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MantaRay

Slapshots 7/15

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July 15, 2007 -- THIS was at practice during the latter stages of last season, after the championship core of Devils had become skeptical that Claude Julien possessed either the inner core of toughness or independence from Mayor-Judge-Town Sheriff-Inn Keeper Lou Lamoriello to lead the team to a Stanley Cup.

With Lamoriello attending to administrative duties and therefore absent from his usual perch at the rink, one of the veterans intentionally shot a puck at Julien during a drill to test how the coach would respond. The story goes that when Julien refused to confront the athlete or even acknowledge the overt act of disrespect, the players concluded that the head coach would have to go, and essentially fired him.

Rest assured. No player will dare shoot a puck at Brent Sutter.

The Devils always have been a unique group, as demanding of their coaches as their coaches have been of them, and in some cases, even more so. They push the margins, and if their coaches don't push back, they find the way to inform Lamoriello that a change is needed. Even as this championship core covets independence, even as it shrinks, it requires discipline.

It is about tough love in New Jersey, and has been since Jacques Lemaire walked down the waters of the St. Lawrence Seaway to establish New Jersey as the epicenter of NHL Eastern Conference power 14 summers ago. The franchise is about honor and work ethic and pride, the same way that honor, work ethic and pride define the Sutters.

Sutter was born to be a Devil, this most talented of the six brothers who snarled and battled their way through the NHL in the '70s, '80s and '90s, this center who could make plays for Mike Bossy, this two-time Cup-winning Islander, this disciple of the great Al Arbour who wins championships wherever he goes.

The Devils may have lost Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski to free agency this month. But the addition of Brent Sutter - tough, independent and resource- ful - leaves the franchise ahead for the summer.

*

This gem is for Tri:

If Roman Hamrlik was able to get three years at $5.5 million from Montreal this summer and Rafalski was able to get $30 million over five years from the Red Wings, then first-pair defenseman Michal Rozsival will command at least $6 million per on a long-term deal as an impending unrestricted free agent next summer, and the Rangers know it.

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July 15, 2007 -- THIS was at practice during the latter stages of last season, after the championship core of Devils had become skeptical that Claude Julien possessed either the inner core of toughness or independence from Mayor-Judge-Town Sheriff-Inn Keeper Lou Lamoriello to lead the team to a Stanley Cup.

With Lamoriello attending to administrative duties and therefore absent from his usual perch at the rink, one of the veterans intentionally shot a puck at Julien during a drill to test how the coach would respond. The story goes that when Julien refused to confront the athlete or even acknowledge the overt act of disrespect, the players concluded that the head coach would have to go, and essentially fired him.

Rest assured. No player will dare shoot a puck at Brent Sutter.

The Devils always have been a unique group, as demanding of their coaches as their coaches have been of them, and in some cases, even more so. They push the margins, and if their coaches don't push back, they find the way to inform Lamoriello that a change is needed. Even as this championship core covets independence, even as it shrinks, it requires discipline.

It is about tough love in New Jersey, and has been since Jacques Lemaire walked down the waters of the St. Lawrence Seaway to establish New Jersey as the epicenter of NHL Eastern Conference power 14 summers ago. The franchise is about honor and work ethic and pride, the same way that honor, work ethic and pride define the Sutters.

Sutter was born to be a Devil, this most talented of the six brothers who snarled and battled their way through the NHL in the '70s, '80s and '90s, this center who could make plays for Mike Bossy, this two-time Cup-winning Islander, this disciple of the great Al Arbour who wins championships wherever he goes.

The Devils may have lost Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski to free agency this month. But the addition of Brent Sutter - tough, independent and resource- ful - leaves the franchise ahead for the summer.

*

This gem is for Tri:

If Roman Hamrlik was able to get three years at $5.5 million from Montreal this summer and Rafalski was able to get $30 million over five years from the Red Wings, then first-pair defenseman Michal Rozsival will command at least $6 million per on a long-term deal as an impending unrestricted free agent next summer, and the Rangers know it.

The Devils still have work to do. The have the makings of a good blue collar team. Still, in order to win games you have to score goals. The PP is going to me more important this year than ever. They have to address it. They haven't replaced Gomer or Rafalski and this is the area they need replacing the most.

Edited by capo

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the 'veterans' story sounds apocryphal - whatever.

roszival will not get 6 million dollars a year. he'll get 4, maybe.

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The Devils still have work to do. The have the makings of a good blue collar team. Still, in order to win games you have to score goals. The PP is going to me more important this year than ever. They have to address it. They haven't replaced Gomer or Rafalski and this is the area they need replacing the most.

You can't replace a Gomer and Rafalski, but our PP will be very good regardless and should not be much of concern.

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You can't replace a Gomer and Rafalski, but our PP will be very good regardless and should not be much of concern.

manta, you gotta give me some of what you're smoking these days.

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manta, you gotta give me some of what you're smoking these days.

I believe they are from Cuba. Celebratory in nature.

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yea our power play is pretty much guaranteed to be bottom third of the league

but our even strength scoring should go up over last year IMO.

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yea our power play is pretty much guaranteed to be bottom third of the league

but our even strength scoring should go up over last year IMO.

I think we will be better than last year in the PP (I think we were 15th with Gomer & Rafi last year) and I agree our regular Strength scoring will be better as well.

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I believe they are from Cuba. Celebratory in nature.

Cubans are over rated.

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if this vet story is true, the only guy that i could see doing that is madden. just my .02.

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if this vet story is true, the only guy that i could see doing that is madden. just my .02.

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if this vet story is true, the only guy that i could see doing that is madden. just my .02.

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If our PP is to be better than last year. I wonder who is going to be able to skate the puck across the blue line when the opposing team is refusing entry into our zone.

Because as I recall other than dump and chase there was only one guy who could do that the past few years. Granted with the added size up front with Zubrus the dump and chase should have a bit more success in fighting to gain control of the puck.

However, As it stands other than Oduya last season who shown brief glimpses. The Devils do not have anyone who can skate with the puck into traffic with confidence.

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If everyone is on top of their game, Oduya and Martin can do it. Maybe even Greene. First unit Gionta and Elias are fast. Second unit Parise is fast. I think Zubrus was a great addition because this team still has a lot of speed and now more size.

I think Greene can put up big numbers too...

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if this vet story is true, the only guy that i could see doing that is madden. just my .02.

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its hard to belive that this is true even if a team did not like there coach who takes a slapshot at him

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It seems more like a Gomez thing to do since he didn't give a sh!t 2/3rds of the season anyway, and did seem to be one of the ones who got their ass in line when the man in charge took charge!

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It seems more like a Gomez thing to do since he didn't give a sh!t 2/3rds of the season anyway, and did seem to be one of the ones who got their ass in line when the man in charge took charge!

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I'd probably say either Madden or Gomez. Weird.

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I used to take shots at my hs coach...thats cause he was a real prick though and had me centering the green line

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