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Devils Midseason Report Card: Team in midst of misery

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Fine, but the only big salary they added, and it isn't too big at that, is Byfulin (maybe Sopel). I don't think re-signing Kovy, which they were prepared to do in a big way, would have prevented that, at least from a dollars standpoint.

I don't think they make that trade with Chicago with Kovalchuk still a Thrasher.

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The Thrashers don't spend to the cap. I don't think they ever did.

Thrashers cap space by year, according to NHLNumbers.com (I couldn't find old cap numbers on CapGeek):

2007-08 - $7.195M

2008-09 - $15.267M

2009-10 - $9.794M

Average - $10.752

2010-11 - $17.185M

Adding Kovalchuk's current cap hit to their current payroll actually brings them almost exactly to what they've been averaging for the previous three seasons.

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LOL at Manta's steadfast refusal to admit that the Devs were in trouble before acquiring Kovy.

If the Devils were "in trouble" before signing Kovalchuk, then why the heck did they sign him? He was supposed to be a piece to make the team a Cup contender, in the prime of his career.

Let's say the Devils are a non-playoff team the next two years (or squeaking in and losing a round). Then I think you can call the Kovalchuk signing a bust. A big one.

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I don't think they make that trade with Chicago with Kovalchuk still a Thrasher.

And maybe Chicago doesn't win the cup and decides to keep Byfuglien and trade Ladd, Sopel, Eager and someone else or they get a better deal or someone takes a big chunk of salary off their hands at the trade deadline. That's completely unpredictable.

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If the Devils were "in trouble" before signing Kovalchuk, then why the heck did they sign him? He was supposed to be a piece to make the team a Cup contender, in the prime of his career.

Let's say the Devils are a non-playoff team the next two years (or squeaking in and losing a round). Then I think you can call the Kovalchuk signing a bust. A big one.

How can you say that? What if they win the Cup in 3 years? Then again in 6 years? Still a bust? What if Kovy scores 40 goals next year? Still a bust if he doesn't correct all the other problems on the team and get us a Cup?

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Prodigy, if this team is truly rebuilding and loses Parise, then the Kovalchuk deal is a monumental bust.

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If Kovy had like 25 goals and 27 assists right now and we were still in last place would you all be lamenting his signing?

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Losing some games with a team that had just set a franchise best half season was fixable.

And Lou tried to fix it by acquiring an offensive dynamo.

Gutting your team, philosophically, physically, morale-wise, financially and prospect wise for a talented individual that has to be taught a new way of playing is different.

Philosophically: Maybe so, but the old Devils way -- the philosophy that won 3 Cups -- no longer works in the NHL. I haven't been the biggest Lou fan since the lockout, but you gotta give him credit for at least trying to adapt by bringing in another scorer.

Physically: Eh? Are you talking about losing Oduya?

Morale: Gee, I didn't realize the guys were depressed by the trade. Besides, something's been wrong in that locker room for years; somebody said yesterday or earlier today that one positive about this season is that the various problems have finally been laid bare. Hopefully that'll make it easier to fix them.

Financially: As long as the man whose name is on the door is okay with writing that check, there's not much any of us can say about that. Unless you're complaining about the salary cap, to which I respond: Don't worry about my cap I'm still waiting for that list of defensemen you claim Lou would have signed had he not been focused on Kovy this offseason. And even with that circus, he still managed to sign Volchenkov and Tallinder.

Prospects: Cormier is damaged goods and Bergfors hasn't panned out. (And I was a bigger Bergfors fan than most.) Losing Oduya and the draft pick hurt, but you gotta give to get. And they even got Salmela back.

Your starting from scratch when you didn't have too.

You were going to have to start from scratch -- or close to it -- in a couple years anyway. You've got too many players who are a couple years away from retirement, even after the Langenbrunner trade. It sucks that the rebuilding had to start sooner rather than later, but it was imminent nonetheless.

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Prodigy, if this team is truly rebuilding and loses Parise, then the Kovalchuk deal is a monumental bust.

There's no guarantee that Parise stays here if we don't sign Kovalchuk. Parise is upset about the coaching carousel and first round exits. I'm sure sharing the spotlight with Kovy is less of a problem.

