There haven’t been many times in franchise history where going into a game, you knew this could be a Devils player’s final home game, and there wasn’t something bigger at stake like trying to keep the season alive. Well tonight, there isn’t much to play for and it very well could be Patrik Elias’ last home game as a Devil. Hopefully it won’t be (and I don’t think it will be), but if it gets to July 1st, there might be some offers that blow him and the Devils away.
Patty has always been an underrated quiet star around the league and even on this team. But in the end, he owns pretty much every offensive record on this team, he’s led the team in scoring 7 times and been part of 2 Stanley Cup winning teams and 2 other Cup finalists. He continues to chug along quietly…playing great two way hockey. When the Devils brought Kovalchuk in, it was Elias leading the team in scoring during that first full-year. When Kovy was getting all the accolades with the team and around the league last season, it was Elias there right behind him and 10th in league scoring. Elias is a guy who has taken a back seat to players here be it Kovy or Parise, but he’s always right there.
There haven’t been many individual nights for him either. When he broke John MacLean’s franchise points’ record, it was unfortunately overshadowed on the same night by Martin Brodeur becoming the winningest goalie in NHL history. When he broke the franchise goal record, it happened on the road and most of his teammates had no clue about it at all. He’s often been disrespected by his own coaches nonetheless. He never had the best relationship with Pat Burns for some reason and the Brent Sutter situation was a black eye for the franchise in my opinion. Sutter, having never coached in the NHL, stripped the captaincy away from a veteran and gave it to a player that wasn’t even with the team throughout training camp and the beginning of the season. It seems like he is finally back with a coach that truly respects Elias for the leader he is and the incredible hockey player he is.
Tonight, hopefully, Devils fans can vocally do the same. If you are going to the game or know someone who is, or know of anyone to spread the word to, let’s give Elias the proper due he deserves and remind him how much he means to the franchise and the fans. Let’s get some chants going throughout the night to honour the greatest Devils forward of all-time. Maybe we can get something going to other forums or through social media. He’s a quiet unassuming guy, but I am sure it would mean the world to him as well. He certainly deserves it, regardless if it his last game or not.