I Just Couldn’t Resist. Again.

Ya know, it really is funny. It seems like the newest fad in the hockey blogosphere is to grab a keyboard and wax poetic about how the Devils just destroy the game, disappoint hockey naturalists, sport lousy attendance, and simply aren’t getting it done anymore. But as we learned last time, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have at least…I don’t know… watched a live hockey game before you plunge right in and scrap together a literary abortion. After all, it really isn’t fair to ask someone to resist temptation twice.

Let’s take a little trip over to Arthur Staple’s latest, shall we? Go ahead… I’ll give you a few.

Ok. Changed your underpants? Good, let’s go.

As a Devils’ fan, I’m obviously used to reading such poorly-written, devoid-of-substance attacks against one of the NHL’s most successful teams. However, I must admit that this is the first time I have read a piece focusing on playoff success in November. Really, Arthur? You’re going to sit at your little cubicle and write an article about the NHL Playoffs… in November?!

Brilliant. Well, your first self-contradiction comes with a statement that Lou Lamoriello “has it wrong” and that he’s “had it wrong since the lockout… even though the Devils have won three Atlantic Division titles in those four seasons.” (Could this be a test market for Microsoft’s new “does-this-make-sense?” feature?!) But wait, it gets better: Mr. Staple even makes his very own “trap” comment.

Arthur, seriously — you wouldn’t know the ol’ 1-2-2 if it kicked in your bathroom door and video-taped you reading Parade Magazine while you were waiting for the generous amount of Rogaine you graciously applied to your testicles to dry. I know this because had you recognized any trace of the “trap”, you would have easily detected it when the Rangers, Islanders, Penguins, Flyers, Capitals, Bruins, and Panthers executed it all year long. But no, no criticism of the sexy NHL clubs.

Oh look, kids — Brodeur comments, too?! How original, Arthur. Oh! You realized he got hurt last year, very good!

But Lou didn’t have a backup plan?

Really? I thought Scott Clemmensen came in and won a few games (or twenty-something) for the team and led them to an Atlantic Division championship? But ya know, Lou had no idea what he was doing. After all, Clemmensen was just signed to be a towel boy that happened to be an NHL-caliber goaltender. Who knew.

But when it’s down to the playoffs, the Devils only have Parise, Zajac, and Martin. No other Devils capable of taking a game on their shoulders, you say? My records show Langenbrunner, Pandolfo, Greene, and Clarkson — in addition to Parise and Zajac — all with registered playoff game-winners since 2006. Not to mention many from ex-Devils Gomez, Madden, and Gionta.

Sure, roster moves and player exits have caused holes to be “plugged” in New Jersey and Brian Rolston and Dainius Zubrus have filled those roles. Why? Because they want to be here. It isn’t about the money or the Broadway lights. It’s about playing a system that year after year proves itself to be one of the best in the league. Sure, the Devils have fallen on dark times in recent playoff years. But as I recall, the same string of disappointments befell the team in the late 90’s. After all was said and done, and numerous carbon-copied recycled bullcrap from “writers” like yourself — the Devils would go on to advance to the Stanley Cup finals in three of the next four seasons, winning the Stanley Cup twice.

Arthur, you can’t look me in the eye and tell me that Lou Lamoriello has no idea what he is doing. While the goal and the philosophy may stay the same year in and year out, master plans aren’t instantaneous in professional sports. Could these Devils be a part of a bigger puzzle? Who knows? I don’t have ESP, and neither do you.

Which is why you shouldn’t be writing this type of crap in November.

Better Late Than Never.

2ManAdvantage.com’s Tip of the Day #412: Don’t kick your cab driver’s ass over $0.27 cents when your annual salary is $875,000.

I’m sure this priceless piece of information was buried somewhere within the paperwork of Kane’s contract, he just hasn’t learned to read the fine print so early in his NHL career.

Not a gallant way to make a name for yourself in your sport. Unless of course you were going for the whole Carl Everett thing.

Grow up, Mr. Kane.

***

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Thank you, Kristyn, for the inspiration.

F(ree Agency) This.

Us Devils fans are a naive bunch.

It’s the only period over the course of a seemingly never-ending summer that a hockey fan can get their fix. Free Agency. It’s irresistible to wonder over the possibilities of who could be lacing up their skates in your building come October.

