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Decision time for Devil (Elias)

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Decision time for Devil

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Saturday, August 6, 2005

By TOM GULITTI

STAFF WRITER

The Devils lost their most important defenseman late Wednesday when Scott Niedermayer signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Mighty Ducks.

Next summer, the Devils could face the possibility of losing their top forward.

Left wing Patrik Elias, currently a restricted free agent, could be unrestricted on July 1, 2006 if he opts to sign his one-year, $4.18 million qualifying offer or go to arbitration. Eligible players have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file for arbitration.

Elias' agent, Todd Diamond, said Friday that his client has not yet decided on arbitration.

"We plan to talk with [Devils GM Lou Lamoriello] early next week," Diamond said.

Regardless, Elias, 30, will be a Devil in 2005-06. The question is if he'll remain one beyond that. Undoubtedly, Lamoriello would prefer to lock up Elias in a long-term deal to avoid the possibility of him following Niedermayer out the door.

Elias tied for fourth in the NHL in goals in 2003-04 with 38. He has led the Devils in scoring for five consecutive seasons.

So, he probably would command a lot of interest as an unrestricted free agent.

"That's an option," Diamond said. "But I really don't want to comment. I have to sit down with Lou and find out how he plans to operate under the new collective bargaining agreement."

Elias is recovering from a serious case of hepatitis A, which he contracted while playing in Russia during the lockout. Diamond said Elias, who has returned to his home in the Czech Republic for two weeks, has been given the go-ahead to increase his exercise after his latest blood tests came out well.

Devils strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Vasalani has provided Elias with a weight-training regimen, which he will continue while in the Czech Republic.

"When he comes back, he'll have another blood test and if that goes well, he'll be able to increase to the next level," Diamond said.

It is unknown, however, when Elias will be allowed to begin skating, and it's possible he'll miss the start of the season.

E-mail: gulitti@northjersey.com

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Not yet decided on arbitration? Wasn't it just two weeks ago when he was saying he was happy to get a contract offer at all?

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depends on who you talk to... this is the agent speaking

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I thought Marty's contract is up next year, if so, Patrick and his agent better realize who Lou's top priority is.

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Elias should also take note of what happened to his pals Arnott and Sykora.

Elias isnt in a particularly good bargaining position considering his health.

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it sounds like he has AIDs...

anyone know how he got sick? I heard you get hep from eating feces...maybe patty will wind up in one of those japanese flix.

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Patrik Elias is worth more then the qualifying offer, if he were smart he would go to arbitration take the one year deal and try his luck as a UFA. Gives him more options.

Edited by Jas0nMacIsaac

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Patrik Elias is worth more then the qualifying offer, if he were smart he would go to arbitration take the one year deal and try his luck as a UFA. Gives him more options.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i think that given his health issues, that might be risky. look at a guy like allison who had to sign for $1.5.

i could see lou sign him to a 3 year, $4.5M/year deal now, where he's manageable and this way, is elias doesn't return to form due to hep a, he's set financially.

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Something for the Devils to keep in mind:

Milan Hejduk- 5 years, 19.5 million

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Something for the Devils to keep in mind:

Milan Hejduk- 5 years, 19.5 million

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

assuming you're referring to elias, i'm quite happy with the number as it's average is less than $4M/year which would be fine for patrick. although you know lou doesn't want to give him 5 years. i think you'll see lou offer similar money for 3 years and patrick will take it as right now, his health might truly wreak havoc on the rest of his career.

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Something for the Devils to keep in mind:

Milan Hejduk- 5 years, 19.5 million

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

assuming you're referring to elias, i'm quite happy with the number as it's average is less than $4M/year which would be fine for patrick. although you know lou doesn't want to give him 5 years. i think you'll see lou offer similar money for 3 years and patrick will take it as right now, his health might truly wreak havoc on the rest of his career.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Elias is better than Hedjuk - while Hedjuk is a better sniper, Elias is by far the better all around player. I think Lou's going to have to offer something like 5/22 to 5/25, and he should do something like that during the season if Elias's health recovers. To me there's no way you don't lock up a guy like Elias long-term if you have the chance.

Edited by Triumph

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No he isn't. Hejduk is the better finisher and is very underrated at setting up guys. And equally as responsible.

Elias is the better passer and more of a streaky scorer.

Go and compare their careers. They're very similar.

Elias:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/player_bio.asp?pla...1661&hubName=NJ

Hejduk:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/player_list.asp?name=Hejduk

Edited by Derek21

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No he isn't. Hejduk is the better finisher and is very underrated at setting up guys. And equally as responsible.

Elias is the better passer and more of a streaky scorer.

