Friday, June 29, 2007


Salary Cap Increased

TSN is reporting that the NHL salary cap ceiling is increased to $50.3 million for the upcoming season. The salary cap floor is at $34.3 million.

This benefits New Jersey, allowing them to spend more money to get higher calibur players. Hopefully the team will remain under the cap enough to allow players to be called up from Lowell to replace injured players in the coming season. As great as it was to see the Devils play and win games with 16 players, I really don't want to have the Devils do that again.



Rupp Remains, Oduya May Not

In today's Star Ledger, Rich Chere brings some news related to Mike Rupp, Johnny Oduya, and Brian Rafalski. I think you should read it, but I'll summarize the article anyway:
  1. Mike Rupp signed a 2 year deal with $1 million. For $500k/year, I have no issue with Rupp remaining with the team. He brings some skill with some physical presence; a valid fourth line player. However, considering the recent signing of Jari Viuhkola and the possible emergence of some Lowell Devils (e.g. David Clarkson, Rod Pelley, Petr Vrana), I wonder how much action Rupp will be seeing in the future.
  2. The Devils are close to a deal with Brian Rafalski. Good. This means the Devils can focus on shoring up their offense - something that definitely needs to be addressed after a season where the team scored an average of 2.51 goals per game (that's 27th in the league).
  3. Johnny Oduya was not given a qualifying offer and will become an unrestricted free agent. I'm very confused by this. Oduya played well above expectations, in my opinion, and definitely showed he can play like a top 4 defenseman (especially when he had to for stretches this past season). All in his first NHL year. Does he need work on somethings? Of course, I'd like him to be more physical and work on his shot from the point; but he's definitely a keeper. The article states a rather odd quote from Lou Lamoriello:
    "Oduya was not qualified," general manager Lou Lamoriello confirmed. "There was no reason for the decision, but we will do everything we can on (Sunday) to sign him. We want to keep him."
  4. So why didn't Lou just offer him a qualifying offer and not have to worry about this? Does he want to sign Oduya for less money? How can there be no reason for the decision? Lou even says he wants to keep Oduya; this doesn't make any sense to me. So much so I put a separate number here.
Anyway, Paul Martin, Zach Parise, and Cam Janssen were all given qualifying offers so they will remain as restricted free agents. I can't imagine any team risking so much compensation for giving them an offer sheet, so suffice it to say, they will remain as Devils in the coming season. Well, as far as we know anyway.

The offseason of signing free agents officially begins next week. Where will Scott Gomez end up? Who will the Devils sign to replace Gomez should he leave? How unhappy will I be if that signing is not a #1 center or a player who is good enough to be a #1 center? Will the Devils address their issues on offense - which is more of a pressing need than, say, size or defense? All these questions and more will be answered quite soon.


Thursday, June 28, 2007


Scott Stevens is Going to Toronto!

The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto!

In what is one of the most stacked classes of inductees, the class of 2007 includes Scott Stevens, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, and Mark Messier. Jim Gregory will be inducted as a builder, namely for his work with Central Scouting Services. TSN has the full story on this as well as the date of induction: November 12.

Thanks to 2 Man Advantage for pointing it out first with a very obvious and worthy graphic.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Expect Rafalski to Stay

Tom Gulitti has an article in today's Bergen Record stating that Brian Rafalski would like to stay with the team. Here's a quote that really just sums it all up nicely:
Although that possibility looms, Rafalski's agent, Bill Zito, reiterated Monday that his client wants to remain a Devil and has instructed him to make sure that happens. Brian wants to stay, so we're going to do whatever we can to make it work," Zito said. Zito said he had a productive sit-down with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello while at the NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend.

While it's not a guarantee, generally players don't leave after their agents publicly state that their client wants to stay. Therefore, I think it's safe to expect Rafalski to remain in Devils red for the next season. Of course, nothing is official - I'm just saying it's probably highly unlikely for Rafalski to sign with some other team short of a wonder deal.

It's more beneficial that Rafalski remains with the Devils. He was the team's top defenseman in terms of goals (8), assists (47), plus/minus (+4), and most importantly average time on the ice (25:29). He's a two-way defenseman who's solid on the break outs, playing from the point, and playing sound positional hockey. Until Paul Martin or someone else steps up, he's the de facto #1 defenseman for New Jersey - a team who has been solid on defense. If Rafalski agrees to stay, that means the focus can be placed on the #1 center position (an absolutely vital hole that must be properly filled if/when Gomez signs with another team).

