Meet the 25-year-old Devils rookie that’s going to play with Jagr and Zajac

Good to see a guy cracking the line-up that deserves it. Hard work will get you there!!!

ProHockeyTalk

New Jersey recalled forward Joe Whitney from AHL Albany on Thursday and, if GM Lou Lamoriello sticks to his word, Whitney could be in line for quite the NHL debut tomorrow.

“With everybody becoming healthy we’ve got to try to find a left wing for Travis [Zajac] and [Jaromir] Jagr,” Lamoriello said, per NorthJersey.com. “So we’re going to give Joe a chance.”

Whitney, 25, was an undrafted free agent out of Boston College that signed an AHL pact with Albany in 2011. A diminutive skater — he’s listed as 5-foot-6, 170 pounds — Whitney has been a productive scorer at the American League level and currently leads Albany in goals (16), assists  (20) and points (36).

If Whitney’s story sounds familiar, it should. New Jersey already features another undersized, undrafted ex-BC forward that worked his way to the NHL — Stephen Gionta, who spent years in the AHL before…

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Updated list of Pucks #devilspuckcollection

Just updated my list of pucks that I have attained as of today.

Also, I have updated the outstainding puck list (which now includes the 2013-2014 new team members)

PHT Morning Skate: Devils’ woes in shootout rage on

Yep…..the shootout BS may be their downfall from a playoff spot.

Looking at another team…the Leafs and they may make the playoffs because of their shootout record.

ProHockeyTalk

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

It was noble of Cory Schneider to take the blame for the Devils losing in a shootout to the Avalanche after making 37 saves through 65 minutes but giving up two goals in the skills competition. New Jersey is 0-8 this year in the shootout and if they miss out on the playoffs, they’ll know exactly why. (Fire & Ice)

The Penguins’ defensemen getting healthy was a bad thing for Simon Despres — he was sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

The Red Wings may have plenty of injuries, but rookie forward Tomas Jurco playing in the closing moments when trying to tie the game makes for a high compliment of his game. (Detroit Free Press)

Kyle…

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Flashback – 1983–84 New Jersey Devils season

Flashback – 1983–84 New Jersey Devils season

83-84[1]

Head Coach: Bill MacMillan
Assistant Coach: Marshall Johnston

Goalies:

Glenn “Chico” Resch, Ron Low

Forwards:

Rocky Trottier, Mike Antonovich, Dave Cameron, Rick Meagher, Bob MacMillan, Mel Bridgman, John MacLean, Rich Chernomaz, Larry Floyd, Pat Verbeek, Garry Howatt, Jeff Larmer, John Johannson, Glenn Merkosky, Kevin Maxwell, Hector Marini, Grant Mulvey, Yvon Vautour, Gary McAdam, Tim Higgins, Paul Gagne, Don Lever, Aaron Broten, Jan Ludvig

Defence:

Alan Hepple, Bruce Driver, Rob Palmer, Mike Kitchen, Ken Daneyko, Dave Lewis, Bob Lorimer, Bob Hoffmeyer, Murray Brumwell, Phil Russell, Joe Cirella

The article below is taken from an article written by Dan Rosen:

1983-84: Growing Pains Lead to Promise By DAN ROSEN


The statement will never be forgotten by the organization and its fans, and unfortunately it defines the Devils of 1983- 84, year two of this 25-year old franchise. Given by Wayne Gretzky, arguably the game’s all-time greatest player, the Devils were referred to as a “Mickey Mouse organization” after Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers downed them, 13-4, in Edmonton on November 19, 1983.

“Well, it’s time they got their act together. They’re ruining the whole league,” is what Gretzky actually said. “They had better stop running a Mickey Mouse organization and put somebody on the ice.” “I know the team was not happy with his comments, to be frank,” former Devil Aaron Broten recently said. “I know there was a general feeling around the organization that they weren’t happy with the comment, and that’s being politically correct.”

Still, at this point in their second season, the Devils were 2-18 en-route to a 2-20 start. They finished the season 17-56-7, still the worst single-season record in franchise history. Things were looking bleak, because as Broten said, “the honeymoon year was over. “The first year you’re around you’ll get some leeway because it’s a new environment and everybody has to get used to the conditions,” Broten added. “The second year it’s like, ‘Alright, now you’re here and used to it, let’s see you get better.’ There were more expectations.”