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If Kovy had like 25 goals and 27 assists right now and we were still in last place would you all be lamenting his signing?

Is he still minus-29? :P

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Is he still minus-29? :P

Kovy's only been a plus player once in his NHL career and that was last year with ATL/NJ. It's not like he's a defensive stalwart.

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There's no guarantee that Parise stays here if we don't sign Kovalchuk. Parise is upset about the coaching carousel and first round exits. I'm sure sharing the spotlight with Kovy is less of a problem.

Why anyone would want Kovalchuk here without Parise is beyond me. Some of you have lost sight of the goal, which is shocking to me.

The Devils signed Ilya Kovalchuk to make the Devils a better playoff team (at least that's why the Devils said they did this). That has not happened yet. But anything short of that makes the Kovalchuk signing a mistake. If the team sucks and he gets 48 goals, then the signing is bad. If the team is rebuilding, then why would they want a $100 million contract on the books? What's the point? Hello? McFly?

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If Kovy had like 25 goals and 27 assists right now and we were still in last place would you all be lamenting his signing?

It would be almost impossible for the Devils to be a last-place team with Kovy having a big year.

But yeah I suspect he'd get a lot more sympathy if he was playing well, but he's having the worst year of his career and the team is having the worst year in its last 25 seasons - Year 1 has certainly been an utter failure by all accounts.

Why anyone would want Kovalchuk here without Parise is beyond me. Some of you have lost sight of the goal, which is shocking to me.

I don't see how you could get that from reading his post...his point was that whether Zach leaves might not have anything to do with Kovy period. Which I think is true, I don't think ego is a problem for Zach but the state of the team sure could be.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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If the Devils were "in trouble" before signing Kovalchuk, then why the heck did they sign him? He was supposed to be a piece to make the team a Cup contender, in the prime of his career.

Geez, all he did was average a point per game in the two months he was here. What more would you have liked? And I'm sure management felt comfortable resigning him as they assumed he'd adapt to the rest of the team sooner rather than later. If John MacLean hadn't been promoted and a coach who knew what he was doing was hired from the get-go instead, I feel pretty confident in saying that we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Let's say the Devils are a non-playoff team the next two years (or squeaking in and losing a round). Then I think you can call the Kovalchuk signing a bust. A big one.

Fair enough.

Prodigy, if this team is truly rebuilding and loses Parise, then the Kovalchuk deal is a monumental bust.

Why do you assume we would have been able to keep Parise without Kovalchuk?

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Perfectly logical argument if you leave out the tricky little detail that one team was in first place and the other is in last place.

Hmm. Why is that?

That's not a red herring or anything. Why don't you compare Kovy's stats with Rolston's stats this season?

In the context of the discussion it was about fit and roles pre/post Kovy.

You're taking a sampling that shows what you want it to show. To compare Brian Rolston from the first half of last year to Ilya Kovalchuk the first half of this year serves absolutely nothing.

So you're not following.

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In the context of the discussion it was about fit and roles pre/post Kovy.

So you're saying that Kovalchuk is responsible for Rolston's decline in production because he took his role on the powerplay? Thats funny, because I seem to remember Rolston still being attempted on the powerplay in the past year since Kovalchuk's been here and not being able to hit the broadside of a barn with a shotgun. Was that Kovalchuk's fault too?

Hell, Jason Arnott was getting that spot for a little while and actually SCORING while doing it. How come Brian couldn't?

Edited by NewarkDevil5

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Rowdy, of course there's no guarantee that Parise would stay even if Kovalchuk wasn't here. But if you begin with the premise that Kovalchuk was supposed to put the Devils over the top, then losing our best player doesn't get the team any closer to the ultimate goal -- the Cup.

Let's say that Parise has decided he wants out. Lou trades him for a package that includes mostly picks/prospects. Then we're stuck with Kovalchuk on a team that is waiting for those kids to become NHL players. It makes no sense.

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[quote name='MantaRay' timestamp='1294866652' post='979942'

In the context of the discussion it was about fit and roles pre/post Kovy
.