With free agency looming, there is much to look forward to and you can't do much worse than going to James Mirtle's blog. He notes that the salary cap ceiling is likely going to increase, but it's not clear to how much it will be increased. The higher, the better with respect to the Devils. He also has three absolutely useful lists for the upcoming unrestricted free agents (UFA), listing each player's points, their prior salary cap hit, their expected salary for next season, and where they would play. This post has lists for UFA centers and wingers; this post has a list for UFA blueliners. By that list, Rafalski is among the top UFA blueliners, so it's not as if he's expected to regress in the next few seasons.


Sunday, June 24, 2007


12 Years Ago...

The Devils achieved glory. Yes, 12 years ago to this date, the Devils won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. It took the New Jersey Devils 13 seasons and 16 post-season wins in 1995 to win the right to Lord Stanley's Cup. The official New Jersey Devils website has a little blurb about the day of Devils history.

I did a little looking into the Devils draft picks. By which I mean I went to Hockey Future's message boards. At the Devils' forums, some people found the following videos on YouTube. I found them as well after running a search on their names. I hope they don't mind me mentioning them here and there's not a lot, but it's better than none.
Well, I did say it wasn't much. I'm a bit surprised there wasn't anything on Vili Sopanen, as he did make Finland's World Junior Championships squad. Well, perhaps I shouldn't be as Sopanen put up no points in the six games he did play.

Again, it's a week before July 1, the day free agency begins. We should see Lou Lamoriello announce a new head coach soon. I would imagine that negotiating with free agents would become difficult if there is no head coach in place.


Saturday, June 23, 2007


The 2007 NHL Draft

The second through seventh rounds were just completed, bringing the 2007 NHL Entry Draft to a close.

This year's #1 overall pick was Patrick Kane of the London Knights selected by the Chicago Knights. New Jerseyan by way of Middletown James van Riemsdyk went second overall to the Philadelphia Flyers. He plans to go to University of New Hampshire, the college he committed to, for at least a year. Kyle Turris of Burnaby being selected third overall by Phoenix was a historic pick, the highest anyone from a Tier II junior league was ever drafted.

There were two major surprises: consensus top-10 picks Alexei Cherepanov (Omsk of the RSL) and Angelo Esposito (Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL) both fell quite a bit in this draft. Cherepanov fell to the New York Rangers at 17th overall; Esposito was finally drafted by Pittsburgh at 20th overall. I don't like those picks if only because both could become very talented and skilled forwards for rival teams for the Devils. In other unnecessary notes from the draft, the Washington Capitals (and their sharp new jerseys) nearly announced the wrong selection at the podium; 10 Americans were drafted in the first round; the best name out of the draft is Ben Blood (120th overall, defenseman, Ottawa); and the last selection was made by Columbus: Dublin, Ohio native and right winger Trent Vogelhuber.

The Devils did not have a first round draft pick, but made quite a few selections on the draft's second day. You can view the Devils' selections at and learn how large they are, where they are from, and what team they played for prior to the draft.

The only selection I have any information from is Mike Hoeffel. He was profiled in The Hockey News' 2007 NHL Draft Preview. While THN predicted he would go 27th overall, he's a project forward. The profile notes that he's a good skater, but his hockey sense is lacking - so one should not expect him to become a big scorer. Apparently, he's going to the University of Minnesota, so hopefully he'll develop further in the WCHA. Unfortunately, I do not know anything about Nick Palmieri, Corbin McPherson, Matt Halischuk, Vili Sopanen, and Ryan Molle. If any of you know anything about them outside of what has, I'd appreciate it.

All the same, the draft did not feature any blockbuster trades and my understanding is that this year's draft was on the weaker side. You can view all the selections from this draft (and all the way back to 2001) at Now it's time for the Devils to name a new head coach before the free agency period begins on July 1st (8 days from now).


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


15 to Remember

I cannot believe I missed this. Thanks to the Devils forum on HFBoards for pointing this out.

Fox Sports NY is airing a series called 15 to Remember, closing the celebration of the Devils' 25th season of existence in New Jersey. Starting tonight and every Wednesday night at 8 PM all the way through September, Fox Sports NY will air the 15 most memorable games from this past season.

The press release and the schedule for this is on the New Jersey Devils' main website.

That's right: hockey during the summer.

