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Elias Announces Retirement


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Just now, DevsMan84 said:

I have heard rumors for a good 15 years now that Elias and Sykora were not nearly as close as fans and others made them out to be.  In fact, most of those rumors have pointed that Arnott and Elias were closer friends and that neither cared much for Sykora after the 2000 playoffs.

Gotcha.  I could see that to a degree, though it's probably easier to think that being that Sykora was the one who departed from the team first, leaving a connection between Elias/Arnott lasting a little longer.  I have to think, despite the fact that we all know how much Lou loved re-treads, that Sykora came back for a 2nd stint in part because of Elias.  I have to imagine he probably vouched for him and wanted his former linemate/countryman back, but I could be wrong.

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1 hour ago, '7' said:

Elias was the type of player you dream about having on your franchise. Home grown, a fierce competitor that always strove to improve, a clutch playoff performer, responsible defensively. He never called attention to himself, never a peep about him off the ice. 

In this age of social media we see pro athletes indiscretions pasted everywhere...all the time. The list of guys who you can point to and tell your kids "be like them, play like that...do that in that situation" is growing smaller and smaller. Elias is one of those guys who is still a role model.

It was a great privilege watching him play.

Well said.  Some people would consider a player like that "boring", in some sad way.

For me, what's amazing about Elias' career is that it wasn't all smooth sailing here, but he found ways to fight through.  And like it's been noted multiple times, it's not like this franchise always did right by him, in terms of supplying him complementary talent...he admitted in a NYT article (today's) that he sometimes wondered about playing for other teams (no real surprise)...can't say that I blame him.  That first year-and-a-half or so after he signed his big deal (after very nearly signing with the Rangers), he was clearly having a tough time...the 4-goals-in-42 games slump, the constant looking up at the rafters after yet another scoring opportunity gone for naught...he scored just 24 goals in his first 100 games (regular season and playoffs combined) after signing that 7-year contract, and though his overall numbers didn't seem to be that bad in that time frame, something just didn't seem right with him.  From a purely forensic standpoint, one could say he had incredibly rotten puck luck those two seasons (7.9 and 7.6 shooting%s, well below his 12.4% career number).  Well, as we saw, he fought through it (a couple of years like that might have broken others), and though he never as dynamic as he had been earlier in his career, and was continually asked to do a lot as he aged, he found a way to be consistent well into his late 30s.   

Always thought it was cool that, in 2010-11, he said something along the lines of "Because things aren't going well here doesn't mean you look to bail."  I'm not sure when it happened exactly, but where at one point he wasn't sure about being a Devil forever, something seemed to have changed, and he decided he was all in, no matter what.  I like that Elias really seems to look back on his entire tenure here, good and bad, with no regrets. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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2 minutes ago, NJDfan1711 said:

Gotcha.  I could see that to a degree, though it's probably easier to think that being that Sykora was the one who departed from the team first, leaving a connection between Elias/Arnott lasting a little longer.  I have to think, despite the fact that we all know how much Lou loved re-treads, that Sykora came back for a 2nd stint in part because of Elias.  I have to imagine he probably vouched for him and wanted his former linemate/countryman back, but I could be wrong.

Arnott was actually the first to leave at the 2001-02 trade deadline in the deal with McKay for Nieuwendyk and Langs.  In the summer of 2002 Sykora and others were traded for Friesen and Tverdovsky.

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2 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Well said.  Some people would consider a player like that "boring", in some sad way.

For me, what's amazing about Elias' career is that it wasn't all smooth sailing here, but he found ways to fight through.  And like it's been noted multiple times, it's not like this franchise always did right by him, in terms of supplying him complementary talent...he admitted in a NYT article (today's) that he sometimes wondered about playing for other teams (no real surprise)...can't say that I blame him.  That first year-and-a-half or so after he signed his big deal (after very nearly signing with the Rangers), he was clearly having a tough time...the 4-goals-in-42 games slump, the constant looking up at the rafters after yet another scoring opportunity gone for naught...he scored just 24 goals in his first 100 games (regular season and playoffs combined), and though his overall numbers didn't seem to be that bad in that time frame, something just didn't seem right with him.  From a purely forensic standpoint, one could say he had incredibly rotten puck luck those two seasons (7.9 and 7.6 shooting%s, well below his 12.4% career number).  Well, as we saw, he fought through it (a couple of years like that might have broken others), and though he never as dynamic as he had been earlier in his career, and was continually asked to do a lot as he aged, he found a way to be consistent well into his late 30s.   

Always thought it was cool that, in 2010-11, he said something along the lines of "Because things aren't going well here doesn't mean you look to bail."  I'm not sure when it happened exactly, but where at one point he wasn't sure about being a Devil forever, something seemed to have changed, and he decided he was all in, no matter what.  I like that Elias really seems to look back on his entire tenure here, good and bad, with no regrets. 

Wasn't Elias also hampered by a nagging groin injury in the 06-07 and 07-08 years?  I kind of remembered that Elias finally had that repaired for good in the 2008 or 2009 off-season and he had a couple of decent seasons afterwards.

