Shanny Re-Ups

I have been a terribly lazy blogger this summer. And for that, I’m…well, not that sorry. But sorry nonetheless.

But something has dragged me out of the blogger doldrums. Mr. Gulitti on his Fire & Ice blog reports (at 5:30 AM, no less – hardcore, TG, hardcore!) that the Devils and Brendan Shanahan have agreed to a one0year deal and that Shanny will be in training camp when it opens in September.

Why is this awesome? Well, because I bought a $30 Brendan Shanahan St. Patrick’s Day tee-shirt last year and I want it to be relevant for more than two months.

But more importantly, it gives the Devils a little veteran leadership on the bottom lines, a guy who can play left or right wing (probably right), and a PP/PK specialist. I don’t know what the Devils are planning, but I could totally live with Shanny on special teams and the 4th line. Absolutely could live with that.

The drawbacks? Well, he IS kind of old. Will he break down? I guess that depends on how Mr. Lemaire chooses to use Shanny. Again, my vote here is 4th line and PP/PK specialist. But I guess we shall see. I like the signing though. I like it quite a bit.

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Also, I suppose I owe everyone the ZubbieCounterContest voting, eh? Well, the Zubbies (as named by 2MA reader Kevin B. has dubbed them) will be coming before the season starts. Probably late August (I know, I know I said May/June. I lied. Sorry.)

Hiya Vrana!

It’s four games into the season, and the Devils have scored six goals. It’s four games into the season, and the Devils have a .750 winning percentage. Welcome to New Jersey Devils hockey, everybody. Same as it ever was.

So the Devils make do with next to no goals. And it looks like that continues tonight in Washington, as Brian Rolston – you know, the power play quarterback the team signed over the summer – out with a high ankle sprain. The Devils are playing it typically close-to-the-vest on Rolston, saying they’ll see what happens, but for comparison’s sake, Sidney Crosby missed nearly two months last season with a high ankle sprain. I’m not saying it’ll be the same for Rolston, but…it could be.

So in the meantime, Devils fans not living in Massachusetts will get a regular-season look at Petr Vrana, who’ll make his NHL debut tonight, likely alongside Dainus Zubrus and Patrik Elias. Vrana’s been in the system for three years now, finally making the team out of training camp this season.

So what’s to be expected out of young mister Petr? It depends on who you ask. Some out there are saying it’s about damn time, that Vrana will be a great addition to the front line and will go a long way in solving our scoring woes.

By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll understand that I am not one of those people.

My question of Petr’s is simple. As Homer Simpson once asked of Johnny Appleseed, “If he’s so smart, then why is he dead?” So I ask, if Petr’s so good, why haven’t we seen him sooner?

Vrana’s spent three years in Albany and Lowell, tallying his best point total last year (20-41-61). Aberration, or finally coming into his own? I hope the latter, I fear the former. Prior to last year’s campaign, the highest point total Vrana notched was in his lone year in Albany, topping out with 35 points.

He made the team out of training camp this year, yes. But while he did have a good pre-season, I think it’s safe to say that he made the team more likely because of his waiver status – if the Devils wanted to send him back down to Lowell, they ran the risk of losing him entirely to waivers. Rod Pelley was not subject to waivers, thus is why he’s currently with the L-Devs.

I hope that Vrana proves to be a great player. I hope that he gives Lou and Brent some things to think about when Rolston’s healed. I just hope that we, as a fan base, are not expecting too much of him. He hasn’t proved much to me yet stats-wise. I hope that changes, starting tonight.

Now watch, he’ll probably pull a Fabian Brunnstrom and net a hat trick in his NHL debut. What was that I was just saying about expectations…?

The home stretch

Why oh why cant there me more Michael Ramos’ out there for us to torment? Would like to issue our sincerest apologies for the lack of action on 2ma recently, but there just hasn’t been anything to report on.

Nonetheless, things should certainly rev up by the end of the month as the youngins will report to training camp September 15.  Not a lot of room on the big boy team, but Matthew Corrente, Niklas Bergfors, Fedor Fedorov, Matt Halischuk et al. should make a strong case for wiggling themselves in there.

That should be enough excitement to rip 2ma out of the doldrums and rev us up for the coming season, so keep checking back in the coming weeks as we try to whip ourselves into form for another year.

Later, Vish.

The Devils seem to be poised to open training camp with a plethora of mediocre defensemen ready to patrol the blueline, but today the weeding has begun… Vitaly Vishnevski has become the first blueline-casualty as he has been placed on Waivers.

I can’t say I’m surprised, it seemed like Vish was constantly lost when on the ice last season, and often found himself a healthy scratch. His biggest fault in my eyes was constantly taking himself out of position because he was looking to lay a big hit. It’s been his Achilles ever since he was drafted (Anaheim/1998).

Well, there’s a spot open on the blueline – which will definitely make training camp that much more exciting.

Did this move open the door for Matt Corrente… ?