Granted, it's not new - just rebroadcasted footage. But still, it's Devils hockey. Tonight's game is the glorious 4-0 thrashing of the Carolina Hurricanes at the beginning of last season. If I recall correctly, that is the one where Carolina had a second Stanley Cup banner raising ceremony. Ah, good times.

All the games they are showing are definitely good ones for the Devils. You can tell with the lack of anything from November and the second round of the playoffs; not to mention four wins over the Rangers. Nice.



A Draft is Looming

An NHL Draft, that is.

This weekend is the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Columbus will be hosting the draft and Versus will be airing the first round this Friday (6/22) at 7 PM EST. TSN and the NHL Network will also air the first round. Just as a heads up, if you are fortunate to get the NHL Network, they will be airing the rest of the NHL Draft that will take place on Saturday starting at 10 AM EST. Hopefully, the NHL Network becomes available in the U.S. on DirecTV.

Aside: Do any of you fine readers have the NHL Network? If so, could you tell me what the NHL Network actually offers? I'm thinking perhaps vintage games, recaps, etc. not unlike the NFL Network.

If you can't tell the difference between potential #1 draft pick Patrick Kane and WWE Superstar Kane, don't worry. There are plenty of resources available online for you to get educated about the 2007 draft class. My understanding is that this year's crop of players isn't spectacularly deep in talent; however, you can't judge a draft class until about 5 years so for all I know these young men could become great players one day. If you're looking for an official NHL source complete with Central Scouting Services rankings and all sorts of additional information, the NHL website has a rather meaty section for this year's NHL Entry Draft. Official sources aside, the most comprehensive free site for prospects is Hockey's Future. All sorts of team specific draft previews, nationality specific previews (e.g. The top 10 Sweden prospects for the draft), prospect profiles (e.g. Angelo Esposito), and even a review of the 2007 NHL Draft Combine. Their message boards has an entire forum devoted to prospects and the draft. If you ever wanted to get opinions about, for example, who will be available in the third-round (note: the Devils have two of these), you may actually get a legitimate opinion in that regard.

There are all kinds of mock drafts available to get a feel for who will be selected in the first round. Via HFBoards, Red Line Report has put up a mock draft on USAToday's website which you can view here. The staff at Hockey's Future has their own mock draft up on their site. While the Devils do not have a first round pick, New Jersey-born James van Reimsdyk is projected to be a top 3 pick. Congratulations to van Riemsdyk; hopefully he becomes a great player, but not for, say, Philadelphia. Go West, young van Riemsdyk (heh). In any case, a mere 20 minutes of studying this and you'll be considerably more knowledgeable about the draft then most people.

Speaking of the Devils, while they don't have a first rounder and will not have their selection on television (aside from the NHL Network), James Ramsden of Hockey's Future has a solid preview of the Devils' current state of their prospects and where they can improve. I think it is a very fair assessment. I agree that there are not that many Devils prospects that display a lot of solid quality. Such is the result of drafting late in every round for the better part of the last 13 years or so, I think Ramsden recognizes that. However, I wouldn't go as far to state that the Devils have a lot of depth at defense and then state that there is a lack of quality there. Yes, none of the defensive prospects immediately jump out at you and say "Yes, I will be a future NHL regular." However, if I recall correctly, Matthew Corrente did impress at training camp, Mark Fraser did not look out of place in a few games with New Jersey this past season, and other players like Tyler Eckford has grown since being drafted. What I'm suggesting is that the Devils' defense prospects are a bit better than what Ramsden lets on. However, aside from the upsides of Nicklas Bergfors and Alexander Vasyunov, the Devils are quite weak at wing and they would do well to bolster that area either with draft picks or signing undrafted free agents.

That being said, expect the Devils to draft the best player available regardless of need. In hockey, prospects do take time (and need time) to develop and organizational needs are better suited to be met through other means (free agency, trades). With prospects, even a seemingly safe pick could become a bust. Given that the Devils do not have the luxury of an earlier pick in each round, this strategy is fairly sound (and successful when you consider Zach Parise, Paul Martin, Brian Gionta, and Travis Zajac as examples).

Anyway, if you're looking to see any kind of hockey on television before next season, this will likely be the last thing you'll get to see. Be sure to check out the the NHL Draft. I know I will despite the fact that the Devils won't be drafting anyone on Friday.

