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roomtemp

All purpose Patrik Elias memories and love topic

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4 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Hearing Elias' first-hand account of that whole thing (in that Players' Tribune article) really put that all into a completely new context.  One of those situations where what was the guy supposed to do?  Lou had basically led Elias to believe that there was no money in the Devils' budget to bring him back...and it sure sounded like Lou was pretty cold about it initially...I can't blame Elias for trying to find a job, and for not feeling like he owed the Devils anything (like not leaving them to sign with their hated rival) when Lou acted like Elias could just be discarded like he really wasn't all that important.  And it might've stung a bit that Lou was easily willing to go to the max for Nieds, but was just as willing to say "Nope, can't afford you" when it came to Patrik. 

I think there was a very exclusive club of players who for some reason were able to get very close to Lou (like Marty)...it doesn't sound like Patrik was one of them, despite spending his whole career here (and even getting that last Lifetime Achievement Contract that was, in terms of pure value, going to be questionable at best).  It sounds like Lou and Patrik shared more of a begrudging mutual respect more than anything else, partly because I think they had very different ideas and views when it came to hockey...but long-term success forced them both to say "Well, it's working, so we'll go with it."  And it sounded like Patrik had a way of sizing up Lou and going back at him in way that few others dared.

Another way to look at it...if Marty's ceremony had been last night, does anyone think that Lou doesn't make it?  The fact that he wasn't there says a lot about their relationship...which I think was rocky and complex throughout.  As much as Patrik clearly loved the Devils and much of what came with playing with them, I think Lou's actually pretty low on his list.

Nice post, well said.

To both men's credit, not much of what was going on spilled out to the media. Yeah, I definitely think Lou makes it if Marty's ceremony tonight. Even his video clip discussing Patrik was emotionless and purely analytical, sticking to how Patty was as a player. Lou was, if he could ever be described this way, jovial at Marty's ceremony. I know video clips can be out of context but still, I think what you say, is probably completely accurate.

Maybe it was just as simple as, "Patty's a forward, they're expendable," or maybe it was something more.

I hate inside the locker room/follow the team type shows - not because they're not entertaining - but because there is something wrong with making a player hear he's been traded or cut on camera. But if there was ever one I wished I could see, it'd be one that followed Lou and the Devils somewhere in that 2000s decade. 

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In fairness to Lou, there really wasn't money in the Devils' budget for Elias - they had to move Malakhov and hope to god that Mogilny showed up irrevocably hurt at camp, and hold everyone out during the summer through training camp and hope there were no offer sheets (and supposedly Gionta did receive offer sheets that he had no interest in).  Oh, and Matvichuk had to be kept out until the final game of the season.  

That Lou video seemed like it was filmed ages ago, though.  

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12 hours ago, Triumph said:

In fairness to Lou, there really wasn't money in the Devils' budget for Elias - they had to move Malakhov and hope to god that Mogilny showed up irrevocably hurt at camp, and hold everyone out during the summer through training camp and hope there were no offer sheets (and supposedly Gionta did receive offer sheets that he had no interest in).  Oh, and Matvichuk had to be kept out until the final game of the season.  

That Lou video seemed like it was filmed ages ago, though.  

But there was money in the budget for Elias because they resigned him. Lou had already walked away from it and given up Elias to the Rangers before Patty circled back and asked to see if anything could be done. Lou wasn't prepared to get creative and go the extra mile.

signing Malakhov was a bad move and we all knew it from the get go. Nor was signing Mogilny 5 years too late.

Edited by '7'

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The goal against the Flyers was so special and so was the A-line and the two championship teams he played on. And when he returned from being very sick in 2006 and the Devils went on a tear ... that was amazing to watch. The EGG line, the 11 game-winning streak to end the season, the obliteration of the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs (Patrik had a ton of points in that series) ... it doesn't happen without Patrik Elias. That season didn't end with a championship (in fact, it came to a disappointing halt against Carolina) but what a season of great memories, as good as it gets without winning it all.

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I know I wrote a little something on Saturday, but since I was on my phone at a bar outside the arena I didn't think I was able to get my complete thoughts/feelings out on it so here I go (to the best of my ability lol).

Saturday night was a very bittersweet night for me.  Patrik Elias, my favorite all time Devil and NHL player for that matter, was having his number retired after 1200+ games and 1000+ points scored.  I can remember the first time I really got into him as a player; it was during the 99-2000 season and Patty was having a career year up to that point.  I really dug his skating, shot, speed and most of all his vision.  He just knew where to be at the right place at the right time on every single shift.  Being on that magical A-line with Sykora and Arnott certainly helped him out, but he always seemed to be the "superstar" on that line.  It was in that season where he overtook John MacLean and Mike Peluso as my favorite all time player in my mind and he would never lose that spot to this day.

