Archives for July 2007

2 MAN ADVANTAGE’S TIP OF THE DAY #7: Do not emulate the Staal brothers. Well, at least not Jordan or Eric.

I'd totally buy this jersey.Despite being much the talk of the hockey world during recent seasons, Jordan and Eric Staal may have taken a step in the wrong direction. The NHL brothers were among a group of 14 people arrested during a raucous bachelor party for Eric, who is slated to be married in August. The following is an excerpt from Bodog Beat:

“The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said the brothers were among 14 arrested last weekend after authorities received several complaints about “screaming, yelling and playing loud music” at the resort in northeastern Minnesota, about two hours from the Staals’ hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

This one,  too.The sheriff said the group was warned multiple times before finally being ordered to leave the Lutsen Resort and Sea Villas in Lutsen, at which point the men gathered on a nearby highway and “began harassing motorists.” That’s when authorities arrested the group, around 4 a.m. Saturday.

“I didn’t expect it would be any more serious than it is – they’re noise violations, ” said Rick Curran, the agent for both players.”

Such good role models!

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 188 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/25/tip-of-the-day-7/

COACHES!!!

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Nothing like good ol’ hockey news in July.

2MA has learned that the New Jersey Devils have added Larry Robinson and former defensemen Tommy Albelin as Assistant Coaches to Brent Sutter for the upcoming 2007-2008 season. It has also been announced that Jacques Laperriere will not be rejoining the big club, but instead will be working with defensemen in the minor leagues. John MacLean will also continue his role as an Assistant Coach.

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~ JOE’S 2 CENTS: I’m very excited to hear about Albelin coming behind the bench to work alongside Sutter & MacLean, but I can’t say I’m exactly thrilled about Robinson returning. The guy is about to start his 576th stint behind the bench with New Jersey, and if I recall correctly, he stepped down 32 games into the 05-06 season because of health-related issues. I think we’ve seen all the faces of Robinson, and I personally feel that he would be able to contribute to the organization more in a different role.

As for Laperriere heading to the minors, I’m really indifferent. ‘Lappy’ did a great job of motivating players when they needed it, but with Sutter behind the bench motivation won’t be a problem. If it is, that player will be reunited with Laperriere sooner than he thinks!

Overall, a good move by Lou. The coaching staff is looking strong!

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 174 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/25/robinson-albelin-added-as-assistants-laperriere-out/

Words my father once spoke…except my name is Tony. Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. So it seems our very own Louie Lams has signed a few D-men in hopes to strengthen solidify secure err-umm actually, I don’t know what he’s trying to do! Throughout the free agency mayhem and the numerous transactions occurring each day, there are a pair of large-hearted fellows who have yet to be offered a contract. ::sigh:: Poor guys. We’ll get back to them in just a moment….

In the meantime, let’s take a look at who Lou did manage to squeeze out of the free agency lemon.

Karel Rachunek, Vitaly Vishnevski, Kevin Weekes, Dainius Zubrus, Ian Moran, Jean-Luc-Long-Name, Noah Clarke. He also re-signed Cam Janssen, Grant Marshall, and brought up Mr. Olivier Magnan, who in case you didn’t know, was our 6th choice, 148th overall back in the ’06 draft. What is with all the veteran D-men?!?! Where is our youth?! We went all the way to Germany to get a 30 year-old guy whose salary is probably going to be less than the cost of his last name being stitched to the back of his jersey.

The heart of this NJD team lies in the twin cities of Minnesota. Yes. I said it. The re-signing of Zach Parise and Paul Martin are essential in order to mold this team into a championship caliber team once again. Martin, a young defenseman who filled and excelled in a D spot during the 2006 Olympics in Torino, will without a doubt rise in performance in near future years. And how bout Zach attack?! One look at the display of hockey that Zach Parise pumped out during the ’07 playoffs and anyone could see that only a fool would let him go. Quite frankly, in my honest opinion, we will one day see the number 9 being raised to the rafters of Prudential Center. We may even see a small crescent resting upon his shoulder. Bottom line, get them here. Bring em home Lou!
Math is so easy.
Regardless of what Lou did, or didn’t do, or almost did, ::cough:: Souray ::cough:: despite this year’s lack of “je ne sais quoi” that he has shown in previous years, the same old shenanigans come down to the same thing Devils fans all over have been saying for years…In Lou We Trust.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 277 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/25/lou-get-your-priorities-straight/

If you’re asking yourself “Jason who?”, you might want to go to your local 7-11 (or Piggly-Wiggly for you Southern fans 🙂 ) and pickup a calendar. Go ahead I’ll wait.

