Andy Greene

Devils won’t give out team awards this year, Lamoriello mum on why


It’s been an, ahem, unconventional year in New Jersey, so consider that while reading the latest from The Record’s Tom Gulitti:

Gulitti notes the Devils didn’t hand out trophies during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign either; the reason given was that it wasn’t a full season.

As for this season, it’s been both odd and disappointing. The Devils began with one head coach (Peter DeBoer) and, barring something crazy, will finish with three (Lamoriello, Adam Oates, Scott Stevens). They also missed the playoffs for the third straight year, something former captain Zach Parise said he “never would’ve predicted.”

“Just because of the way things are run,” Parise said in early March, per the Star-Ledger. “I hope they can pull off something at the end of the year, or next year, and get back in.”

Your guess is as good as any to why the Devils aren’t handing out hardware. If it’s because Lamoriello and company didn’t want to celebrate a disappointing campaign, that’s fine, but New Jersey gave out trophies last year — Jaromir Jagr won MVP, Andy Greene earned Unsung Hero and Ryan Carter took home the Players’ Player — despite the fact the Devils finished 10th in the Eastern Conference, with just 35 wins.

As is often the case in New Jersey, you can probably chalk this latest decision up to Lou being Lou.

Devils ‘hope’ captain Salvador will play again this season


As is usually the case with the Devils, details are far and few between about the status of captain Bryce Salvador. We know he hasn’t played since Nov. 10 in Boston, missing the last 31 games with what the club’s calling a lower-body injury, but anything beyond that is something of a mystery.

Here’s more, from the Star-Ledger:

That is the extent of the information the team has released and, at this point, you have to wonder if Salvador will play again this season.

“We hope so,” Devils GM/coach Lamoriello told NJ Advance Media.

What is the nature of Salvador’s injury?

“It’s hard to explain,” Lamoriello suggested. “With the style he plays, until he gets clearance from the doctors, he cannot practice.”

Salvador has periodically let it be known through text messages that he is doing okay, but not yet skating. Beyond that, he has remained mum.

Salvador, 39, is in the last of a three-year deal worth $9.5 million, one that carries an average annual cap hit of $3.167M. Signed on the strength of his impressive ’12 Stanley Cup Final run — 14 points in 24 games, averaging 22:25 TOI per — Salvador’s deal has been a bust given how the past three years have gone. Despite being named the 10th captain in franchise history, Salvador has only appeared in 94 of New Jersey’s last 176 games and has been a virtual non-factor this season.

That said, nobody is completely ruling out a return.

“I think it’s not out of the realm,” Devils d-man Andy Greene told the Star-Ledger. “He’s working hard to get things figured out and fixed.”

Brewer and Larsson, two unhappy healthy scratches on opening night


Eric Brewer and Adam Larsson have a few things in common — both are NHL defensemen, for example — but on Thursday, they learned they shared another similarity:

Both are healthy scratches for their club’s respective season-openers.

In New Jersey, Larsson’s getting parked against the Flyers as head coach Peter DeBoer opts to go with Marek Zidlicky, Andy Greene, Eric Gelinas, Bryce Salvador, Jon Merrill and rookie Damon Severson on defense.

“This is a tough time for me because I worked out hard in the summer and I thought I had a good training camp,” Larsson said, per “So, this is probably the toughest healthy scratch I’ve been going through. But, you can’t really focus on it too much or let it get in your way or in your head.

“I’ll try to stay positive.”

Down in Tampa Bay, Brewer — who, at 35, is the oldest d-man on the Tampa Bay roster — was equally upset about being left out of the lineup for a date against the Panthers.

“It’s been a long time,” Brewer said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s been a very long time. It’s their decision. I don’t like it.”

Unlike Larsson, who’s being scratched in favor of three youngsters in Gelinas, Merrill and Severson, Brewer was unable to crack a very deep and very experienced blueline for opening night. Bolts head coach Jon Cooper explained as much, saying the team’s defensive depth basically kept Brewer out of the mix — Tampa will go with Anton Stralman, Victor Hedman, Jason Garrison, Radko Gudas, Matt Carle and Andrej Sustr tonight, and Cooper acknowledged Brewer’s displeasure with the choices.

“If Eric Brewer has to sit for a game, I’m sure he doesn’t like it, and he’s pissed,” Cooper said. “I’m pissed to have to do it.”

Report: Devils to lose money in 2014-15


Despite having new owners in Josh Harris and David Blitzer, the New Jersey Devils are scheduled to once again lose money in 2014-15.

According to the report from Tom Gulitti of The Record, Harris and Blitzer — who purchased the team from Jeff Vanderbeek a year ago for $320 million — are still fixing previous financial issues.

The Devils missed the playoffs for a second straight season in 2013-14 and according to Blitzer the team will not turn a profit in 2014-15 even if New Jersey qualifies for the postseason.

“We’re not going to make money this year. Let’s be clear,” said Blitzer. “I don’t know the exact numbers, but our view is to get it to the right place and we know over a longer period of time we do believe we can get it to be a profitable team on the business side or the equation. It is not today. I don’t expect it to be next year, but over time you can’t have a business that over 30 years it doesn’t become a profitable team because that just doesn’t work.”

According to the report, the team had debt issues and was “under invested in” on the business side.

Devils CEO Scott O’Neil points out the team was severely understaffed on the business side with just 76 employees when the new group took over. Since then, the staff has nearly doubled.

The team’s debt isn’t expected to factor into the Devils and GM Lou Lamoriello’s ability to spend money. As it stands, New Jersey sits with less than $5 million to play with.

Lamoriello compared the situation under previous ownership to that of the Phoenix Coyotes saying that he had to report to the league as a result of the team’s financial struggles.

“It was like Phoenix from a hockey standpoint. That was fact,” said Lamoriello. “You had to do things in a different way.”

Lamoriello pointed to the signing of unrestricted free agent Mike Cammalleri and contract extensions to Cory Schneider and Andy Greene as ways things have changed under the new group.

The GM said things are “status quo”  with unrestricted free agent Ryan Carter. According to Gulitti, Carter seems to be waiting for the Devils to move a forward before re-signing him.

When asked about restricted free agent Eric Gelinas, Lamoriello said, “We have a month to go. We want to get him signed.”

New Jersey finished the 2013-14 season with a 35-29-18 record and in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

Related: Devils GM shakes off 0-13 shootout record, pumps up free agent moves

Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension


One of the longest-tenured Devils will be sticking around for a while.

On Wednesday, New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello announced a long-term extension for defenseman Andy Greene. Greene, 31, has one year remaining on his current deal — a four-year, $12 million pact with a $3M annual cap hit — meaning his extension will kick in for the 2015-16 campaign.

UPDATE: Per, it’s a five-year deal worth $25 million. It carries a $5M annual cap hit and Greene will get $5M in salary in each of the five years. It makes Greene New Jersey’s highest-paid rearguard.

An unsigned college free agent that inked with the Devils in 2006, Greene has spent his entire eight-year career with New Jersey while appearing in nearly 500 regular season contests. Last year, he emerged as arguably the club’s most important blueliner — in addition to scoring a career-best eight goals, Greene averaged a whopping 24:35 TOI per night and led the Devils in blocked shots, with 129.

At the start of this season, New Jersey showed what it felt of Greene’s ability and leadership skills by naming him an alternate captain for the first time in his career. It was a fitting choice, as Greene is the club’s third-longest tenured player behind the Devils’ other two alternate captains, Travis Zajac and Patrik Elias.