Blog Entry

Devils and the details

Posted on: October 12, 2010 5:25 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 6:07 pm
 
Well the numbers are getting a little better for the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils have signed free agent forward Adam Mair, formerly of the Sabres, so they’ll be only two players short of a full deck when they face Buffalo on Wednesday. That’s one less than they were Monday night against Pittsburgh, which theoretically should improve their odds.

Or maybe not. New Jersey did lose to the Penguins, though not necessarily because it ran out of gas being shorthanded. The Devils couldn’t dress enough players because of salary cap restrictions, but with only 15 skaters, actually outshot and outscored Pittsburgh in the third period. It was the earlier parts of the game that did them in.

Then again the Devils haven’t played very well on the whole in any of their first three games under rookie coach John MacLean. They’ve lost them all, allowing 14 goals in the process and Ilya Kovalchuk’s most notable achievement so far has been a fight, not any goal. It’s the kind of start that often come back to bite teams in tight playoff races, especially if the malaise lingers, and in New Jersey’s case that seems quite possible.

No doubt the Devils have a pretty messy and self-inflicted situation on their hands because of the way they’ve managed the cap. The free agent contract given to Kovalchuk this summer was obviously the breaking point, but New Jersey has several other big-ticket players on the payroll, players GM Lou Lamoriello can’t or won’t move. And right now, the team is paying the price, looking as confused on the ice as the situation off it seems to be.

Lamoriello has been a master at working the CBA's edges to maximum advantage since the lockout, but he’s up against it because of Kovalchuk’s controversial nine-figure contract and will be under increasing pressure to resolve the situation soon. The league has already fended off many howls of indignation, insisting New Jersey didn’t violate the CBA by dressing only 17 players.

Apparently the Devils were technically in compliance because of emergency situation provisions. But the Devils can’t keep showing up to games with fewer players than the other team has. It looks a little bush, especially when you’re in front of the paying customers at home. And it’s going to catch up with New Jersey, not to mention keep the calls for admonishment from the league coming. 

So naturally, New Jersey has already announced it will be short players for at least one more game.

For their part, the players know changes are coming probably sooner rather than later. Many have talked about it openly since training camp began because Kovalchuk’s deal meant New Jersey had to dump salary.  It was always more a matter of when than if.

Lamoriello has been buying time since the opening night deadline by putting players on injured lists and waivers, he just hasn’t had the cap space to replace them. Meanwhile his team is losing games and ground.

Those numbers aren’t getting any better and that's the biggest price New Jersey has to pay.
Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Nov 16, 2009
Posted on: October 14, 2010 5:46 pm
 

Devils and the details

It is 4 games into the season and you are throwing out stats.. ok Crysby has 1 goal and the Pens are 1-3 and yur leading scorers are defensemen... REAL SOLID... my point is exactly that you idiot... that is way to early to say teams are in trouble  it is just stupid ignorant Ranger, Penguin, and Flyer fans that try to jump all over the Devils after 3 games.. Worry about your own team and there problems.. there are plenty to worry about...



Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: October 14, 2010 2:14 pm
 

Devils and the details

Are you serious?  Your team is scoring less than two goals a game and it took 4 on 4 OT to even get one past Ryan Miller, and your response to that is to think something positive is happening in NJ?  Kovalchuk has 1 goal in 4 games and is a -2.  Impressive.  Definitely worthy of a huge contract.  Brodeur has a GAA of 3 and isn't even stopping 90% of the shots thrown at him.

You're right.  This is a good team.  They've given up twice as many goals as they've scored, but they're solid.



Since: Nov 16, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 9:29 pm
 

Devils and the details

So much for a washed up goalie and a terrible signing of koalchuk... shutout for the washed up goalie and game winning goal for the overpaid superstar.........  and yes the Flyers are jealous cause they havent won a cup since 1975... i guess 35 of years of losing makes you happy to make a run in the playoffs every once in a while.. but remember you are a Philly fan and your entire city is a bunch of losers...



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2010 6:23 pm
 

Devils and the details

Blame management for signing big time contracts even with a salary cap. You would think with a cap this would prevent players from asking for a ton of money and you'd think the owners would have the balls to say no deal.

Devils improved on defense with Tallinder, Volchenkov and Arnott. They signed a top five goal-scorer in Kovalchuk which I did not think was a bad thing. The league f'cked the devils by rejecting the first deal. Allowing previous long-term deals, the NHL had no right to reject another deal that was within the CBA guidelines. If they realized there was a loop hole in the deal, they should have gone back to the table and revised the deal, not make an example of the Devils and then fine them on top of that.



Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2010 2:29 pm
 

Devils and the details

I'm pretty sure "allowing" Hossa to sign that Contract in Chicago basically screwed them just the same. They won the Cup and now they'll be lucky to make the playoffs after dumping WAAAAAAY MORE, WAAAAAAY YOUNGER, AND WAAAAAY CHEAPER TALENT than Marian Hossa brings to the table.




Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2010 2:26 pm
 

Devils and the details

but with only 15 skaters, actually outshot and outscored Pittsburgh in the third period.


Nice piece of insight there Wes - see the problem is the Devils scored 1 goal in the third period to the Penguins 1 goal in the third period. Not sure how 1>1 in your book, but hey who am I to question such a professional.

WATCH THE GAMES OR DON'T COMMENT ON THEM - YOUR CHOICE A$$CLOWN



Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2010 1:53 pm
 

Devils and the details

clodog33,

You are correct, the Flyers are jealous of the team they smacked around last year.



Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2010 1:53 pm
 

Devils and the details

Amen to that!  Couldn't have put it any better.



Since: Nov 16, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 1:22 pm
 

Devils and the details

Sounds like a bunch of Ranger and Penguin Flyer fans need to chime in on the Devils 3 games into the season.  Werent the Rangers like 8-2 the first 10 games last year, how did that work out for them?? And Glen Sather would have been better off dressing 15 guys last year, maybe they would have made the playoffs... talk about a pathetic organization... As for the moron Penguin fan who said Brodeur is over the hill, I guess he didnt watch the game Monday night when he stopped 28 shots from his team and there 2nd goal was hit in by a Devil. The fact that the first Kovy deal was declined was ridiculous, when you consider the Flyers contract for Pronger was way worse based on his age and performance at the time of the deal...The other idiots who think they know more then Lou and said things like they should have picked up more D-men and not signed Kovalchuk... They signed 2 solid defensemen.. and Arnott.&
nbsp; Lou knows what he is doing, this idea that the 4th line is an intrical part of the team the first 10 games is ridiculous.. they arent going to burn out there players for a few games while they set there lineup for the season.  So stop hating and being jealous..They will have the roster straightened out within a couple of weeks and win 10 out of 12 shortly after and be right in the thick of the division race.  I want all the morons on here who are hating after 3 games to say something the last few weeks of the season when the Devils have 100+ points.  



ITS 3 GAMES YOU IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 11:38 am
 

Devils and the details

I saw this coming a long time ago.  Calgary Flames had a similar problem a couple years back at the end of the season.

Part of the problem is that the NHL as a whole seem to be learning as tehy go.  The salary cap is still fairly new to these teams and soe of the problems they are now having are a result of errors made a few years back.






As for the whole mess with the Kovy deal -
The NHL let teams like Vancouver and Chicago bend or break the rules, skirting the cap a little here, then a bit more, changing how they structure and front load ontracts, but no one knew exactly where the line was.

As everyone pushed a bit further, NJ were singled out as the bad guy who went too far and were then punnished for it. 

I have to say I honestly don't believe that anything would have happened if Atlanta had worked out the same deal with Kovy. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com