T GOT A COACH YET
Couldn't hurt...

Yeah, uh, this is starting to become a bit odd now. Free Agency is literally at the doorstep of the Prudential Center now and, well, there still is no head coach to speak. What gives?

It’s entirely possible that Louie Lams may not even be able to find someone who actually wants the job, or may-haps he’s merely being incredibly meticulous in finding the right guy.

Let’s be true to our little hearts here — if Johnny Mac was going to be the head coach, Lams would have announced it by now.

…unless he’s, uh, actually the best only candidate that will willingly take the job, that is…

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This is not a good look for a defenseman...RAFALSKI CLOSE TO SIGNING

Oh thank the good man up above for this one.

And believe it or not, I’m actually serious there.

Brian and I have had our differences this past season, but, well, we need him at this point. Now that Louie has confirmed himself that Oduya was indeed not qualified, the boys prove to be in somewhat of a bind. Oduya is set free, Rad Brad will more than likely be set free as well, and then there’s that bonehead Colin White, and the oft-(salary cap)injured Richard Matvichuk. Where does that leave us? Oh, yeah, Paul Martin and Andy Greene.

Viable, sure, but not comforting.

If Oduya and Lukowich are not inevitably retained, Mr. Lamoriello will have a hole or two to fill, and no, there are not reinforcements in the wings.

And for the love of peanut butter, Matthew Corrente will not be skating with the big boys on opening night.

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2MA!
With that being said, keep with 2MA in the coming weeks for any breaking news on Devils trades and signings!

July 1st is right around the corner and oh, you know we’ll be keeping our butts firmly pressed to our seat cushions, eyes glued to the computer screen, and wrists nicely resting on, well, wrist rests.

‘Cause, you know, we really don’t want carpal tunnel.

But, who does?

Hall of Fame, meet Scott Stevens

One of the greats!

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That’s right folks, the one and only Scott Stevens has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

That’s awesome.

Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, and Mark Messier (boo) have also been chosen for HOF Destiny.

Congratulations to Scott!

Johnny O-Don’t chya

He's bumming.It appears that the reign of Johnny Oduya in New Jersey has come to an end.

Reports are indicating that the Swede with the silly last name was not tendered a qualifying offer, thus letting him loose to test the free agent waters July 1st.

Wow.

I’m certainly surprised.

Granted, I wanted nothing to do with Oduya during the playoffs, but I really didn’t think the lad was that bad. Certainly overrated in his short stay with the Devils, but no worse than a post-lockout Vlad Malakhov or Dan McGillis.

Low blow. I apologize.

We hardly knew ye!Seriously, though, this screams of intent to re-sign Brian Rafalski. At least, I hope now. I’m no Rafalski fan, but with the potential of having he, Rad Brad, and now Oduya out of the lineup next season, well, that’s just going to be scary. Paul Martin is no #1, and Colin White is poop.

I wonder who will replace Oduya, though, because there really isn’t anyone shining on the Baby Devils that could easily step up into a solid #5 or #6 role. Richard Matvichuk is still always around, but still with a questionable back, I worry.

I’d tend to think this was an incredibly bad move by Louie Lams, but I’m inclined to shove those thoughts out of my brain and think that, hey, Mr. Lamoriello has something up his sleeve here.

He always does.

Intermission!

OH YEAH.

Pardon the break between blogs, we’ll be back shortly…

Summertime, The Livin’ AIN’T Easy

Well, Hellllooooo!

How many one-goal games can YOUR ticker take?!You guys remember me, dontcha?!

Summertime seems to be in full-swing around the metro-area, and with it comes the mind-numbing boredom of the die-hard hockey fan. Usually I can enjoy a few hot weeks of some exciting Yankees baseball, but that’s hardly been the case this year! So, now I’m left submerged into the raging whirlpool known better as.. THE OFFSEASON! (Dun dun dun, ::dramatic reverb::)

…Anybody catch the opening telecast of FSNY’s “15 To Remember?” If you missed it, you missed some great footage of Chico scarfing down a hot dog and even licking the mustard right off the ol’ fingers. Way to go Chicamundo! Oh, and our boys smacked around the defending champs :). With tonight’s replay an exception, perhaps a more proper name for FSNY’s summer debacle would be “One-Goal Games, and Their Adverse Effect On Health Conditions”. …as if the season wasn’t strenuous enough!

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What’s that you say? We have serious matters to take care of this season? Oh thattsss right, some guy nicknamed G-LOVE wants a contract that will rival Donald Trumps salary. Ha! No worries, I have better news: Bob Barker has ended his short-lived retirement to sign-on as host of everyone’s favorite summertime gameshow, “WHICH COACH IS RIGHT?”! Don’t worry, I got this one under control: I nominate this guy:

I'll take THE RAPISTS for $500

Go ahead, admit it. I is a jeenyus. It’s too perfect!!Enjoy the rest of the off-season, the best is yet to come. Hopefully. Hey, at the very least I’m sure Lou will sign a few over-the-hill enforcers to $7 million deals. My money is on Gleason!

…Nice dropping in!

