Thoughts on Ryane Clowe Contract

The New Jersey Devils agreed with free agent power forward Ryane Clowe on a 5 year $24.25 million contract on Friday. 

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When I woke up on Friday morning, checked twitter and I saw that the Devils were the front runners to sign Clowe because they knew that Clarkson was not coming back, I had mixed feelings. Not because I wanted Clarkson back because I certainly did not. (You can read about it in my previous post.)http://my.hockeybuzz.com/…87&post_id=15074 

Clowe is coming off of a concussion and they are always tricky to figure out when the player is completely healthy. He also had a down year last year and it seems as though he might not get back to the high point production he had in his earlier years in San Jose. The money also did not sit right with me as it seemed to be a little bit too much for him.

Only time will tell if he is worth the money that he is getting paid, but I am very excited for next season. It was an exhilarating week for all Devil fans with the big moves that the front office made. Let’s hope that none of them backfire.

 

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Who is Myles Bell?

Who is Myles Bell? I believe that was every New Jersey Devils fan’s reaction when he was drafted in the sixth round, 160th overall, on Sunday. If you look up his stats from the past season, you will find that he was recently converted from defense to forward, he had 38 goals, 55 assists for a total of 93 points in just 69 games. That is A LOT of points for someone taken in the 6th round. Why did he slip so far? 

We learned yesterday in an article from The Star Ledger’s Rich Chere, that Myles was in a fatal car crash that killed a young woman who was in the passenger seat when he was only 18. While this is a tragedy I am happy that Myles is being given a second chance. 

What you will also read in the article is how he has one of the hardest slap shots you will ever see from someone of his size (6’0). At 17 years old it was clocked at 98 MPH. Now the big question is what do the Devils do with him?
 
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I know the Devils will wait until after rookie camp to make their decision, but at 20 years old, I would REALLY like to see him on the AHL team. Seeing as he dominated the WHL last year, it would be a good idea for him to get action in a more physical and faster league to see how he handles it. Could you imagine himself and Reid Boucher on the same line putting up the same numbers that they did this past season? Scary thought for every team in the league. 

I am ecstatic to see what Myles Bell can do on the ice because he looks really special on paper. A diamond in the rough one might say. We will see what he is really made of on July 15th-19th at the Devils rookie camp.

New Destination for Hedberg

The New Jersey Devils stole the show yesterday at the 2013 NHL Draft held at the Prudential Center in Newark. They traded away their first round draft pick to the Vancouver Canucks for goaltender Cory Schneider. With Schneider now coming to New Jersey it makes their goaltending situation for the future less questionable than before. The organization is extremely excited for Cory’s arrival except for one player, Johan Hedberg.

Johan had a rough season last year when Martin Brodeur went down with a back injury. Although it wasn’t his best season, he is still a very reliable backup goaltender in this league. He is also a great teammate and well respected in the locker room. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello will have to sit down with Hedberg within the next few days to discuss the future of his career because Hedberg does have a no trade clause in his contract. rnrnIf Johan elects to waive his no trade clause, here are some teams that I could see him going to.

Chicago
Coming off of a 17-1-0 season, Ray Emery was found riding the bench for the Blackhawks during their run to winning a second Stanley Cup in four years. Philadelphia is expected to make a big push for Emery to come back for another stint in the black and orange during free agency. If Emery does move on to a new team, Hedberg would be a great backup to Crawford who will look to increase his work load this season.

Nashville
Pekka Rinne is one of the best goalies in the league right now, and he plays a lot of games for the Predators. Along with the many games he will start for Nashville he is in a battle with Boston’s Tuukka Rask to start for Finland in the 2014 Winter Olympics. With no backup goalie signed for next season, Hedberg could be a great goalie to give Rinne some much needed rest during the back to back games during the season.

Calgary
Oh boy do the Flames need help in net with Miikka Kiprusoff retiring. Adding Hedberg would help them out in the short term while they search for a long term solution. I doubt Hedberg would waive his NTC to go to Calgary though.

Philadelphia
This is a highly unlikely circumstance as the Flyers will desperately try to sign either Emery, Nabokov, or even trade for a goalie. But if they miss in free agency and cannot find a suitable trade partner for a goalie, then look for Holmgren to be taking a drive up the Turnpike to request for Hedberg’s services. 

I do feel bad for Hedberg, because he has been a great back up for the Devils during his time in New Jersey. It’s unfortunate that if he cannot be traded he will have to be bought out of the remaining one year on his contract, and his career could potentially be over if no one offers him a contract. I do hope that he lands in a good environment with the potential to play some meaningful games.  Best of luck “Moooose”

Devils Edge Islanders For First Win Of The Season

The Devils got out to a great start to their season as they won their first game by a score of 2-1 over the New York Islanders. The goals were scored by Travis Zajac and David Clarkson. Mattias Tedenby, Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Henrik Tallinder all picked up one assist. Marty Brodeur was fantastic between the pipes as usual, and I thought he could easily have had a shutout if it was not for a mental breakdown on the powerplay early in the third period.Image

(David Clarkson celebrates his game winning goal in the third period)

Aside from the breakdown on the powerplay I thought we looked great tonight. Two Devils that really surprised me on how well they played were Mattias Tedenby and  Stephan Matteau. Tedenby is coming off an awful season last year where he just could not find his game at all. Tonight he was not afraid to get into the corners and battle for the puck. He also had an excellent chance to score in the first period where he roofed a backhand over the net on a breakaway. I believe that he will contribute to the Devils in a huge way this year if he continues to play at this level. Stephan Matteau did not look out of place at all tonight as he played in his first career NHL game. He threw his body around effectively, got himself in position for some decent scoring chances, and played pretty good defense. Personally I would like to keep him on the Devils this year but I do believe he will be sent back down to his junior team after the first five games are over.

