So where to begin...
We fall 2 wins short of hoisting our 4th Stanley Cup in franchise history, and then the circus begins.
Hour(s) after the Kings hoist the Cup, David Clarkson drunkenly stumbles into a light post, Zubrus has chicks on his lap in a cab. Sykora sees the whole situation going down and gets out of dodge. Greene is blowing lines off of hookers in an alley way...
OK, I'm kidding...enough of the TMZ nonsense.
While the majority of fans thought Marty would comeback for a one year farewell tour at a modest salary, the announcement comes out that he hired Brisson as his agent. UH OH! I have told many of my Devils friends from midseason that I expected Marty to try to get a 2 year deal. His playoff run solidified that in my mind, and apparently Marty's also. 2 years, $9 mill later...we will not have to stomach seeing the great Martin in another NHL uniform. Crisis averted, all is well in the world. (well at least in DevilLand...for most except Tri) Marty is THE franchise and he earned it. Hopefully he can play well these next 2 years, and play even better in the postseason. (Sidenote: If he can win 30-35 games/year over the next 2...he will be back for a third, lmao)
The Zach Parise Saga/KovalWatch 2.0: Man oh man. This was like a bad soap opera from the beginning. First, let me say I thought Lou dropped the ball on this big time when he failed to lock Zach up long term last year. Yes I know there were nonstop propaganda reports of him "trying" and "working on a deal", but in the end it DID NOT WORK. When he signed the 1 year deal, I pretty much anticipated that he would at least "test" free agency and would not sign prior to July 1. Now, it is hard to judge without knowing the exact details and offers, but I would think Lou tried lowballing him and Zach passed. Had Lou made a strong offer from the beginning, we may not be bitching about Zach today and he could be in a Devils jersey for another decade. Pure speculation, I would guess Lou made an offer somewhere in the ballpark of 8 years/$60 mill. Had he kicked it up to 12 years/$90 mill or so he may have signed on the dotted line right then and there. The world will likely never know. Now it is July 1...FREE AGENCY BEGINS!!! Nothing on day 1 whatsoever, snooze fest. People in many hockey markets sit at their computer all day furiously reloading Twitter waiting for some major news to break. Nothing. Fast forward a day or 2....Zach keeps a good poker face during an interview and says "we are closer than yesterday, it is a tough decision" etc etc. He also states he is going home to Minnesota and does not plan to come back to his agent's office for another day. INTERESTING. As others have pointed out, he was probably leaning towards the Wild all year long. He talked about him and Suter texting each other during the year talking about how nice it would be to play together?!?!? This sounds like a gay love interest plotline straight from "Sopranos" johnny-cake infested season. Gimme a break. You are a grown ass man, who was the CAPTAIN of the 2012 EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS. Sounds like a couple of middle school kids talking about transferring to the same school to play together. "Maybe we can bunk together too! I love bunkbeds!" I believe Zach did give us some consideration, but I do not believe it was ever that serious. He loved the allure of going home and playing with his buddy, and he made his choice. I hope the Wild never make the playoffs and every April on Zach watches his former mates contending for LORD STANLEY'S CUP. Had he exited a little differently than he did, I would not be as hostile towards him. But do not make statements like "Winning is the most important thing. I want to win." and then go and sign with a sh!t team. What happened Zach, the Oilers didn't make you an offer?!? Nothing from Garth Snow on Long Island??? They are some powerhouses on the verge of winning a Cup too. Zach was one of my favorite players, and it sucks to see him leave like this. It hurts more as a "fan" than it hurts the team. We will be just FINE without him. I truly believe that. I hope mom makes some good Sunday dinners Zach and it was all worth it. You may put up some OK numbers out there, but you will NEVER compete for a Cup. Another side note, it is sickening to know that Minny is nearly a slam dunk now for a Winter Classic. The Devils deserve one damnit!!!
We still have a solid nucleus and some young kids in the mix. Let's toy around with some potential line combinations. I think I would like to see something like this:
Bernier-Carter-Gionta (are these boys good enough to make them our THIRD line?!?!?)
Doesn't seem too bad does it? I would be happy going into the season with this crop of forwards. I wouldn't mind Lou bringing in Semin as a project, but he is not a Lou type of player right now at all. But again, Kovy was not either and his transformation over the past couple of seasons has been nothing short of amazing. If Semin came in, worked hard and changed his ways...he could be a force in the black and red. I won't hold my breath for this signing though.
As far as the Captaincy...I know most are saying to give it to Kovy, but I would not. Patty is the most deserving, but as we know he does not want the C. I would give it to Zajac, with Kovy and Elias donning the A's.
All in all, as a fan it pains me to lose Parise. But the on ice product will not suffer as much as some people think. Life goes on, and we will be a playoff contention team once again....
LET'S GO DEVILS!!!
Salvador will get the "C" before Zajac does