You know - for that matter what is Jersey bringing to the table for ANY NHL player anymore? a half-assed warm-n-fuzzy Larry Robinson is about it, near as I can tell. Maybe I'm just in a mood. A Lady Bynging Oates? A smart Mac who has zero experience - he's must just be spending this whole year doing nothing but observing and learning -- he won't be ready for action for a year probably two and THEN he'll have to move to a new team to put it all in play I'd bet.
I said this in the chat the other night, but there is really nothing from a professional standpoint that would keep people in NJ anymore. It used to be all about winning. That is what kept people here. The chance to win. To be a contender every season. But guess what, every single free agent post-lockout has left NJ and experienced something better.
Scott Niedermayer - His career took off even more. Played with his brother, enjoyed the weather, won a Cup, Conn Smythe, etc.
Brian Rafalski - went to Detroit and immediately won a Stanley Cup, followed by another Cup appearance. Chances are they will be contender again this year.
Scott Gomez - Left Jersey for the city he wanted and beat the Devils in the first round the next year. Got to the Conference Finals last season with Montreal. Even though he has been traded, I don't think he is unhappy for a second with his decision.
Aaron Asham - Went to Philly where he went back to bring the fairly productive player he never was in NJ. Stanley Cup appearance last year with a strong playoff performance.
Jim Dowd - Larger role in Philly and Conference Finals appearance his first season gone.
Brian Gionta - Makes the Conference Finals in his first year with Montreal and becomes the captain of the most storied franchise in hockey.
John Madden - Wins a Cup his first year gone in Chicago.
Mike Rupp - Goes to Pittsburgh where he goes back to being an everyday player, where he isn't being scratched by his head coach. Has a career year scoring 13 goals.
Paul Martin - To early to say what is in store in Pitt, but it wouldn't be a stretch to say he'll be having more success there.
And it isn't like anyone who signed with NJ with the idea of winning a Stanley Cup or having a great chance every year has worked out. Almost every free agent brought in has struggled from Mogilny, Malahkov, McGillis, Matvichuk, Rachunek, Vishnevski, Holik, Rolston, Niedermayer, Tallinder, Arnott and of course with the trade, Kovalchuk.
If Zach needs to talk to any former teammates when he becomes a UFA, I don't think any of them from the list above is telling him don't leave. They are probably all enjoying their new organizations and successes they have each had outside of NJ.
Edited by devilsrule33, 09 November 2010 - 03:21 PM.