A rising tide lifts all boats. The team was rolling the first half of last season so of course Rolston's numbers are going to be better. You're comparing a team that was killing it to a team this year that is getting killed. It's an unfair comparison.

It would be almost impossible for the Devils to be a last-place team with Kovy having a big year.

Ovechkin and Crosby put up pretty impressive numbers while their teams were near the bottom of the pack.

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Hmm. Why is that?

This is another one of those moments where it's difficult to tell if you're just playing dumb to try to somehow prove a point, or if you really are just this dumb. Surely you understand that players will have better numbers on a better team?

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In the context of the discussion it was about fit and roles pre/post Kovy.

So you're not following.

Once again, you've decided on a context that fits your argument. It doesn't fit reality, but it fits your argument so you're restricting the context. Comparing Rolston before Ilya got here to Ilya's numbers after getting here is not a direct comparison of the two. Compare how the two have fared on the same team in the same season. They both play in front of the same coaches who decide who is more beneficial to the team to get the ice time. They both play the same position with the same teammates under the same system (or lack thereof this year). Both have very high contracts (yes, Kovalchuk's is higher). That is how you achieve an apples to apples comparison. Not by taking an arbitrary time period from one guy's stats and comparing it to the other guy's.

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Rowdy, of course there's no guarantee that Parise would stay even if Kovalchuk wasn't here. But if you begin with the premise that Kovalchuk was supposed to put the Devils over the top, then losing our best player doesn't get the team any closer to the ultimate goal -- the Cup.

Let's say that Parise has decided he wants out. Lou trades him for a package that includes mostly picks/prospects. Then we're stuck with Kovalchuk on a team that is waiting for those kids to become NHL players. It makes no sense.

Zach isn't the be all end all key to the cup. Kirk Muller put up some pretty impressive numbers with this club too but he didn't get us to the Stanley Cup. It would suck to lose Zach and I hope we re-sign him but 5mil off the books and 4 1st round picks will help soften the blow.

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Zach isn't the be all end all key to the cup. Kirk Muller put up some pretty impressive numbers with this club too but he didn't get us to the Stanley Cup. It would suck to lose Zach and I hope we re-sign him but 5mil off the books and 4 1st round picks will help soften the blow.

Carpathian, if Lou can turn Zach Parise into gold for this team, then hallelujah. A bunch of first-round picks won't cut it, though ... we need good NHL players to make the Devils' $100 million investment in Kovalchuk mean something.

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Carpathian, if Lou can turn Zach Parise into gold for this team, then hallelujah. A bunch of first-round picks won't cut it, though ... we need good NHL players to make the Devils' $100 million investment in Kovalchuk mean something.

Understood, but the Devils made their bed with the Kovy deal now they have to sleep in it. If we lose Zach, we lose Zach and we have to do a bit of rebuilding. In the very least we've got an extra 5 mil and 4 1st round picks. Imagine the leverage we would have in trades with a first round pick available, especially 4 1st round picks. I was watching the Rogers feed of the Edmonton game last night and the between period commentators were speculating that Brad Richards may fetch a 2nd round pick(I think he'll get a bit more) at the trade deadline. That's Brad Richards. Now imagine the returns if you can afford to throw in a first rounder.

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Understood, but the Devils made their bed with the Kovy deal now they have to sleep in it. If we lose Zach, we lose Zach and we have to do a bit of rebuilding. In the very least we've got an extra 5 mil and 4 1st round picks. Imagine the leverage we would have in trades with a first round pick available, especially 4 1st round picks. I was watching the Rogers feed of the Edmonton game last night and the between period commentators were speculating that Brad Richards may fetch a 2nd round pick(I think he'll get a bit more) at the trade deadline. That's Brad Richards. Now imagine the returns if you can afford to throw in a first rounder.

Wait why would Brad Richards get traded at the deadline?

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Wait why would Brad Richards get traded at the deadline?

He was considered trade bait because he's a UFA at the offseason. Dallas didn't really expect to have the season that they are currently having. His salary is 7.8 million so they figured he could be traded at the deadline to a playoff contending team by the deadline. However, Dallas is third in the Western Conference so he may be off the table.

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