All in all it was a good win for the Devils tonight. As the season goes on we will dust off the cobwebs and click more as a unit. But I should also mention that the Kings, Rangers and Flyers all lost today. Its a good day to be a Devils fan!

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(Ilya Kovalchuk congratulates Martin Brodeur after the game)

New York Rangers Training Camp

This morning / afternoon I had the pleasure of receiving a text message from my friend to turn on the MSG network. The had a special on about the New York Rangers training camp, where we actually got to see them practice. After watching about thirty minutes of it, I can honestly say that the New York Rangers are the REAL DEAL! And if you do not believe that, you better start now!

In the half hour that I watched, I saw speed from every single one of those players that blew me away. The quick releases on the shots, the crisp passes, the soft hands on deflections, I can go on and on about what I saw in the half hour. But I will not because I want everyone to see what I am talking about when they open up their season Saturday against the Boston Bruins. I am predicting that the Rangers will blow them out in a 5-0 game where Rick Nash has four points in his Ranger debut. He will have two goals (one Powerplay, one even strength) and an assist to each Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. The fifth goal will be scored by Carl Hagelin. Oh yeah and Henrik Lundqvuist will have an eighteen save shutout. 

Why such a bold prediction you ask? Because that is what I saw from them on the ice today. Rick Nash looked like an absolute stud out there and did not seem out of place with his teammates. When he came off the ice for an interview with one of the MSG reporters, he was paying more attention to what was going on, on the ice rather than the interview. That tells me he is not distracted at all by the “New York Scene”. There is a strong feeling of confidence in the Rangers locker room right now, and the should have it because they are the best team in the NHL. They know it, I know it, and soon the whole NHL and all the fans will know it. 

Now everyone knows Henrik Lundqvuist is one of if not the best goalie in the NHL. Today I saw an almost invincible Lundqvuist. His balance, quickness, rebound control, angles, you name it, was firing on all cylinders. He is the reason why the Rangers will win the Stanley Cup. This will be his most decorated year. He will win his second straight Vezina trophy for the best goaltender in the league, the Hart Memorial Trophy for league MVP, the Conn Smythe for playoff MVP, and last but certainly not least the Stanley Cup.

 

 

Scott Gomez Coming Back to New Jersey?!

NHL Network just reported that once Scott Gomez is bought out of his contract with the Montreal Canadians, the New Jersey Devils might be one of the teams interested in signing him. ESPN.com currently has Gomez listed as a Devil on their website right now. 

Lou Lamoriello I love you, but if you bring Gomez back to New Jersey, that is just blasphemous! He turned his back on us when he went to the Rangers for a boat load of money and look what happened, he STUNK! He got traded to Montreal where he did not score a goal for over one hundred games! We are trying to make up the goals we lost with Zach Parise and Petr Sykora, not dig ourselves into a deeper hole. Please Lou do not give Gomez the time day, he is not worth it.

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Travis Zajac Gets a New Contract

tumblr_li4p5x2H0Q1qacw87o1_400Today during Devils training camp, General Manager Lou Lamoriello announced that the Devils number one center Travis Zajac, had agreed to a new contract extension. The terms of the contract are eight years for $46 million with an average $5.75 million cap hit. With this being done, we know that Travis will be a Devil for the next nine years.

Coming in to next season, the Devils only have two of their top 9 forwards signed,the other being Ilya Kovalchuk. With that, there comes huge question marks as to who is going to be on the team? Who is Lou going to sign? Will he let David Clarkson, Dainius Zubrus, rookie sensation Adam Henrique and the all time leader in points for the Devils in Patrik Elias walk when this season is over? All of these questions will be answered as the season goes on and before the next one starts up, but for now I am VERY happy with the re-signing of Travis.

I am going to go one step further and say that by the end of training camp, Travis will be the new captain of the Devils. That’s right CAPTAIN! He has shown loyalty to the franchise by signing this deal and he should be rewarded. I am not saying he should be rewarded for signing a large contract by any means, but for his hard work and loyalty to his team. If the Devils give the “C” to Bryce Salvador that is just pathetic, and personally I will be livid!! Zajac is the guy you are going to want out on the ice to win the timely face-off. He scores goals, blocks shots, and can be thrown out on the penalty kill and play solid defense. He is also a leader in the locker room.What more could you want in your captain? Why else do you think the Devils gave him Parise’s old locker stall?

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