Tag: Lou Lamoriello

Lou Lamoriello

PHT Morning Skate: Lamoriello ready to buy at deadline


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.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello knows his team is battling to make the playoffs and he’s ready to be a buyer, not a seller, at the trade deadline. (Fire & Ice)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

One columnist says Lightning captain Martin St. Louis needs to start thinking like a captain. (The Tampa Tribune)

A couple of Maple Leafs notes: Dave Bolland had a mild setback at practice yesterday. He’s still joining the Leafs on their road trip and is still day-to-day. (Canadian Press)

Leafs center Trevor Smith sees his recovery from a broken hand coming near its completion. (Toronto Sun)

The Olympics fired up Winnipeg Jets center Olli Jokinen to keep winning back in Manitoba. They’re in the mix for the postseason. (Winnipeg Free Press)

If you missed Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth’s save on Boston forward Loui Eriksson during the second period of the Sabres’ 5-4 overtime victory, you really need to get caught up on that. That’s an ice cold way to stop an Olympic teammate.

This story with Devils forward Dainius Zubrus discussing what’s going on in Ukraine is worth a read. While he was born in what’s now Lithuania, his family spent time in Ukraine growing up. (NJ.com)

After showing off a save, how about a look at Gustav Nyquist’s game-winning goal in overtime against Montreal.

Report: Brodeur met with Lamoriello to discuss his future with Devils

Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur’s future in New Jersey has become a hot topic of late and isn’t likely to cool off.

Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports Brodeur met with Devils GM Lou Lamoriello to discuss his future with the team. Brodeur has mentioned this season how it’s been difficult being relegated to backup duty behind Cory Schneider and would be OK with going to a contender if it’s best for the Devils.

The awkward part of that thinking, however, is that Brodeur isn’t the same goalie he’s been in the past and his numbers bear that out. His save percentage (.899) and goals-against average (2.52) are the worst they’ve been in his 20-year career.

Schneider has been the better goalie this season and Brodeur’s career is nearly at an end. If he needs to go elsewhere to finish his career, it would be very strange seeing him not in a Devils uniform.

Lamoriello on young defensemen: ‘We’re not going to rush them’

Eric Gelinas

The New Jersey Devils have an interesting problem on the blue line. They have a glut of young talent itching to stay in the NHL.

Defensemen Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill, and Adam Larsson are all players the Devils value highly, yet Merrill is the only one currently on the New Jersey roster as older veterans hold down the fort.

So what gives? GM Lou Lamoriello isn’t looking to speed up their development as Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice shares.

“Adam Larsson, Gelly and Merrill, they’re all going to be in the NHL. They’ll all be here,” Lamoriello said. “We’re not going to rush them. We’re going to make sure – if they have to go up, if they have to go down – they get their complete game together so that it’s on a consistent basis. It’s nothing personal with them. It’s nothing that they’re doing wrong. It’s the experience that’s needed. Different styles of play need different experiences. We’ll do everything we can so once they’re here they’ll be a solid contributing factor and play the minutes that are necessary to play.”

A big thing to keep in mind here: Gelinas and Merrill are 22 years old and Larsson is 21. It’s not like they’re rotting on the vine in the AHL at Albany. With veteran players like Anton Volchenkov, Marek Zidlicky, and captain Bryce Salvador locked in place, there’s not much room for the younger guys.

They’ll eventually have their time in the sun, it’s just not going to be right away. Sorry Devils fans, Lou’s orders.

PHT’s top 13 of ’13: Kovalchuk retires, returns to KHL

Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk was supposed to be a Devil for the rest of his career. He was one of the team’s best forwards and poised to stay in New Jersey for the duration of his 15-year deal.

But in 2013, the plan changed. After a lockout-shortened campaign that saw him deal with injury and finish second on the team in points, he called it “probably my worst season,” then stunned the hockey world by retiring from the NHL in June.

Kovalchuk’s retirement didn’t mean he was walking away from the game itself. Rather, he was bailing on the Devils to go play back home in the KHL.

He forfeited the remainder of his $100 million contract to play for the team he suited up for during the lockout – SKA St. Petersburg. Kovalchuk’s mother said his time with SKA during the lockout inspired him to find a way to return, which he did in dramatic fashion.

Of course, he had to make sure the Devils would allow him to go. And asking the team to be OK with parting ways had to be some kind of awkward, especially after all they went through to get him. When the Devils were negotiating with Kovalchuk during the summer of 2010, they were busted for circumventing the salary cap on their first agreed-upon deal. Their punishment? Forfeiting a future first-round pick, a punishment that will come into effect at the 2014 NHL Draft.

So, what was the Devils’ motivation to part ways with Kovalchuk?

For one, they were in a financial bind as the salary cap was reduced to $64.3 million following the lockout-shortened season. They were also dealing with cash-flow issues, as then-owner Jeff Vanderbeek was seeking to sell the team. Having Kovalchuk’s monster contract on the books made both those situations more difficult.

source: Getty ImagesLamoriello agreed to let Kovalchuk go and with it controversy erupted over the Devils finding a way (again) to escape the clutches of the upper limit of the salary cap. Months later, Vanderbeek sold the team to a group led by Joshua Harris.

With Kovalchuk off the books and on his way to Russia, the Devils suddenly had money to spend — and did so by signing Jaromir Jagr and Damien Brunner to free-agent deals.

Jagr alone has helped make people forget about Kovalchuk leaving town with his handling of the press and, oh yeah, his ability to keep scoring at age 41.

As for Kovalchuk, life is good for him in Russia. SKA named him team captain and he’s essentially the face of the KHL. He’s currently eighth in the league in points, averaging over a point per game.

Devils’ Clowe medically cleared to play

Ryane Clowe

Finally some good news for New Jersey Devils forward Ryane Clowe.

Clowe has been medically cleared to practice and play. He’s been out since October 13 with a concussion, but don’t expect the Devils to rush him back as Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record shares.

“We’re going to take our time and just make sure everything is 100 percent,” Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said.

Lamoriello says Clowe could be back in the Devils lineup next week. He’s played in just six games this season and has one assist.

The Devils would love to see just what they can get out of their big offseason signing. Clowe signed a five-year, $24.25 million deal as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The team has been patient in allowing Clowe to get back to full health after he suffered at least one concussion with the New York Rangers last season and possibly another with the San Jose Sharks earlier on.