Jason Arnott and Patrick Elias happy to be reunited once again in New Jersey

jasonarnott1.jpgIn 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.

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    WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

    Ryan White, Matt Martin
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    You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

    Here are the handy links for the two contests.

    First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


    After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


    Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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    The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

    Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

    “Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

    Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

    Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

    Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

    Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

    Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

    Ryan Johansen
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    One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

    You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

    — Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

    — GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

    — Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

    So there’s that. What’s next?

    At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

    Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

    So, consider the similarities now:

    — Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

    — Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

    — Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

    — Both are Overhardt guys.

    — The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

    — Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

    For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

    And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

    And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.

    Flyers’ Gagner to miss another week after Malone hit

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    The nasty blow Sam Gagner took in Monday’s game against Carolina will keep him on the shelf for a little bit.

    On Wednesday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall said the club expected Gagner to be out around a week with injuries suffered on the hit, delivered by ‘Canes forward Brad Malone (per the Inquirer).

    Gagner suffered a fairly significant facial laceration, which forced him from the game entirely. He didn’t practice on Tuesday and, in a corresponding move, the Flyers called up Colin McDonald from the AHL to fill Gagner’s spot on the roster.

    This is the second facial injury Gagner’s suffered in recent years. He’d previously had his jaw broken by an errant Zack Kassian high stick, while he was with the Oilers and Kassian the Canucks.

    Prior to getting hurt, Gagner had two goals and five points in 18 games, averaging just under 12 minutes per night.