Despite taking a step backward and losing seven more games in their second year than their first, the Devils of that generation felt as if they were improving.

“We were maturing, and we knew that because we watched what the Islanders were doing,” said ex-Devil Pat Verbeek, who was a rookie in 1983-84. “We kept getting better. The one thing about that is we still expected to win every night. We’d lose games, and sometimes we just couldn’t take it. It was part of the maturation process.”
Oh boy, did this team have to mature. The Devils, as Verbeek said, had no inbetween players in 1983-84. They were either seasoned veterans or fresh-faced junior players. Mel Bridgman (11th NHL season), Don Lever (14th), Bob MacMillan (12th), Phil Russell (13th), Dave Lewis (12th) and Chico Resch (12th) were all contributors, but all in or nearing the twilight of their careers. However, youngsters such as Verbeek (19 years old), Ken Daneyko (19), John MacLean (19), Joe Cirella (20), Paul Gagne (21), Bruce Driver (21), Jan Ludvig (22), and Broten (23) were just starting to dull their blades on NHL ice.

“To this day, I still see Phil Russell and Mel Bridgman, and those guys don’t understand the influence they had on me,” said Verbeek, now a scout for the Detroit Red Wings. “Those guys took me, Kirk (Muller), Mac (John MacLean), Cirella, and they showed us how to become good pros.”

The mixture, though, was toxic in the beginning of the 1983-84 season. After 20 games and just two wins, coach Bill MacMillan became the franchise’s first coaching casualty. On November 22, 1983, MacMillan was replaced by Tom McVie, who led the Devils to a 15-38-7 record to close the season.

“It was getting better,” Verbeek said. “Confidence is a tough thing. Your entire morale is the toughest thing, and we tried to get back our morale and pride. The second half we stopped looking at the record and started just to focus on getting better.”

McVie was replaced after the season by Doug Carpenter, who coached the team for the next three-plus seasons before being replaced 50 games in the 1987-88 campaign by Jim Schoenfeld. “We went through quite a few coaches in the first number of years I was there,” Broten said. “It was a bit difficult because you don’t know what the new guy is going to expect. Everybody has a little different idea.

They would always tell us, ‘A new broom sweeps clean.’ You don’t know who is going to be around after they watch tape.” At the time, the fan base in New Jersey was still blossoming. Verbeek said it was still tough to compete for fans in the same market as the New York Rangers and the Islanders, who were wildly successful and had their streak of four straight Stanley Cups snapped in 1984 by Edmonton.

“It was still growing, and the state hadn’t identified with us being their team yet,” Verbeek said. “That’s a process. It was a process for the players and for the fans. “You have to start with the kids when you build a fan base,” he continued. “You always hear it, ‘Are you a Rangers’ fan or a Devils’ fan?’ The answer is, ‘Well, I grew up a Rangers’ fan because my dad was.’ We had to start with the kids, and you can see that now, 25 years later. Now there is a fan base built.” Those fans, though, at least had a sense of humor.

When Gretzky and the Oilers showed up at Brendan Byrne Arena on January 15 (a 5-4 victory over the Devils), many fans wore Mickey Mouse apparel. These same fans were also treated to the NHL’s mid-season show as the All-Star Game made its only appearance at the Meadowlands.

Cirella tallied a goal and Resch was the winning goaltender as the Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference, 7-6, in front of a capacity crowd of 18,939. Once the season resumed, it was back to watching last place hockey. At least with the youth, there was a tomorrow for these Devils.

“As an older player, the losing would have been extremely tough on me,” Verbeek said. “On a personal level, I was just ecstatic and happy to be in the NHL. The losing bothered me, but I knew down the road we’d get better.”

Devils activate Elias, Josefson from IR

ProHockeyTalk

The Devils will get some reinforcements for Thursday’s game in Colorado, as forwards Patrik Elias and Jacob Josefson have been activated from injured reserve and will be eligible to play tonight.

Elias, who has missed the last seven games with a groin strain (and “total body soreness“), has struggled through an injury-plagued campaign, appearing in just 33 games thus far. That said, the veteran winger does have 25 points in those games and was averaging nearly 19 minutes per night before getting hurt.