Even back then I felt like I was late to the party with the Elias love-fest.  He wasn't some rookie in the 99-2000 season as he had already been a regular since the 97-98 season.  I remember those weird years right after the first cup in 95 pretty vividly due to my Dad and I going to games 2-3 times a month (we had season tickets that were shared but we usually went to the lions share of games) and having our same routine.  We would stop at a pizzeria in Vauxhall before every game before driving off to exit 16W off the Turnpike to go to that monster of an arena newly renamed Continental Airlines arena.  We had already been going to games for a number of years earlier, but those years were indeed weird as I previously said.  The team busted in 1996 by missing out on the playoffs in the last game of the season by pissing away a lead going into the 3rd period.  It was crushing.  Even worse were players that I loved like MacLean, Terreri, Richer, Peluso, Driver, etc were all being replaced by new faces.  The replacement were a mix of guys I have heard of like Andreychuk and Gilmour and a bunch of young guys from Albany that I have never heard of like Sykora, Morrison, Elias, etc.

Back then the internet was still pretty young.  I remember I typically got my latest NHL standings and stat leaders from reading the paper my dad brought home every day after work.  At the time I had little to no knowledge of what went into drafting and developing players.  That's why when these new crop of players were being brought up I was at first worried.  I thought that maybe we were just a 1-trick pony who will forever be at the mercy of the constant mocking of Rangers fans shouting Matteau for 94 and forever claim that our 95 cup was a "half a cup" win.  It sucked.  Then the 97 playoffs happened and we lost to the Rangers in 5 games in what felt was another punch to the gut.  What was worse was even with our "superstar" player in Doug Gilmour (whom having certainly felt like a novelty back then as the Devils never got superstar players) we still lost in the first round in 1998.  To Ottawa.  In 6 games but with the effort given felt like a sweep.

The following season more players left and new ones were added like the Sheriff, Arnott in a trade, and Brendan Morrison coming into his own, but our playoff luck still was in the toilet with a 7-game loss to the Penguins.  I remember being at game 7 that year and after the Devils loss people throwing items onto the ice in disgust with the Devils effort.  I was 14 years old at that game and I remember throwing a half-drunk soda container onto the ice.  I was pissed.  My dad to his credit was pissed too and didn't exactly try to stop me from throwing the soda.  4 years after our first triumph and this team looked like a team who would be a regular season giant but a playoff mouse.  It sucked.

Then 99-2000 season happened.  We had a group of rookies who almost seemingly came out of nowhere that year.  Scott Gomez having an eventual Calder winning season, Colin White who looked an even bigger and stronger Daneyko but 15 years younger, Rafalski whose talents were rivaling Niedermayers, John Madden who came in and got he rookie short-handed goal record that year.  Added in there was the trading of Rolston for our good luck charm Lemieux and the late season splash of adding Mogilny and Malakhov.  Added with the seemingly invincibility of the A-line with Arnott and the 2 kids with the weird sounding Czech names and we were a monster.

Things almost collapsed that year before the playoffs even began.  We had an awful streak after the ASG.  It looked like the team was finally coming back down to Earth.  Maybe we were overachieving that year?  Eventually Ftorek was fired and Robinson stepped in, but even then the team looked consigned to another postseason of disappointment.

I think we all know what happened next.  We won the first 2 rounds in 10 games total; came back down from a 3-1 deficit in the ECF with a late series-winning goal from Elias in game 7, and of course the SCF where Elias was the primary assist on the cup-winning goal.

To me, Elias wasn't just some guy who scored us some timely goals that year (and for years to come).  He was a symbol.  He represented the "reborn" Devils of the early 2000's who in a span of 4 years went to the SCF 3 times and won 2 of them.  We were no longer a 1-trick pony who won a "half a cup."  We now had 2 more cup wins we could point to and shove into Rangers fans (and any other fans) faces and say "well what about those there?"  We were not just a great team or powerhouse, but we were arguably a dynasty and Elias played a key part in that.  I know the other 4 players whose numbers are retired were there too, but they were already there long before.  We were a mix of young and old, talent and speed, we could crush you defensively or dazzle you offensively. We were truly the Beasts of the East.

Thanks for everything Patty.

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