After Patrik Elias made it clear he didn’t want to be named captain of the New Jersey Devils, the Devils made the right move and the best one in naming Zach Parise the ninth captain in Devils history.
Parise earns the “C” after missing most of last season with a knee injury and coming off a summer that saw his contract negotiations run into some problems leading Parise to sign a one-year deal to avoid running into any Drew Doughty-like problems. Joining Parise as the team’s lettered leaders will be Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk as the alternate captains. With Parise set to play in New Jersey this year and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, he’s got a bit more in common with Kovalchuk because of it.
If you’ll recall, Kovalchuk was named captain of the Atlanta Thrashers in January of 2009 as a means to both help make him a leader of the team and to play nice with him as he was due to become a free agent after the 2009-2010 season. Things went south and Kovalchuk was traded to the Devils the following season. The comparisons end there, however as there’s no way Parise gets dealt from New Jersey. If the Devils end up trading Zach Parise at all we’ll pass out from shock.
It also helps that Parise is making it clear that he’s happy in New Jersey and loves playing there. Still, until a long-term extension is worked out the fans will be nervous about Parise’s future in Newark. For now, Devils fans should take pride in Parise for being named captain and be excited about what he’ll be able to do this season being fully healthy. Expect Parise to get back to his 40-goal scoring ways and for the Devils to push for the playoffs once again.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.