Summer 2007: Time for a change for the Devils

The most recent addition to the Devils is defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski. As Kyle has previously said, Vishnevski will add a physical presence to the ice, which is something the Devils have been lacking.

Something else the Devils are lacking? Players from last season. There are still a number of players who have not be resigned. Word has it that Lou is in Minnesota trying to resign Zach Parise and Paul Martin. There is the possibility of resigning Erik Rasmussen as well.

However, there has not been much talk or resigning New Jersey resident, Jim Dowd. Dowd is hopeful that he will be returning to the Devils next season, but only time will tell. There are still a few months to go before training camp begins. Who knows how many more changes there will be to the Devils line up.

With Scott Gomez, Brad Lukowich and Brian Rafalski being signed with other teams, we have some gaps to fill in the lines. As of now, the lines MAY be:

1ST LINE:

LW Patrik Elias
C Dainius Zubrus
RW Brian Gionta

2ND LINE:

LW Zach Parise
C Travis Zajac
RW Jamie Langenbrunner

3RD LINE:

LW Jay Pandolfo
C John Madden
RW David Clarkson

1ST DEFENSE PAIRING:
Andy Greene and Paul Martin

2ND DEFENSE PAIRING:
Colin White and Karel Rachunek

3RD DEFENSE PAIRING:
Richard Matvichuk and Johnny Oduya

I have not heard anything about what the Devils 4th line will look like.

Any opinions on whether Parise should move up to the 1st line to replace Gomez? Personally, I’m not sure if he should stay with the ZZ Pops line–they work really well together. Or should we see how Parise can do up on the 1st line working with Brian Gionta and Patrik Elias?

Let’s hope that Parise, Martin and Rasmussen are resigned. It’d be nice to see Dowd return.

Rangers snatch Gomez, Rafalski signs with Red Wings

About two minutes after the free agent market opened, the Rangers snatched Scott Gomez. Now the “EGG” line, the team’s top line, has been split up.

The Rangers pulled this before not too long ago. Bobby Holik went from playing for the Devils to playing for the Rangers. Granted, he is playing for Atlanta now. Since the season ended for the Devils in the beginning of May, Gomez has been toying with the idea of playing for another team. He spoke to his fellow teammates along with old teammates, such as Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, and Bobby Holik. Who do you think helped Gomez make this decision? However, you can’t just look at that. I just learned the the Rangers offered Gomez a 7 year, $51.5 million contract. I don’t think I can really blame Gomez for leaving. Last year, the Devils and Gomez could not agree to a contract, so they went into arbitration. If the Devils had offered Gomez a multi-year contract, they could have avoided arbitration. Even though I am not sure what the Devils offered Gomez this year, I highly doubt that he was offered a multi-year contract.

Not too much later, the Detriot Red Wings signed defenseman Brian Rafalski for a 5 year, $30 million contract.

The Devils have lost two of their top players in a matter of 11 hours. They also have not resigned too many players or acquired any new players through free agency.

The Devils need to step up and resign their top guys and try to acquire new guys from the NHL. They will be playing the New York Rangers 8 times this season and it will be difficult to win against them. There is a very high possibility that Gomez will be playing on the same line as Jagr. If the Devils don’t start preparing their team for the upcoming season, they are not going to have a good year. I’m afraid to see who else leaves the team.