It's the fact that you worded it as if you were mad that he's not living up to a contract he's not playing under. Everyone agrees that Zajac had a sub par year last year, but that year was not played under his new deal, thus making it impossible for him to have not lived up to our expectations for that contract.
It's like saying a movie sucked before you're done seeing the previews.
It's more like saying the sequel is going to suck because part 1 wasn't very good.
Although Vanderbeek is getting $2 million from the incoming owners to “walk away,” the team lost around $90 million during the nine years he was the controlling owner. Debt, lack of an NBA team in the arena, and only one trip past the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs combined to push Vanderbeek too far into the red to get out.
Considering how consistently wrong Forbes has been when it comes to the Devils, I don't think you can trust them for much else.
I know Bell is old for the CHL but I was surprised at his stats. 93 points in 69 games is pretty impressive. Then again it seems like a lot of older guys (Bell, Colin Smith) do well but are taken late in the draft. I hope we sign him to an ELC...he already has played 5 years in the WHL.
Atleast most of the few forward prospects specialize in scoring (Bell, Boucher, Gavrus).
I've also been hoping Lou would flip a D prospect for an equal prospect but at forward with a team skimpy in the D pipeline but beefed up up front. Something I would really want Lou to pursue. Merril, Urbom, and Gelinas are knocking on the door and Severson and Santini are not to far behind. I'm worried that most of these guys aren't even going to be given a chance unless the main squad bombs out early and it makes sense to play more than 1 of them. With the good reports about Santini and Severson I wouldn't mind moving Urbom if he doesn't beat out Gelinas/Merril out of camp.
Urbom probably has the least value of any of the Devils' prospects that are at least plauisble future NHLers. So I wouldn't expect to get too much in return. Maybe some kind of deadline acquisition for a pretty good NHLer like when the Devils acquired Salvador for virtually nothing.
having good young players means having a good prospects pool, where do you think they come from ? lol if that was just a play on words just to get me going well thats pretty useless, yet once again you took LITERALLY what i said and not what the whole thing really meant . Do i have to say... "The devils doesnt have young potential top 6 offensive players except boucher, compared to most teams in the league?" Or "most teams have one or a few studs coming their way they are just waiting for him/them to be "Ready".
i mean its not rocket science, its not that black and white either but if some teams have a better / younger NHL team than NJ at this moment, and that they have studs coming their way. It's only looking bright for the future. We don't have that, our future is so damn uncertain its scary. Most of our top players are old and near retirement and theres no one to cover for them in our prospect pool. And where we actually have depth is at D and for some reasons they are not giving the kid their chances but stack the NHL with some horrible overpaid veterans.
First off, while I enjoy reading the HF individual prospect analyses, their team rankings seem to be a bit odd. They rank the Rangers pretty high, but if you look at their individual grades, I think the Devils ought to rank higher if you're just looking at the sum of the parts. So ultimately, as Tri noted, you can't really put any stock in superficial team rankings.
Otherwise, we get it, we'd all love to have young dynamic players. Unfortunately, more often than not, you have to stink for a while. The Kings had a lot of lean years, which helped them land Kopitar, Brayden Schenn (who turned into Richards), Jack Johnson (who turned into Carter), Doughty, and Dustin Brown. The Hawks were so awful at one point that their attendance was among the worst in the league. And we all know that the Penguins are the "lucky sperm club" of hocky teams.
But still, there's no magical formula. If being a young talented team is the key, Edmonton should at least be a playoff team. They actually haven't drafted any busts that I can think of with their high draft picks, yet they still stink. If the Devils all the sudden started a youth movement, and went down in the dumps, which would be more likely than not, you'd be saying more veteran leadership is required.
All in all, I would say the Devils' future is uncertain -- not bright, but not bleak either. Their defense is old on the whole, and has some weak links, but it's good enough that you can ease in the young defensemen over time. And, for all the belly aching, the Devils are still good defensively, whether you want to measure it by shots against or goals against.
At forward, I think you have at least five more years of Kovalchuk playing at a high level. Physically, he's a freak of nature, and doesn't have any of those debilitating nagging injuries that I know of. Zajac should be good for a while. Elias is old, but so are Datsyuk and Chara, just to name a few. If they hit the open market today, they'd get at least four year deals at $7million per year. Let me put it this way, who do you think is going to be better over the next three to four years, Elias or Courturier (or Zbenjiad, Strome, Yakupov, Granlund, Kreider, or any of those other players that are in the Hockey's Future top fifteen prospects)? If you knew the NHL were going to disband in five years, you would take Elias over ANYONE currently on one of those top prospect lists. Otherwise, there are enough depth type forwards of varying quality which can help the Devils at least tread water for the next few years.