Alright, got it? Good, here we go.

UNITE!

With July almost completely in the rearview mirror, GM Lou Lamoriello has been busier than ever this off-season, tweaking and re-tooling his team one mediocre defenseman at a time, with some offensive talent sprinkled here and there. The following months, from August through November will be the most important for the New Jersey Devils.

With training camp & the pre-season debacle taking place in September, August really is the last “official” month of the off-season. Now I’m not expecting Lou to pull out a trade that will be the topic of water-cooler jabber for the next two years, but I do honestly believe the teapot will be whistling sooner than you think. With enough mediocrity on the Devils blueline to film a sequel to Goodburger, you have to feel the trade winds blowing. I’m not even going to attempt a prediction at what Lou is cooking for fear of making myself look dumber than Stimpson J. Cat with a cat-nip hangover.

Once the temperature dips into the cool seventies, the true test begins. Considering the fact that the Devils will open with a franchise-record nine-game road trip, the first two months of the season will be very telling of what type of season it will be, points-wise. If they bomb the road trip, it will be an up-hill battle right from the get-go. If they come out of it with a stellar record, it will speak volumes as to what this team is made of.

Should the season start today, I can’t say I’d be terribly worried about the team that would take the ice October 4th in Tampa. But I do believe there is some room for improvement, especially on the back end. There is just one little piece missing to make this team a true Cup contender, but I can’t put my finger on it. The rest of the summer will be quite interesting as you can bank on seeing a couple of more changes for the team.

And no, I’m not talking about the anticipation of the new jersey design.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 185 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/23/deconstructing-jason/

Ho-hum. Here’s the pre-season schedule, folks:

We get two home games.  Yay...?

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 196 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/23/pre-season-schedule-released/

Exit Jim Fahey and Alex Brooks.

See-yas!Enter Ian Moran.

The seldom-used Fahey has split to the Chicago Blackhawks while Alex Brooks has inked a contract with the St. Louis Blues.

With the loss of two mediocre defenders, Louie Lams kicked it into high gear, adding utility man Ian Moran.

So, uh, that’s like five billion semi-average defenders now, right?

Either Lou really wants a kick-butt Baby Devils or he thinks that signing all the 7th-defenders in the world will equal that of one solid top-four defenseman.

Crazy logic, eh?

New defensive techniques?I’d prefer to think he’s going for the first option.

Moran, 34, appeared in only one game last season with the Anaheim Ducks, registering no points and skating at a minus-one. He has previously played with Pittsburgh and Boston.

Alas, Fahey was a castoff and really of no use in New Jersey, so his departure doesn’t hurt. Neither does Brooks, who was merely used due to salary cap issues.

This is really a lateral move, folks. Nothing gained, nothing lost. I do see Moran as a Baby Devil, used only in an emergency basis. He is an upgrade over Fahey and Brooks, I think.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 169 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/21/devils-lose-fahey-brooks-add-moran/

Okay, let’s get the awkwardness of introductions out of the way, shall we?

No such thing as a 5 man advantage in hockey...until now!As you know by now, 2MA has beefed up it’s staff from two to five (wouldn’t that make it 5MA?). I am very proud and honored and so on and so forth to be a part of this very awesome site. This season is going to be all kinds of fun and I hope you all are looking forward to the ride as much as I am.

A bit of background information on myself: I’m 25 (well, in a week I will be anyway), a Devils fan since my first game in the ’92-’93 season. I’m also a writer, writing primarily for school newspapers as well as a huge academic research project for two years. And while new literacies and how video games have an impact on how children and teenagers learn in school may be interesting (or not), hockey is much more fun to write about. So here I am.n00b!