Could Marian Hossa be coming to town? Nope – Chicago locked him up forever. Maybe sniper Mike Cammalleri will be suiting up in Black ‘N Red next year? Nah, he’d rather Blue ‘n Red. Havlat? Nope. Gaborik? Ha. Niedermayer coming home?? Pshh. Perhaps we could bolster the blueline with guys like Mike Komisarek or Mattias Ohlund? Nien. Ok, we’re obviously saving money for Koivu… or not.

But I’ll tell you what we can do… We can say goodbye to one-third of our starting forwards and wish good will to the goaltender who saved our arses last season. Wait…wha?!

So thus far it’s a big See Ya! to John Madden, Brian Gionta, Bobby Holik, Scott Clemmensen, and Mike Rupp. And a great big how-do-ya-do to… Ilkka Pikkarainen.

Ugh.

Last year it seemed as if Lou was trying to reunite the rosters of glory days-past. This year, the reunion will be ending with an awkward and uncomfortable orientation.

But, then again — it’s Free Agency and we’re Devils fans.

I mean, really.

Hey, It’s the Off-Season.

I don’t now if global warming has anything to do with it, but the summer seems to be getting a little longer. Well, at least for us Devils fans it is.

The summertime is always a fun time to go through old hockey video clips and just talk puck with your buddies in anticipation of the new season.

Well, how about a little reminiscing, eh?

Oh, Mr. Richer. To this day you are still my favorite Devil of all-time, hands down. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a team like I did the boys in Black ‘n Red all the way back in 1995.

Not a bad pass by Broten, either. 😉

Peter Zezel Passes Away at Age 44

The hockey world has lost one of its most beloved journeymen today, and one of my personal childhood favorites. Peter Zezel has passed away after a long battle with a rare blood disorder known as Haemolytic Anaemia.
Peter Zezel
Peter was mostly known for his success and tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but among his many stops he briefly called New Jersey his home. Although he played only 23 games for the Devils, he recorded six assists and fans took very kindly to him — a symbol of the type of person he was both on and off the ice. His NHL career spanned 15 seasons and landed him not only in Toronto and New Jersey, but also St. Louis, Washington, Dallas, and Vancouver. He even made an appearance in the classic hockey movie Youngblood.

It seems to me that more and more professional athletes – hockey players especially – are passing away entirely too early for people that realistically are in peak physical condition for most of their lives. It’s almost ironic in a very tragic way.

TSN reports the Zezel family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Peter’s name to the James Birrell Fund at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. For those that are interested in donating, checks should be made be payable to “The James Fund” and can be mailed to:

The James Fund
625 Whitaker Street #4
Peterborough, ON
K9H 7L5
Canada



Rest In Peace, Peter, and thank you for your dedication to the greatest game on earth. You will be missed.

Well Done.

The team might as well board the plane to game 7 right now… Considering they never even left the locker room to begin with.

Way to go guys.

Erectile Dysfunction & the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

So. New Jersey and Carolina. Why does this sound so familiar and why do I have only bad memories of past playoff series’ between these two? Whether you think back to 2002 or 2006, both years still leave a bad taste in my mouth. Given the way the Devils have sized up with the Hurricanes throughout this year’s Regular Season, you can probably understand why I’m having a hard time “getting up” for this year’s playoff match-up.


(USEFUL REMINDER: I am a pessimist.)

To a certain extent, it’s almost unfair. Roll back to February. The Devils had just come off a weekend that saw them roll over the #1 and #2 teams in the league… without Martin Brodeur. I don’t think things could have looked any better for the Devils at that point. The offense resembled the year 2001 and the rest of the team was playing solid, near-flawless hockey. The boys from Newark were the talk of the league. At that point, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the Devils were still standing come June.

Don't worry, they're legal. FAST FORWARD — Newark, NJ: Present Day. The Devils are slowly recovering from a hellacious two weeks and are stumbling into the playoffs only to match-up with a team that they have had nearly no success against all season long. The team defense — especially the PK — has been abnormally weak as of late, the PP seems to have fallen into the abyss, and the rest of the offense can’t seem to get anything going without the help of some faulty glass-assembly.

At this point, it seems as if this season was just one giant tease that left us all a little frustrated in the end. Despite all the records that have fallen and the plethora of memories that will be taken from this year’s campaign, the outlook, to me, is grim at best. The Devils may be the favorite on paper, but Carolina has New Jersey licked on the ice.

Regardless, I will be supportive. The Devils have shown many a critic (myself included) that their foot belongs in their mouth, and that no meal is finer than crow. I can only hope this flicker is only part of the wildfire that we are about to witness over (hopefully) the next several months.

With that being said, break out the rally towels and put away those razors.