Josefson, the club’s first-round pick (20th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, had been sidelined by the flu. He’s only appeared in 16 games this year — splitting time between New Jersey and AHL Albany — and has just one point while averaging a shade over 10 minutes per gmae.

To make room for the returning players, the Devils sent winger Mike Sislo to…

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Welcome back: Devils claim Urbom off waivers from Caps

ProHockeyTalk

The New Jersey Devils brought a familiar face back into the fold on Tuesday, claiming defenseman Alex Urbom off waivers from Washington.

Urbom, 23, was originally a third round pick of the Devils (73rd overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and debuted for New Jersey during the 2010-11 season.

The Caps acquired Urbom in early October after New Jersey placed him on waivers — with great unease, per GM Lou Lamoriello — and the Swedish rearguard went on to appear in 20 games for Washington, scoring one goal and two points. But with John Erskine returning to full health and Dmitry Orlov playing his way into the defensive rotation, Urbom became the odd man out.

“That’s the nature of the game and it’s very difficult,” head coach Adam Oates told the Washington Post. “It creates difficult decisions and [Urbom] was the odd man out all of a…

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NJ’s Volchenkov leaves with lower-body injury, won’t return

ProHockeyTalk

New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov left Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers with a lower-body injury and won’t return.

The Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross believes that the 31-year-old might have specifically hurt his legs tonight, but no official word beyond it being lower-half-of-the-torso related from the Devils.

The Russian defenseman’s days with the Devils have been marred by injuries, including being limited to 57 games in 2010-11. He’s never played more than 72 for New Jersey and had his issues in Ottawa, as well.

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Devils edge Rangers in battle of rebounding locals

ProHockeyTalk

Maybe it’s the New Jersey Devils who are the tri-state area team who are rebounding after a tough start to 2013-14, instead of the New York Rangers?

That’s debatable, but either way, the Devils squeezed past the Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday to win their second in a row and collect points in four straight games (3-0-1) while the Blueshirts’ four-game winning streak ended.

It’s fitting, as the Devils seem to be a quieter version of the Rangers early on: both teams had slow starts, each had challenging road schedules early on (only the Rangers’ version stole the headlines since it was nine in a row) and both had some bad luck.

New Jersey also might see a hot run from its big-name goalie, only it’s the guy who should be passing the torch (Martin Brodeur) instead of the one expected to carry it (Cory Schneider). Brodeur is now on a…

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Jaromir Jagr: ‘I’ll play until I cannot walk’

ProHockeyTalk

Jaromir Jagr, it seems, isn’t ready to hang up his skates at the end of this season.

Despite being on a struggling New Jersey Devils team, and about to turn 42 years of age in February, Jagr has expressed a desire to keep playing beyond this season.

“I’ll tell you one thing, as long as I don’t die, it’s not my last year of playing hockey,” Jagr told the Courier-Post.

“I don’t know where I’m gonna play. I don’t know if I’m gonna play U.S. or somewhere else. I’m gonna play. I’ll play until I cannot walk. I love the game too much to leave it.”

Jagr was easily the best New Jersey forward in Friday’s 2-1 shootout loss, even if he was held off the score sheet.

In 1,407 regular season games, Jagr has scored 685 goals and 1,699 points. He signed with the Devils as a free agent…

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Clarkson: Lamoriello, DeBoer ‘biggest reasons’ he’s in the NHL

ProHockeyTalk

On Friday night, Toronto forward David Clarkson will face off against the Devils — the team he broke into the National Hockey League with.

And to hear him explain it, he wouldn’t be where he is today without them.

“Mr. Lamoriello and Pete DeBoer are probably two of the biggest reasons I’m in the National Hockey League,” Clarkson said, as per the Canadian Press. “Pete DeBoer is someone that I believe has made me successful in my career by giving me opportunity and believing in me and understanding me as a person.”

Clarkson, 29, signed a massive seven-year, $36.75 deal with Toronto this summer, a financial windfall based largely on his body of work with the Devils, a club that deserves credit for aiding in his development. The Devils signed Clarks as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and allowed him to grow as a player —  when Clarkson…

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