TELL THEM WHY: Pookie and Schnookie's Interchangeable Parts is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) of Devils-centric blogs on the Internet. And they want to hear from you. Well, first read their blog a bit, this way you would be a Gentle Reader(TM). You'd notice they are planning to list the 118 Reasons they Love Hockey. As it is they have plenty of solid reasons ranging from Jay Pandolfo to their mom to a very, very good reason to love hockey. However, they want to know why you (the aforementioned Gentle Reader(TM)) love hockey. So check out IPB and perhaps you'll be inspired to send them a reason of your own. I'll have a go at it in the near future.


Monday, June 18, 2007


2006-2007 Season in Review

Well, I put this off as long as I could. With the NHL Entry Draft coming up this weekend and the July 1 date looming in the near future, it's best to get this out of the way before all that then.

As a side note, I intend to have this post replace all the Devils of the Month posts; but those posts will be referenced here for easy access. Also, because I intend to stick all the Devils of the Month posts here, I won't go through the entire season with incredible detail. In any case, enough narrative, let's get into it about this season.

Now, I would like to say there are two metrics to describe this season. The first is the Stanley Cup. Lou Lamoriello, like every other team in the NHL, tries to put together a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup. Needless to say, the team did not win the Stanley Cup. By this metric alone, the Devils obviously did not succeed this season.

However, that's a very unrealistic metric as only one team can win the Stanley Cup and a vast majority of the teams wished they went as far as the Devils did this past season. The team finished with a record of 49 wins, 24 losses, and 9 overtime/shootout losses, a total of 107 points. The 49 wins is a franchise high, and the record secured the Devils' seventh Atlantic Division title.

Looking at the numbers, it's quite clear the Devils obtained so many wins through sound defense more than a potent offense. The Devils finished the season with an average of 2.51 goals scored per game (27th highest in the NHL), an average of 27.7 shots for per game (20th highest in the NHL), an average power play success rate of 17.7% (tied for 15th in the NHL - really), and a total of 216 goals scored. The total of 216 goals is only higher than Philadelphia, Columbus, Chicago, and Edmonton and is exactly the same amount as Phoenix.

Looking at individual efforts, the team's leading scorer was Patrik Elias who scored 21 goals and 48 assists for 69 points in 75 games. Elias was expected to put up big numbers and unfortunately he had trouble finding his offensive groove at times during the season. The same can be said for Brian Gionta who fell from 48 goals and 41 assists to 25 goals and 20 assists in 62 games; and Scott Gomez lost his shot as his totals dipped from 33 goals and 54 assists to 13 goals and 47 assists in 72 games. Needless to say, the EGG unit did not scramble, crack, beat, nor poach too many opposing goaltenders too many times.

That is not to say everything was dreary on offense. This season saw the rise of a legitimate second line. Prior to this season, a big question mark was penciled in at the second line center position. Of all players and prospects, 2004 first round selection Travis Zajac stepped up and stepped up big displaying seemingly instant chemistry with Zach Parise. The rookie contributed 17 goals and 25 assists while showing a lot of promise in 80 games with the Devils. Zach Parise blossomed in his second season with the Devils in every facet of the game, adding 30 points to his rookie total of 32. Parise finished as the team's top goal scorer with 31 goals (along with 31 assists). The line was complete as Jamie Langenbrunner got promoted into a more offensive role, responding with 23 goals and 37 assists. The line has been given many names: ZZ Pop, the PZL line, the Pretzel line, the Puzzle line, etc. No matter what you call them, they stepped up with production even on nights when no one else seemingly could do so for New Jersey.

However, the Devils had additional woes outside of offense. The Devils were already put right up to the salary cap ceiling due to the signings of Elias, Gionta, and others. It got to the point where the Devils traded a first round pick and the rights to Vladamir Malakhov to San Jose Sharks and players (Richard Matvichuk) had to be placed on long term injured reserve. These moves had to be made, or else the Devils would have remained above the salary cap - which would have surely led to severe punishments. This problem kept returning when the Devils were hit by the proverbial injury bug and on some nights had to play with a shortened bench because they did not have the cap space to call up a player from Lowell. Nor call up Andy Greene permanently, as the Devils had to trade David Hale at the trade deadline to make room for Greene.