It’s playoff time!!

Hope You Were Paying Attention!

So everyone caught the Coyote Beat-down last night, correct-a-mundo? (I’m trying so hard not to make a Coyote-Ugly joke right now.)

Well, I hope you were paying attention… especially around, say, the 7:11 mark of the second period.

After the last time around, I can’t wait to see what ends up in our mailbox this time.

[email protected] — BEGIN!!! Zubmissions will be cut-off Sunday night at 5pm EST!

LIVE COVERAGE! :: DEADLINE DAY 2009

Here we go!! It’s a day that is always as hectic as it is fun, and we’ll be bringing all the coverage we can, right here — LIVE!

Late breaking reports this morning are that perhaps one of the biggest names being tossed around — Chris Pronger — has been taken off the market. That may put a damper on today’s festivities but hey, stranger things have happened.

Refresh this page often as we will be posting trade updates as they break as well as commentary, comment responses, and other tidbits throughout the day.

Enjoy!

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3:04PM EST


New York Rangers acquire D Derek Morris.

Phoenix acquires Dmitri Kalinin, Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha.


JOSH SAYS: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!


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2:49PM EST


Toronto acquires 2009 2nd Round Pick & Condition Pick.

New York Rangers acquires Nik Antropov.


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2:46PM EST


Phoenix acquires Scottie Upshall, 2009 2nd Round Draft Pick.

Philadelphia acquires Daniel Carcillo.


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2:10PM EST


Pittsburgh acquires F Bill Guerin

New York Islanders acquire 2009 5th Round Draft Pick. [The Pick will become a 4th Round Pick should PIT qualify for the Playoffs, and will improve to a 3rd Round Pick should PIT win a Playoff Round.]


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1:27PM EST


Boston acquires F Mark Recchi, 2010 2nd Round Draft Pick.

Tampa Bay acquires Matt Lashoff, Martins Karsums.


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12:43PM EST


Phoenix acquires Matt Lombardi, Brandon Prust, 2009 1st Round Draft Pick.

Calgary acquires Olli Jokinen, 2009 3rd Round Draft Pick.


Steve Says: I don’t like Jokinen, he looks like an angry baby. Nonetheless, I’m glad we won’t have to worry about Calgary til the Stanley Cup, ‘cos any team that gets the Flames in a playoff series ain’t getting out without a pile of bruises with the likes of Phaneuf, Bertuzzi and now Olli on their squad.

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12:41PM EST


Boston acquires D Steve Montador

Anaheim acquires F Petteri Nokelainen


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12:26PM EST

    ::: WAIVER ROUND-UP :::

Toronto claims G Martin Gerber, Eric Reitz off Waivers.

Dallas Claims C Brendan Morrison off Waivers.

Pittsburgh claims Craig Adams off Waivers. Miroslav Satan clears Waivers.

Aaron Voros has cleared Waivers.


———-

12:14PM EST


Buffalo acquires G Mikael Tellqvist

Phoenix acquires 2010 4th Round Draft Pick

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11:51AM EST


Pittsburgh acquires D Andy Wozniewski

St. Louis acquires D Danny Richmond

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11:44AM EST:


Colorado acquire Lawrence Nycholat, D Ryan Wilson, 2009 2nd Round Draft Pick

Calgary acquires Jordan Leopold

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10:48AM EST:

Buffalo has re-signed C Tim Connolly to a two-year extension worth $4.5 million per season.

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10:17AM EST:

Ottawa has re-signed D Filip Kuba to a 3-year contract worth $3.7 million per season.

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9:59AM EST:


Ottawa Senators acquire G Pascal Leclaire.

Columbus acquires Antoine Vermette, 2009 2nd Round Draft Pick.


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9:22AM EST:

LA Kings have signed D Sean O’Donnell to a contract extension. Terms were not disclosed.

DEADLINE DAY 2009 :: 2MA STYLE!

Well, here we are! A hockey fan’s second Christmas — the NHL Trade Deadline is upon us.

Just like a little kid waiting for St. Nick, I’ve sat up a little later than I probably should have.

Be sure to join Josh, Stephen, (I KNOW!!) Scott, & Myself for a helluva good time. We’ll be covering D-Day in typical 2MA fashion — which means we will frantically try to keep you up-to-the-minute with trades and that so-good-it-must-be-fattening 2MA banter. I’m sure we’ll inevitably end up crashing the site a few times as well, as we all try to monkey around with the HTML at the same time.


I’ll be up bright and early, see you guys around 10am!