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4 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

I have heard rumors for a good 15 years now that Elias and Sykora were not nearly as close as fans and others made them out to be.  In fact, most of those rumors have pointed that Arnott and Elias were closer friends and that neither cared much for Sykora after the 2000 playoffs.

Don't want to make this the "What happened with Sykora?" thread, but I've heard that teammates didn't think Sykora was the hardest worker or the most motivated guy in the world, and got a little too comfortable after 2001 (that A-line home/road split was so bizarre in 2001-02).  I know when Stevens and others thought Sykora could've played in every game in the 2002 playoffs...and that definitely factored into his being dealt in the Friesen trade. 

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3 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

Wasn't Elias also hampered by a nagging groin injury in the 06-07 and 07-08 years?  I kind of remembered that Elias finally had that repaired for good in the 2008 or 2009 off-season and he had a couple of decent seasons afterwards.

He did miss a batch of games both seasons...also came back to life in 07-08 when he was moved to center. 

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5 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

Arnott was actually the first to leave at the 2001-02 trade deadline in the deal with McKay for Nieuwendyk and Langs.  In the summer of 2002 Sykora and others were traded for Friesen and Tverdovsky.

Ah true, that's right.  I knew it was around the same time, couldn't remember for sure and thought the Arnott trade was like 03-04.  

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2 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

He did miss a batch of games both seasons...also came back to life in 07-08 when he was moved to center. 

I believe I remember right before the 2008 season began that Elias had an interview where he said he felt the best in years as he finally saw a specialist who recommended a surgery to repair his groin to fix the mistakes from his previous doctors who worked on it before.  I remember there were times in 07-08 where he looked like he lost a step and had trouble making that first push off when he skated.

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50 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

.  And like it's been noted multiple times, it's not like this franchise always did right by him, in terms of supplying him complementary talent...he admitted in a NYT article (today's) that he sometimes wondered about playing for other teams

Here is a link to the article

Patrik Elias, Cornerstone of the Devils’ Championship Era, Is Retiring

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I would add, the plans they made to have him around for these last few days and participating in some stuff to honor him is a total class move by the organization. 

He may not be able to play, but he'll have his last moment on the ice. I may cry like a little b***. 

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Gotcha.  I could see that to a degree, though it's probably easier to think that being that Sykora was the one who departed from the team first, leaving a connection between Elias/Arnott lasting a little longer.  I have to think, despite the fact that we all know how much Lou loved re-treads, that Sykora came back for a 2nd stint in part because of Elias.  I have to imagine he probably vouched for him and wanted his former linemate/countryman back, but I could be wrong.

All I know is Arnott and Sykora should be there for the number retirement. We're talking about the greatest line in team history and arguably one of the most dominant lines in hockey history.


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1 hour ago, DevsMan84 said:

I have heard rumors for a good 15 years now that Elias and Sykora were not nearly as close as fans and others made them out to be.  In fact, most of those rumors have pointed that Arnott and Elias were closer friends and that neither cared much for Sykora after the 2000 playoffs.

"others made them out to be" -- didn't Elias wear Sykora's jersey after the cup win in 2000?

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Elias worse Sykora's jersey backwards I recall after the 2000 Cup. I remember this cool picture of him laying on the ice at Reunion Arena talking on a cell phone (maybe one of those Nokia bricks)

Never knew about any sort of falling out. Sykora always seemed like a great guy.

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25 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:


All I know is Arnott and Sykora should be there for the number retirement. We're talking about the greatest line in team history and arguably one of the most dominant lines in hockey history.


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Completely agree.  That would be awesome if they are in attendance. 

1 minute ago, '7' said:

Elias worse Sykora's jersey backwards I recall after the 2000 Cup. I remember this cool picture of him laying on the ice at Reunion Arena talking on a cell phone (maybe one of those Nokia bricks)

Never knew about any sort of falling out. Sykora always seemed like a great guy.

Yup, I have a picture of that from a magazine right after it happened still in my garage somewhere with all of my memorabilia.

24 minutes ago, Martyisth3b3st said:

"others made them out to be" -- didn't Elias wear Sykora's jersey after the cup win in 2000?

Yep, I was going to mention that too.  I guess if there was some falling out that maybe it happened after that, but still, I'm like you, hard to believe things could've gone that sour after a pretty touching moment like that.

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Oh, these are all giving me chills, the videos, the talk, etc.  Will be awesome being there for this celebration.  Does anyone remember this fantastic goal, I believe it was Elias, I can see the play, but don't remember if it was him scoring or passing.  We all got posters, it was the last game of 1999 (of the century, for those not technical, of the 1900's) vs. Boston.  The OT goal.  Don't have time to search now. It's just a fantastic goal tic-tac passing play, I'll always remember.  

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Other than the game 7 Flyers goal my favorite Elias goal was game 7 against the Leafs in 2001. We actually went down 1-0 early in that game but I believe Nemchinov tied it late in the 1st. Then Elias ripped a perfect slapshot passed Joseph to make it 2-1 and the route was on. Toronto was demoralized.

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