In goal, it is what it is. I still maintain though that Marty was good enough when he wasn't hurt this year, and you can pick up another "good enough" type goalie with a little bit of luck.
Yes, it would be great to have a couple of forwards on the Hockey Future's top 50 list, regardless of how accurate you think those rankings and assessments are. And hopefully whoever we draft this year, will immediately be on that list. It just isn't necessary or sufficient to be a good team in the short, medium or even long term.
Sterio, I like you, but at times you sound like this teacher I had in high school who was also the swim team coach. He always noted that being the swim team coach was the easiest job in the world. All he did was sit there and say "swim faster". That's sort of what most sports fans are like.
Sure you're not - real hard to find a guy who in each of the years where NJ won a Cup or went to the Finals, did not rank in the top 10 in save percentage. I agree that it will be difficult to find a player that highly overrated - you're ahead of me on that score. Brodeur was very good, and indeed he was great in some of those playoff series, but he's one of the most overrated players in sports.
Don't strain yourself too hard for superlatives. Doubt either of these things was really true when both guys were here (maybe Stevens in the early 90s, Niedermayer at the tail end of his NJ career), but both guys were quite excellent.
Funny how according to your precious points, Zajac has already topped Holik's career high - probably not if we adjust for era, but it's certainly close. And Zajac doesn't take a million dumb penalties like Holik, and actually kills penalties (and does so well). Holik's quite an impressive player and I'd probably take him over Zajac but it would be awfully close.
Anyway the point we were making before you derailed was that you thought this team might be a perennial playoff missing team. And I think that's absurd and said so. None of this has anything to do with that.
Marty is one of the best goalies of all time, at worst top five. Period. You can pull out whatever stats you want, you do not win three Stanley Cups, multipel Vezinas, have the most career wins and shut outs by a wide margin by being overrated. If you've come to any other conclusion based on your statistical analysis, there's obviously something missing from your analysis.
Zajac's high was better than Holik's high by one point. And notice that Zajac didn't do so well when he wasn't playing with Parise. Plus Holik was your third line center. So puhleeze. Holik was a better player in his prime than Zajac has been up till now, and probably ever will be. It isn't even debateable. (You also ignored the other centers).
But to the main point (which you derailed by spilling a lot of ink on one minor point I made) -- yes, absent adding at least one bona fide scoring forward, either from the system or in the draft, this team is close to perenially being on the outside looking in, if it isn't already. This is especially the case as the division will be much tougher next year with teams like the Islanders and Columbus improving, and not being automatic wins.
And as I think about it more, in a heart beat I would trade the entire draft (1, 2, 4, 6 and 7) to get MacKinnon, Drouin or Barkov. Each of those three players, from what I read anyway, are very safe bets to be excellent, if not elite, forwards, meaning forwards that can put the puck in the net, which is what goes up on the score board. (A second round pick and below is less than something like 20 percent to play more than 50 NHL games.) Outside of Kovalchuk and Elias -- and an old one at that -- we don't have any forwards other than guys you can describe as a "good all around player". The scorer can be a winger or a center. It really doesn't matter all that much. The situation is more dire considering we have no first round pick next year.
If you were looking at any other team that would be penciling in unproven prospects on defense, that had forwards that have trouble scoring, no top ten goalie on the horizon, and no first round pick next year, you would not be all that optimistic. However, nailing it on just one good forward in this draft, especially someone who can come in this year and put up points (yes that stat that makes your skin melt like the Ark of the Covenant), will help a great, great deal.
Chico finally got real after the game when he talked about how the Devils have made 'certain' (average at best I think he meant) goalies look like legends. We outshoot and outplay teams and have nothing to show for it. He also reluctantly admitted how we lack the high end skill to finish when we need to. This team works fvcking hard to win every battle but that only takes you so far. Sometimes goals have to come easy and they just never do for this team. Chico always tries to sugarcoat things and be an optimist so I love that he got real becausend can I agree entirely.
All of these concerns have an answer. It's Kovalchuk. Perhaps some people will finally come around to how good a player he is and how valuable he is to any team, so long as it is coached competently (unlike Atlanta).
And perhaps some people will come along to what ought not be a controversial principle that the things that actually win games are goals, not puck possession, shots on goal, driving play or other nonsense. Kovalchuk is unquestionably the best player on the team at scoring goals and helping others score goals. And what do you know, he goes down, and all the sudden the Devils can't score a single goal against the likes of those titans of goaltending that are Craig Anderson and James Reimer. This losing steak has nothing to do with luck, unless by luck you mean Kovalchuk getting hurt.