Giving The Oldest Devil His Due...
Posted 26 June 2003 - 03:57 PM
Give the Devil his due
As retirement looms, we should admire Daneyko's career
Posted: Thursday June 26, 2003 3:19 PM
Had a good talk with Ken Daneyko, the Devil of a defenseman, a couple of days ago. He's in Florida with his family, on a golf course, soaking in the Southern sun, the way a 39-year-old should after finishing his 19th NHL season and winning his third Stanley Cup. Daneyko still has that silver sheen to his voice. "Think this was the sweetest one yet," he said. "At this stage in my career. ... "
Daneyko, I'm saying here, has played his last NHL game. He hasn't announced anything yet, though the newspapers keep calling. He's still pondering a bit, still wants to have a talk with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, Daneyko's boss for the last 16 years. But by the end of our conversation he sure sounded ready to hang it up. "I'm leaning that way, leaning toward going out on top," Daneyko said.
He's played his last game, which isn't exactly as newsworthy as Patrick Roy packing up his pads. But if you think the retirement of Ken Daneyko -- toothless, battle-scarred, rugged Ken Daneyko -- doesn't mean much, you're not paying attention.
Daneyko has played for the Devils since 1983, longer than any player in any of the major four sports has been with one team. He has laced up his skates for nearly 1,300 New Jersey games; only four men in hockey history have played longer for a single club. The year he first pulled on a Devils sweater Ronald Reagan was a first-term president and New Jersey went 17-56-4-1. His teammate Scott Gomez was three years old. Daneyko has played on the worst Devils teams, and he's been at the heart of the best of them.
"If there is somebody or something that says New Jersey Devils, it's Ken Daneyko," Lamoriello once told me.
Lamoriello said that to me while I was working on a story on Daneyko and his alcoholism. It was on Nov. 2, 1997 that Daneyko went public with it, announcing that he would enter the NHL's rehab program. He'd been on the road, playing hockey and drinking, since age 15. He let everyone know about his problem in order to put pressure on himself, to give himself no room to slip. His career was in trouble, his marriage too. As Lamoriello said, "He was a man at his lowest end."
For now, the Devil appears to have beaten back his demon. There he was a couple of weeks ago taking his turn with the Cup on the Meadowlands ice. There he was a few days later, a guest on the Letterman set. Now Daneyko's thinking about his future: He'd like to get into broadcasting or maybe player personnel. He and some partners are building the Ken Daneyko IcePlex near Wayne, N.J.
For a time, it didn't seem as if his career ending would be so sweet. Daneyko had played Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to help New Jersey beat the Senators. But in the Finals, with the Devils up against the Mighty Ducks' mighty speed, coach Pat Burns sat Daneyko down. "After I didn't play the first six games, there was no chance I'd get in for Game 7."
Then it happened. The night before the deciding game, Burns came to Daneyko at the team dinner and said quietly, "You're in. Don't tell anybody."
"I was like a little kid, weak-kneed and in awe," says Daneyko. "I called my wife. She had to settle me down, remind me I've been doing this 20 years."
This is from a man who has played in 12 Game 7s, one shy of the record. This is from a man who has played in just about every big game in Devils history.
When New Jersey fans heard the pregame scratches and realized Daneyko was not among them, they roared. They roared again when he came over the boards for his first shift, and they stood and cheered one giant thank you, when he touched the puck. Never mind that Daneyko has averaged about 1.5 goals a year for his career. He's been the steady, body-crushing lifeblood of the defense for as long as most Devils fans can remember.
As the game wound down, and the Cup was secure, Burns let Daneyko stay on the ice for the final, splendid minute and a half. Daneyko deserved it. "The way the fans were that night reminds me that these 20 years have really been worth something," said Daneyko. "This year a lot of guys on our team had storybook endings. This was mine."
Posted 26 June 2003 - 04:16 PM
New Jersey Devils|3|New York Yankees|27|New York Giants|3|Penn State|4|
"They are the loudest and most loyal students in the country. They call this place Happy Valley?
That's an understatement tonight. This is definitely the best place on Earth. I have seen Paternoville,
I have seen these students...there is nothing like this in the country."