That said, the Devils were obviously very successful during the regular season. Despite the lackluster offense, their defense was absolutely solid all year round save for the playoffs. Only 201 goals allowed with an average of 2.35 goals against per game (5th best in the NHL); an average of 28.4 shots allowed per game (tied-6th best in the NHL); and a penalty kill success rate of 85.2% (4th best in the NHL) The blueline was led once again by Brian Rafalski, leading all Devils defensemen from the point with 8 goals and 47 assists as well as in ice time with an average of 25:29. Similar to Parise, Paul Martin showed a lot of improvement this season as a two-way defenseman, taking on more responsibilities and minutes with an average of 25:14 on the ice. Despite taking 69 mostly stupid penalty minutes and some injures, Colin White still displayed his worth as a physical defensive defenseman. Just ask Sean Avery if you don't believe me. What helped the Devils give up a mere 201 goals was also the emergence of Johnny Oduya. Straight out of the Swedish Elite League, Oduya stepped into the NHL as if he's been playing there for years looking poised for the majority of time he's been with the Devils this season. Brad Lukowich improved his play from last season and even looked good from time to time. The sixth spot was a rotatable spot among various players, but ultimately it was won by Andy Greene who was signed right out of Miami University in the last off season. Greene is a two-way defenseman, who showed a lot of promise from the point in the 23 games he did get with New Jersey. I'm sure he'll show a lot more with a full NHL season. Richard Matvichuk eventually did get to play for the Devils, primarily in the playoffs as the only solid defender for the Devils in the post-season.

The playoffs were definitely not as sweet as the regular season. The top forwards of both Tampa Bay and Ottawa dominated the Devils' otherwise strong defense. While Jay Pandolfo was good enough to be a Selke finalist (best defensive forward) and John Madden still remained as one of the top checking centers in the league, they were not as effective in the post season. Matvichuk's physical play was a relief in the first round against Tampa Bay, but it was not enough against Ottawa. Incidentally, what got the Devils through Tampa Bay was the offense finding its "on" switch. They definitely flipped it on as Gomez, Gionta, and Elias were among playoff scoring leaders early. More importantly, it was crucial in defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in 6 games. Unfortunately, they and the rest of the team forgot that switch as the Ottawa Senators dismantled the Devils in 5 games.

Come to think of it, the regular season itself was no short of drama by the end. Rumors swirled about Matvichuk and the salary cap. The Penguins made a late push for the Atlantic Division title. Former head coach Claude Julien was fired with three games left in the season, with Lou Lamoriello stepping behind the bench for the second time in two seasons. The end of the Continental Airlines Arena was approaching and eventually came, as the Prudential Center was being built. Unfortunately, the Devils last game of the entire 2006-2007 season ended in a tough 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators in what was the Devils final game in East Ruthersford, New Jersey. No Stanley Cup, no new coach (yet), and questions swirling about whether unrestricted free agents Gomez and Rafalski will test the market.

Still, one reflects upon the September pre-season, the beginning in October, the days of November and December, the new year beginning in January, the shortened month of February, the playoff push of March, the end of one season and the beginning of the important season of April, and the abrupt end of the season in May. Namely because this is the season of the Devils. Of course, if a Devils fan needs to focus on any one thing and wants to find a reason this season should not be thrown into the trash heap of New Jersey Devils history, then there is only one. (Note: all the months in review are linked here)

The Highlander.

Nah, I'm talking about Martin Brodeur. And these are the reasons why Brodeur was really the main reason why the Devils have accomplished so much this recent season.

78 games played; a new NHL record in minutes played with 4,696 minutes; the third best goals against average of 2.18; the third best save percentage with 92.2%; the league leader in shutouts with 12; the league leader in saves with 2,011; 33 wins in one-goal games; his 6th 40+ win season; and the new NHL record for most wins in the regular season with 48 (record: 48-23-7). Brodeur was a Hart Memorial Trophy finalist, selected to start for the 2007 NHL All Star Game, the MVP of the New Jersey Devils for the ninth time, finished second all-time in wins (494), named to the All-NHL First Team, and won his third Vezina trophy for the league's best goaltender. Clearly, Brodeur was not just the most consistent Devil all season nor just the cornerstone to the team's success. Brodeur absolutely dominated the NHL this season, bringing a lot of success to the team. For what it's worth, it should be clear who my pick is for the best Devil of the season.

No, the Devils did not win the Stanley Cup; but Devils fans should be proud that the 2006-2007 season the Devils were yet again a contender thanks in large part to Brodeur. If we are to assign titles to a season, I'd have to go with the following:

The 2006-2007 Season: Brodeur's Domination

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Brodeur Makes it Three

Congratulations are in order for Martin Brodeur. He has won his third Vezina trophy, which is given to the NHL's most outstanding goaltender of the season. How can this be? Brodeur set a new NHL record in wins with 48, which is exhibit A for his Vezina victory. When you also consider his 33 one-goal wins, 12 shutouts, and being among the best (if not the best) in all statistical categories for goaltenders, it's easy to see why Brodeur deserved the Vezina.