Tip of the Day!!!

2 MAN ADVANTAGE’S TIP OF THE DAY #6: If you want a lot of money, go to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Gotta get in on this action...Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen sure cashed in big time, packing their bags and saying sayonara to the relocation-ready Predators and heading east to the Forsberg-less Flyers.

Oh, and in the process, Hartnell racked up a 6-year deal worth $25.2 mill and Timonen brought in a heafty 6-year, $37.8 mill contract.

That ain’t chump change, folks.

Marty is king!

Congratulations Marty on winning his 3rd Vezina Trophy!

Smiles!I would have to imagine that this trophy might be a little more satisfying because the likes of Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens were not in front of you this time around. That isn’t to say the group of guys in front of you don’t deserve some kind of recognition but you know the haters out there will point out the first two Vezina wins were with two very solid d-men in front of you.

I was wrong on my other predicitons though. I guess it was more a choice from the heart giving Marty my nod for Hart but he did carry this team all season. I guess when it comes down to it, there is no beating out Sid the Kid for that award. I really thought Jay Pandolfo would win and I am not sure how they came around to choosing Rod Brind’Amour but I think the real shocker of the night was Michel Therrien not winning for coach of the year.

July 1 is slowly creeping up on us…

’tis official: Viuhkola a Devil

...what goes around?Indeed, it’s true. Though we’ve known for a while now, it’s always nice to have media confirmation, eh? So, yes, Jari Coca-Cola has officially signed with the boys. See ya Jimmy Dowd, we shall miss you.

In other Devils news, the Andy Greene signing was also made official, which, again, is also very nice because, well, he took a paycut to stay with the team. That’s just purely awesome.

Isn't he beautiful?And to round out the signings, Louie Lams also tendered a contract to Matthew Corrente, New Jersey’s first-round choice in 2006. A blueline mainstay at only 19 years old to boot, Corrente posted three goals and 23 assists for 26 points in 43 games for the OHL’s Mississauga Ice Dogs and Saginaw Spirit.

Let us not forget, though, of Mr. Corrente’s colored past, as the troubled young lad pled guilty to assault and battery after being involved in a mysterious event that the Spirit only refer to as “breaking the team rules.” Word on the street, though, is that Corrente, along with four teammates may have been involved with a 15-year-old girl in some way or another. Oh yeah. Not good.

Alas, July 1st ain’t too far away now…I’m getting nervous folks. Quite nervous.

Darren’s Award Winners

With the NHL handing out its annual awards on Thursday night, I thought today would be a good day to share my list of who I think should win these awards.

Lester B. Pearson
– Sidney Crosby: No doubt that everyone in the NHL looks at Sid the Kid as the best thing to happen to this league. I’ve never heard one player in the league say the guy was overrated or didn’t deserve all the attention he gets. This kid IS the present and future of this league.

Calder Trophy
-Evgeni Malkin: With 33 goals and 52 assists the 20 year old Russian had an instant impact on the Penguins as he helped Sidney Crosby win a scoring title at 19, and made the Penguins a playoff contender again. A star from the word go the only difficulty he had in the NHL was getting out of his Russian contract, now the only question is how many years will him and Crosby take before they are the new Mario and Jagr leading the Penguins not just to the playoffs but to the Stanley Cup.

Frank J. Selke Trophy
-Jay Pandolfo: In College Jay Pandolfo at Boston University was one of the top goal scorers in the NCAA. However, upon joining the Devils Pandolfo was asked to sacrifice scoring to be a defensive forward in the team’s trapping defensive system. In 2006/07 Pandolfo once again was solid on defense and also had one of his finest offensive season while taking few penalties, which should have made him a Lady Byng candidate. However, before the Byng, Pandolfo deserves his first Selke.

Jack Adams Trophy
-Michel Therrien: Last year the Penguins were one of the worst teams in the NHL as they finished in last place with a 22-46-14 record. This year they challenged for a division title until the very end of the season and went to the playoffs for the first time in 6 years. While the development of players like Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin were the main reason. All three being under the age of 20 had to learn to win from someone and that is the coaching job Therrien did as the young Penguins have a bright future.

Vezina Trophy
-Martin Brodeur: One day Martin Brodeur may be looked upon as the best goalie in the history of the NHL as the two-time Vezina Winner is quickly moving up the all-time wins list and career shutout lists. This year may have been the best of Brodeur’s career as he set a new single season record with 48 wins, true the shoot out adds a big asterisk, but with 13 shut outs, and many coming in games he saved 30 or more shots as the new NHL forces goalies to be on their toes much eliminating the old Devils tactic of playing keep away with a lead.

Hart Trophy
-Martin Brodeur: There are rare occasions when a goalie wins the Hart Trophy as the league MVP. However, this is one of those occasions, while Sidney Crosby was the best skater, nobody not even Crosby was more valuable to his team then Marin Brodeur was to the Devils. Brodeur started all but 5 games this year as he set records for minutes played and wins with 48, while posting 13 shutouts. However it was the 33 wins by just one goal that illustrates how valuable Bordeur was to the Devils who won another Division Title.