In New Jersey, \it’s time to break out the Peaches and Herb song, “Reunited” for the kind of nostalgic thing going on with Patrick Elias and Jason Arnott. The pairing clicked together amazingly well ten seasons ago in New Jersey, even teaming up together on the Devils Stanley Cup-winning goal in 2000. In those playoffs, the two of them lead New Jersey in scoring with 20 points a piece.
Now with Arnott back in New Jersey, the two are looking to rekindle that chemistry they had so many seasons ago and they couldn’t be happier to get another go-round as Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice finds out.
“It felt great,” Arnott said. “It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. It doesn’t feel like it’s been eight years since we’ve played together. So, it felt good. It felt comfortable. We’re still having fun and it’s still the first day. We’ll see what happens during the games.”
At Elias’ request, Arnott’s stall is next to his in the practice locker room. [Petr] Sykora is out of the league right now. Elias said he texted Sykora “a couple of times” recently when there were rumors the Devils might invite him to camp as tryout. Although he had some offers from teams in Russia, Sykora is still back in the Czech Republic, working out there.
I’m no authority on what does and does not constitute a “bromance” but I think this is pretty much what it looks like. Getting chemistry, even that of guys that haven’t played together since 2001-2002, is huge for the Devils. Last year during the playoffs, lines didn’t seem to be clicking the way they seemed to during the season and that paired up with the Flyers tough defense lead to the Devils getting bounced out in the first round.
If Arnott and Elias can rekindle that old spirit and light a fire under potential linemate Jamie Langenbrunner, the Devils could end up with two offensive units that can fill the net in a big way. With Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, and Ilya Kovalchuk working together to start training camp, it’s OK to start dreaming big in New Jersey.
The National Hockey League has suspended Montreal Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw for three preseason games for boarding defenseman Connor Hobbs of the Washington Capitals in an exhibition game Tuesday.
Shaw was given a major penalty and a game misconduct on the play, as he slammed Hobbs “through the numbers, with speed” from behind into the end glass, as per Thursday’s video from the NHL outlining the suspension.
From the video: “It is important to note that Hobbs is never eligible to be checked by Shaw on this play. From the moment Shaw arrives at the faceoff dot, he sees nothing but Hobbs’ numbers. Hobbs makes no sudden movement just prior to contact that turns this hit from a legal hit into an illegal one.
“The onus is on Shaw to ensure that he can deliver this hit in a legal fashion, minimize the force, or avoid this hit completely. Instead, he hits forcefully through Hobbs from behind, driving him dangerously into the glass.”
In a bid to land a gritty forward to their lineup, the Habs acquired Shaw from the Blackhawks, who had been dealing with a cap crunch, during the NHL Draft. He later signed a six-year contract extension with Montreal.
Clarke MacArthur suffered yet another concussion after being hit by Patrick Sieloff during a scrimmage over the weekend, but the veteran Ottawa Senators forward doesn’t plan on retiring.
Last season, the 31-year-old MacArthur played in only four games for the Senators due to concussions. According to the Ottawa Sun, he suffered four concussions in an 18th-month span.
Despite this latest concussion, MacArthur is still, at least publicly, planning to work toward a return to game action, saying in a post on Instagram that he was “encouraged” by how his body has reacted following this most recent incident.
“First off, I want to thank the team and its fans for all the support after the unfortunate incident on Sunday. To me, it was simply a hockey play that ended in a hit causing me to suffer a concussion, a play that could happen at any point,” MacArthur wrote on his social media page.
“We have been encouraged by how my body had reacted in the days since the injury and the team has been great to give me all the time I need to rest and recover. I will continue to consult with doctors and my entire support group, but I felt it important to let everyone know that my intentions are to work towards returning to the ice soon.”
Senators focus on MacArthur’s safety
You couldn’t blame the Blues for freaking out a bit today when Jaden Schwartz left practice after an apparent hand injury, and didn’t return.
It was last October, of course, when Schwartz fractured his ankle during practice, an injury that required surgery and sidelined him for 49 games.
Thankfully for St. Louis, it won’t be deja vu.
From the Post-Dispatch:
Coach Ken Hitchcock said Schwartz was fine but would miss some practice.
“He’ll need a couple days off, but he’s a lot like Fabbri,” Hitchcock said. “He’s probably not going to skate this weekend in any of the games but he’ll be ready to go next weekend.
“He’s day to day. He’ll be fine.”
Signed to a five-year, $26.75 million extension this summer, Schwartz will be a big piece of the Blues moving forward.
He’s coming off a good playoff run — 14 points in 20 games — and the club is hopeful he can build on the goalscoring form shown in ’13-14 (25 tallies) and ’14-15 (a career-high 28).
Nikita Kucherov will not report to Tampa Bay Lightning training camp until he’s signed. The 23-year-old winger is not currently under contract, though as a restricted free agent he is partially under club control.
From the Tampa Bay Times, which confirmed through GM Steve Yzerman that Kucherov would not be reporting:
Kucherov, the team’s leading scorer last season, could warrant $6 million or more annually. And that makes it difficult for the Lightning, which has between $5-5.5 million of cap space remaining, per CapFriendly.com. It begs the question whether Tampa Bay may need to make another move to create room. With the season opening two weeks from today, no deal appears imminent.
Yzerman said earlier in the month that he can get Kucherov signed without making a trade, but as mentioned, no deal has been reached yet.
Kucherov is one of a handful of high-profile RFAs who remain unsigned as the regular season approaches. The others are Johnny Gaudreau, Rasmus Ristolainen, Jacob Trouba, Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell, and Tobias Rieder, the latter of whom requested a trade yesterday.
Trouba has also requested a trade.
Related: Ristolainen, still without a contract, makes ‘good will’ gesture towards Sabres