Go and compare their careers. They're very similar.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hedjuk has always had an elite center to play with in an uptempo system. I do not think he is as good two way as Elias is, and I think you'll see that by how their careers end - I bet Elias stays on two more years than Hedjuk, assuming Elias recovers from hepatitis.

Hedjuk is the better finisher.

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To be perfectly honest i REALLY don't think hejduk is that good. He has this INCREDIBLE shot. And he's a great skater, and knows how to find holes, but he's not THAT great of a passer. Its more like, when he does it, it looks great. But he's not some fancy guy who does it a lot or anything.

Also like tri said hejduk has had great centers to play with. When throughout your career either sakic or floppa are your centers and sometimes tanguay and drury are your wingers its helps out too.

He by himself is a 30 goal scorer, and he showed that last time when floppa was injured over half the season. With floppa anybody goes up at least 10 goals if they spend the entire season with him. Floppa helped win drury a calder.

Hejduk is the kind of guy i see as being great with someone else, but by himself he'll NEVER carry a line.

Elias i can see carrying a line and playing outstanding defense. I take elias by more than a few miles.

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Hedjuk has always had an elite center to play with in an uptempo system.  I do not think he is as good two way as Elias is, and I think you'll see that by how their careers end - I bet Elias stays on two more years than Hedjuk, assuming Elias recovers from hepatitis.

Hedjuk is the better finisher.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Debatable. A lot more fun discussion than the last year. Elias came up earlier. You'll notice that in the stats. Their careers progressed similarly. Elias had a huge jump one year. Hejduk did the same exact thing after his rookie year.

He certainly has played with elite centers. There's no arguing that. But he gives them great targets and really knows how to find dead spots. Thing is when you watch him, he looks a lot bigger than his size. Because he's constantly in position for that release. His playmaking abilities are underrated. Sure. He's a better finisher. Maybe one of the best in the game.

Elias has played on one of the best lines with Arnott and Sykora and he's now with Gomez, who is a great passer. Great skater and excellent one-timer is why he and Gomez are a good combo. And smart.

They're both #1 line players and can play on my team anyday.

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i still think that derek is on the mark saying that elias should look to get similar money to hejduk.

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does anyone remember what holik did to hejduk in 2001? :dance:

I do believe Pat is overall more skilled, although Milan can pull the trigger for sure...

Patty is a more complete 2 way player. His defensive skills are fantastic.

If you drop Elias in the Avs lineup I'm sure we would have seen him tally some 50+ goal seasons with their more offensive oriented system and the more open western conference.

I seriously hope Elias can get healthy, what the hell was he thinking playing in the russian league and eating their sh!tty food...no pun intended... :blink:

Edited by Shred

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I see it the opposite...I think Hejduk has the better skill set while Elias has better awareness, positioning and determination. Thats not saying Elias doesn't have a good skill set.

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Let's see how Hedjuk responds this year. The Av's tried to get rid of him before the draft to save Forsberg. I am not sure how good he is going to be without him.

Elias is the real deal, a much better all-round player than Hedjuk.

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No he isn't. Hejduk is the better finisher and is very underrated at setting up guys. And equally as responsible.

Elias is the better passer and more of a streaky scorer.

Go and compare their careers. They're very similar.

Elias:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/player_bio.asp?pla...1661&hubName=NJ

Hejduk:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/player_list.asp?name=Hejduk

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you put Jim Dowd on a line with either joe sakic or peter forsberg, he'd put up comparable numbers

ok, maybe that's a bit extreme. hejduk is good, but I also believe a lot of his numbers are the result of who he gets to play with for 85% or so of his ice time.

But, it's the new nhl, and elias, realistically, is probably worth about 4.5 a year in this new era of the cap.

Bigger question, who's getting traded so lou can resign elias and gomez (let's say 4 for elias and 3 for gomez?), and also have money for the qualifiers he threw out at freeze and kozlov, and still fill the roster out with martin, hale, white, gionta etc. etc. I mean, they're over 24 mil already and only have what, 12 or 14 guys under contract?

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i still think that derek is on the mark saying that elias should look to get similar money to hejduk.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Bingo. I'm not much for saying one guy's better than the other. But they're both similar talents and basically the same age.

I think people underestimate Hejduk. He's never had a chance to play on a line without Forsberg or Sakic. But remember. Didn't he play at the Devils a couple of years ago without either and roast them for two goals and an assist?

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I think Hedjuk took less money, which is why Elias won't be seriously compared to him. Compare Hedjuk to Kariya, Satan, and other inferior scorers, and Hedjuk clearly took less money.

If Elias wants to stay in New Jersey at all costs, he'll take 5/20. I don't think he does and I don't think he will.

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