-ESPN College Gameday
"We cannot rank Penn State University against other schools
in the party school category because we feel it is unfair to
rank professionals against amateurs."
"You're driving along with nothing and then it's like
cow... cow... cow... 20,000 hot chicks!
That's Penn State."
Posted 26 June 2003 - 04:20 PM
Now that we are going to have a season, I can post these...
2004-2005 NJDevs.com winner of the Brodeur, Lamoriello and Howe awards, thanks guys, I appreciate the hat trick.
Posted 26 June 2003 - 04:28 PM
2006 Pat Burns Award Winner(Most emotional Poster)
2006 JHL CHAMPION!!
2005 CHAMPION of the 1st Annual NJDevs Fantasy Wrestling League!!!
2005 Finalist 1st Annual NJDEVS Fantasy Baseball League
2005 Pat Burns Award Winner(Most emotional Poster)
2004 LockOut Trivia CHAMP!!!
Keeper of The original Welcome to Hell Forum, Jimmy Dowd, Brian Rolston, "Christmas Tree" Jersey's and the Original Trade Documents of the FREEZE man!!
BOM U11G Dynamite
Posted 26 June 2003 - 04:31 PM
The Eagle picks my eye, the worm he licks my bones.
Feel so suicidal, just like Dylan's Mr. Jones.
Is this heaven? No its Iowa.
Posted 26 June 2003 - 04:34 PM
He's done, it's a matter of the announcement.
Posted 26 June 2003 - 04:56 PM
"He has no ego," says Lou Lamoriello, general manager of the New Jersey Devils. "I don't think he has a selfish bone in his body. It gets infectious with people around him, but that's Joe. Having him here was something very special."
And the simple truth is this -- before and after Joe Nieuwendyk, this franchise has not been as good. Yes the same could be said for others, but Nieuwendyk's effect on his team, on his team's best players, on the fans and in the community can only be compared to, well, what Jarome Iginla is doing now in Calgary. Ralph Strangis, dallasstars.com
Posted 26 June 2003 - 07:05 PM
It was a nice way to go out. It sounds like he's at peace with everything & ready to move on.
Posted 26 June 2003 - 07:18 PM
Geez he used to have hair ya know
So long and thanks for all the fish.
"When we were struggling at the beginning of the year we were wondering what was wrong and trying to find reasons. At the end of the day, all we had to do was look in the mirror and the answers were right there." -- Sergei Brylin 12/2/2007
Posted 26 June 2003 - 07:18 PM
Posted 26 June 2003 - 07:32 PM
I even put a part of it in my signature!
...poster claims to have a friend whos father know Kovalchucks agent's close partner and he was told by his friends father that they are just sorting the details out.
The artist formerly known as RD
Posted 27 June 2003 - 10:55 AM
IN LOU WE TRUST @Manta04
Posted 27 June 2003 - 11:00 AM
Posted 27 June 2003 - 11:21 AM
Posted 27 June 2003 - 12:02 PM
He deserves a big party and rafter hanging.
Thanks Dano for always being there, no greed....just constant effort.
Enjoy retirement but I think this will be just a step to another venture.
"Bring Them On" sure George, your arrogant "my way or the highway" policies and remarks pissed the Iragi off more... 32 unnecessary US military deaths so far since G. W.'s remarks and dozens are wounded. It continues daily. Thanks Goerge. There are now 10-25 attacks against US soldiers daily.
Smart mouth, arrogant Bush, his kids are safe.
The BUCK never stops at BUSH if it's bad, he finds someone to take the blame for him, ie: Tenet's mea cupa.
Impeach G. W., the Iraq war was built on his lies...... lies........lies.
Do Not Re-Elect a Son of a Bush. Impeach him instead.
Posted 27 June 2003 - 01:22 PM
Yeah, I knew what you meant. I just wanted to "yank the chain" as they say.
C'mon DevilBoy, you know what I meant. He just sounds like he knows it might be the best time to hang'em up and go out in burst of glory rather than fade away and go on a year or two longer than maybe he should have.
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