As Patricia outlined in the nifty graphic a post ago, I will be handling some live capping duties as well as commentary and general ranting. I may not post like crazy in the offseason (but I’ll try to chime in at least once a week, provided anything at all happens over the course of said week), but I promise you won’t be able to shut me up once the games get going.

I want to thank Patricia for giving me the chance to blog about the best team in the world on the best blog about the best team in the world. Which is now home to the best blog team in the world blogging about the best team in the world.

Dig?

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 175 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/20/teh-n00b/

YAYS!Oh boy, this is is a big one!

2 Man Advantage started out as my little baby that I immaculately conceived with Joe Bechtel not even one year ago. We gave baby lots of attention and love, keeping her warm at night and making sure she got her bottle when needed. She might have thrown a few temper tantrums and may have vomited all over our jerseys, but nothing stopped us from helping 2MA grow into the giant it is today.

Well, the time has come for our once-young baby to expand even more, and I am very excited to announce the addition of a writing staff to 2MA!

You read right — Darren and I will welcome three new members to the family.

I’d like you all to meet Josh Barnett and Tony Sullivan, the newest teammates on 2 Man Advantage. Josh and Tony are both very skilled writers who have tons and tons of knowledge about the game of hockey, and don’t you worry, they gots lots to say…s.

But wait…Patricia + Darren + Josh + Tony = …not five.

So, uh, who is our fifth member?

Well, folks, I am proud to announce the triumphant return of Joe Bechtel to our staff!

Folks, this is huge news here. I truly am so-amazingly-excited to bring Josh, Tony and Joe aboard. I really feel like we have something special here at 2MA and I can’t thank the readers enough for making this site what it is today. It’s an honor to write about the New Jersey Devils, and I know my partners feel the same way as I do.

This season is going to be a great one here at 2 Man Advantage — we will stop at nothing to bring you the most awesome writing we can possibly write.

Let’s just hope the Devils keep up their part of the deal, eh?

Check out the bio section (link opens in new window) to read up on the newest members of the 2MA Family.

Here is a nice breakdown of how the duties will be distributed come next season:

DUTIES!

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 272 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/16/site-news-site-news-site-news/

Long names are awesome.Okay, I think the Devils are attempting to carry the most mediocre defensemen in the history of the NHL.

Seriously.

So, let’s add Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre to the mix.

J-L G-P (that was awesome) has inked a contract with the Devils, as reported by the Hockey DB. (link opens in new window)

The 30-year-old utility man spent last season in Germany, netting nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 44 games. He last appeared in the NHL in 2003-04, enjoying a 13-game stint with the Washington Capitals. He has also played with the Atlanta Thrashers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres.

PATRICIA SAYS: Don’t fret folks, this is not a New Jersey Devils signing. Purely a depth move. Grand-Pierre will skate with the Baby Devils next season, easily taking the place of NHL-castoff Dan McGillis. A nice, bulky defender who can play at wing as well, G-P will toughen up a decisively weak Lowell lineup.

If nothing else, at least his name is awesome — come on, who doesn’t love a ridiculously long name?

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 214 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/16/the-stockpiling-continues-devils-add-grand-pierre/

Good enough for a repost.In news coming straight out of the “WTF Department, ” NHLPA.com is reporting that Grant Marshall is under contract with the New Jersey Devils for the 2007-08 season.

Uh, okay?

Marshall is slated to make $475, 000 next season.

The 34-year-old winger spent all of last season with the Baby Devils, tallying eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points in 59 games.

PATRICIA SAYS: Uh…huh? I hope this is a two-way contract at the least. Either Erik Rasmussen won’t be retained, or Lou merely signed Marshy out of pity. Don’t get me wrong, I am without-a-damn-doubt more than grateful for Marsh’s contributions, but dude is washed up now. He ain’t no NHL player, folks. At least, not anymore.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 247 user reviews.

http://www.2manadvantage.com/2007/07/15/grant-marshall-re-signed/