Not for nothing, but I’m really starting to dislike July 1st. But like a good Devils fan, I drink the kool-aid Devils GM Lou Lamoriello serves and smile and nod.
Maybe this year is a rebuilding year.
First, we have no coach. And without a coach, we have no one looking at the team with a plan in place as to how the team needs to play. And without that plan in place, we are going to be in sad shape once the puck drops.
But Lou knows what he’s doing… right?
Lets look at what we have. Defense. Lots and lots of defense. The defense from last year is in place for next year… great. That’s the defense that lost that horrible game 7. How about goaltending? Nope, the aging Brodeur is still the only netminder slated to play next year, and backup Scott Clemmensen has taken his services elsewhere to the Florida Panthers – which, speaking on behalf of those who are due, good for you Clemmy – I truly wish you luck and I think you’re going to have a bright career. You deserved this. Oh and that other guy, Weekes, well, we don’t have him signed and I think the Devils are sort of hoping someone will take him off of our radar.
Speaking of defense, remember that draft thingy they had not that long ago… yeah, five of their seven picks were defensemen, all with size, all over 6′, the middle 3 – 6′ 3", 6′ 4", and 6′ 5".
Okay, that sounds great. We’re building up our farm system with big defense so in the future we’re not in the predicament we’ve been in since our defense was injured, retired, and left to go play with little brother (that’s Stevens, Daneyko, and Niedermayer, respectively). Does anyone else not realize that this should have happened four years ago?!?
Deep cleansing breath…
Alright, so defense is slowly coming back in to the picture – in a few years our defense should be as solid as it was several years ago when the Devils got past the first round of the playoffs. But former coach Brent Sutter started to instill an offensive edge that gave the Devils some new life in the new NHL. We’re still working on developing that, right?
And in the short amount of time the free agent market opened, the Devils lost Mike Rupp, Brian Gionta, and John Madden.
I guess Jay Pandolfo will have a spot on the team still. Maybe Sergei Brylin is free? How about Randy McKay?
Lou made the following statement to Tom Gulitti on Wednesday:
"It will be different, but we still have the core there," he said. "You’ve got Zach (Parise), Travis (Zajac), Jamie (Langenbrunner), (Patrik) Elias, (Brian) Rolston, (Dainius) Zubrus, (David) Clarkson, (Jay) Pandolfo. We’ve still got players, but we have to bring players in like (Pierre-Luc Letourneau-) Leblond, (Rod) Pelley. They have to get that opportunity, just like John got it when (Bobby) Carpenter left. So, we’re very comfortable with the players that we have."
I’m going to take a vacation. A long vacation. I’ll be back at the end of the month, and when I do, I better see a coach, more than a single offensive line – maybe some young skilled offensemen, maybe a backup netminder for when Brodeur breaks a hip.
Okay, the Brodeur comment was not fair, but come on Lou, at least pretend you want to get us past the first round of the playoffs. The kool-aid is starting to wear off… where’s the punch bowl?