Jay Pandolfo finished third in the Frank J. Selke trophy behind Rod Brind'Amour and Sami Pahlsson. Brodeur finished in third behind Sidney Crosby and Roberto Luongo.

Again, congratulations to Brodeur for winning the Vezina trophy.


Saturday, June 09, 2007


Important Dates

Now that the NHL season is over, there are a couple of dates to be aware of that are of importance to the New Jersey Devils.

June 14, 7 PM EST - NHL Awards Show

The New Jersey Devils have a couple of awards they could win. Jay Pandolfo is a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the season's best defensive forward. Martin Brodeur is the one who has the most to gain. In addition to being a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the season's best goaltender, Brodeur is also a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL's most valuable player. While I don't have inside sources or anything, I would think Brodeur is going to have at least one trophy by the end of the night.

Interchangeable Parts plans to live-blog the awards ceremony as soon as they know when it'll be on TV. Given that it's this upcoming week, I would hope we'll know soon. Nothing on Versus' website, but they will air one thing later this month.

June 22, 7:30 PM EST - 2007 NHL Draft

Yes, the NHL Draft is upon us. has plenty of information about the big event, where prospects are selected to become the future of the league. Versus will only air the first round; it's my understanding that only the first round will take place on the 22nd. The 23rd will host rounds 2 through 7. The Devils do not have a first round draft pick, having traded it to San Jose as part of the deal to get Vladamir Malakhov off the salary cap. Unless I'm mistaken, the Devils will pick 27th in every successive round, so it will be up to David Conte and his crew to find late gems. It's my understanding that this draft is all over the place with some projected late first rounders easily becoming second round picks; so it's certainly possible. If you're not sure who is available in the draft or who is projected where, I highly recommend checking out Hockey's Future and their extensive message boards about prospects. Going to your local supermarket or bookstore to get The Hockey News' 2007 Draft Preview is also not a bad idea. (Note: THN 's website also has links and rankings from Central Scouting Services and International Scouting Services for additional information.)

July 1 - The Offseason Truly Begins

July 1 is when teams can start signing unrestricted free agents. Hopefully by this date, the Devils will have named a new head coach. In addition, it'll be worth seeing whether the Devils make a move for a new #1 center - something they will need if Gomez is gone - or give Scott Gomez a sweet deal to return.

Then it's on to September when training camp begins. Until then, we wait.

IN THE MEANTIME, WATCH THIS: Sandman441 has recorded a couple of commercials featuring Scott Gomez. Gomez has been running a regular golf tournament in Anchorage, Alaska for his foundation, the Scotty Gomez Foundation, and it finally has a commercial. If you ever wanted to see Scott Gomez in some serious argyle, now is your chance. Thanks Sandman.


Thursday, June 07, 2007


Ducks Win Their First Cup

Congratulations are in order for the Anaheim Ducks. They have successfully won the most difficult championship in all of sports: the Stanley Cup. Last night, they have defeated the Ottawa Senators by a score of 6-2 (link goes to the recap at The game was the clincher for Anaheim and they certainly showed that they were the superior team throughout the series. This is their first Stanley Cup and the first Stanley Cup to be won by a team on the West Coast of North America (sorry L.A. and Vancouver).

Former Devils legend and future Hall of Famer Scott Neidermayer won the Conn Smythe trophy. Truly he was the MVP of the playoffs as he led the Ducks to glory. While he did not put up big numbers (3 G, 8 A in 21 games), the two-way defenseman was a rock in his own end while being a threat on offense. This victory gives Neidermayer his fourth Stanley Cup win, something very few people have ever accomplished in hockey.

Again, congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks for their most successful season.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Andy Greene Remains a Devil

Not that the New Jersey Devils were planning to release him. Anyway, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record has a short article stating that Andy Greene has been re-signed for 2 years.

Interestingly, the deal is worth a total of $1.2 million over 2 years. That's right, Greene took a pay cut to stay with the Devils. Last season, he was making $850,000 on a two-way deal; a reason why he did not become a starter on the Devils roster right out of training camp last season. This deal is a one-way deal; so Greene has that going for him. A savings of $250k to the salary cap may not be much, but every little bit helps.

That's one restricted free agent out of the way, time for Lou to look at giving others, such as Paul Martin and Zach Parise, some well-deserved raises.


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