Really, it makes sense that the New Jersey Devils would prefer not to just throw the captain’s “C” on someone’s jersey right away.
It’s a time of transition for the franchise, with Lou Lamoriello making way for Ray Shero after decades of running the ship, along with John Hynes getting his first NHL head coaching gig.
Shero made it clear that there’s no rush to a captaincy decision, although he left the door open for it to happen as well, as the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
“If we didn’t have a captain to start the season, it wouldn’t mean we don’t have a leader,” Shero said. “Not at all. There are a number of teams with no captains. I don’t know if Columbus had one last season and, of course, Minnesota had rotating captains with Jacques (Lemaire). I don’t want to make a big deal out of it.”
As Shero notes, “we don’t know these players yet.”
Michael Cammalleri spoke of a possibly refreshing change of pace a couple days ago, also to the Newark Star-Ledger.
“The ownership group seems highly intelligent and highly sophisticated in their strategy. For now, let’s put some trust in that,” Cammalleri said. “Let’s (hope) they have a plan that will work.”
Where would you go with the captaincy role, if you had to make a choice today? Would it be a fading veteran like Patrik Elias, maybe someone like Cammalleri or even an up-and-comer such as Adam Larsson?
Looking at New Jersey’s options, it really does make a lot of sense just to wait.
Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman feels like he’s “pretty close” to making a trade, and it seems like he’s just as open to landing a defenseman or forward, as he told CSNChicago.com.
“We’re open to either one,” Bowman said. “I know it’s a generic answer, but there’s more than one way to improve your team. It doesn’t have to be just a replacement for Patrick. Sometimes you’re going to improve your team in different ways, bringing in different kinds of players. We’re open to that. We’ll see where it goes.”
Those who love concocting hypothetical deals should be delighted to hear that Bowman’s aims aren’t broad in terms of position alone. It sounds like he’s just as willing to acquire a rental as he might add someone with term on his contract.
The message seems to be “if you have an idea, run it by me.”
The juiciest bit comes from the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc, who reports that the Blackhawks are aiming pretty high with some of their ideas, possibly targeting a player at the higher end like Jeff Skinner or Michael Cammalleri.
Replacing Patrick Kane would obviously be a tall (and borderline impossible) task, but imagine Skinner on a team as talented as Chicago?
It’s possibly more likely that Bowman’s moves don’t make waves at that level, but we’ll find out soon enough, as the March 2 trade deadline looms.
(Chicago’s first full game since Kane suffered his injury went well as they blanked the Florida Panthers 3-0 on Thursday night.)
Another day, another injury in New Jersey.
On Thursday, the club announced that rookie blueliner Damon Severson would miss the next 4-5 weeks with a hairline fracture in his ankle, a tough blow for a team that’s suffered plenty already this season.
Severson, 20, has been one of the few bright spots for the Devils this season. He leads all rookie d-men in average time on ice per game (23:01) and is second to Aaron Ekblad with four goals and 12 points through 32 games.
Severson was hurt during a 3-2 shootout loss to the Islanders on Monday and didn’t play in last night’s 2-0 loss to the Sens. He’s now on the shelf next to a slew of injured Devils: Michael Cammalleri, Dainius Zubrus and captain Bryce Salvador.
It’ll be interesting to see what steps GM Lou Lamoriello takes to stop the bleeding in New Jersey. The club has lost six straight, is 11-16-6 on the year and the calls for head coach Peter DeBoer’s job have grown increasingly louder.
It might only be mid-December, but the New Jersey Devils realize that they’re letting too many games slip away.
Surprisingly solid forward Scott Gomez expressed a sense of hope and urgency to the Bergen Record.
“Let’s face it, it’s getting into December here,” Gomez said. “The effort’s there. We’ve just got to find a way. You know how it is. You don’t want to fall behind.”
Gomez also added that “you’re not pushing the panic button,” although snarky folks might say that adding him to the mix constitutes jabbing it at least once or twice.
Whether you look at things since the beginning of this month or go back to November, it’s been mostly negative for New Jersey. The Devils are currently on a three-game losing streak and have dropped nine of 11 games. They came into November with a respectable 5-3-2 record and now find themselves at 11-15-5, ranking them 13th in the East.
Even with linemate Michael Cammalleri suffering a lower-body injury during last night’s 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars, it sounds like Jaromir Jagr ranks among those who haven’t given up hope yet.
That optimism is nice, yet if things don’t begin to turn around, that panic button might just get worn out.
It looks like the New Jersey Devils will go into a tough stretch with aches and pains, in more ways than one. In Michael Cammalleri’s case, there’s even a little comic relief (for your inner child, at least).
The Bergen Record’s Tom Gulliti shared a laundry list of updates, with most of the news being negative:
- The Devils assigned Damien Brunner (pictured) to the AHL, yet they might try to find a potential trade suitor. In the meantime, Gulitti notes that $1.575 million of the 28-year-old’s $2.5 million cap hit will count against the team’s cap even when he’s at the AHL level.
- New Jersey is concerned that Adam Larsson and Travis Zajac may have suffered from mumps, with Larsson still sick and possibly headed to injured reserve. Zajac’s a little banged up beyond whatever sickness he was dealing with, too.
- Patrik Elias is dealing with a groin injury, but frequent injury sufferer Martin Havlat may be able to play on Monday.
- Devils fans might need a chuckle at this point. Perhaps Cammalleri’s pulled butt muscle will suffice?
/Waits for inevitable Twitter handle @Cammalleributtmuscle