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Patrik Elias: Where Art Thou?


devilsrule33
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I mean, obviously hindsight is 20/20, but back when Elias was signed to the long term deal, would you have listed him as one of the elite players where there's really no risk in giving the guy a long term, expensive deal with a NMC?

many of us did. hell, my signature for a year was that Elias was a top 5 forward in this league.

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I agree that the Devils need an elite player. I don't think having 10 20-goal players is that bad either, though. From my recollection of the past two years (except for the lightning series last year, where we were pretty much burned by 3 players), it's much easier to shut down a team that depends on one line, than a balanced team.

This is obviously very subjective, but both are pretty easy to shut down. This is a strawman - I was not speaking of one-line teams.

We took Jagr out of the equation against the Rags, and they were completely lost. Not having to depend on one player isn't the worst thing in the world. What's hurting us now is that we don't have either, really. I mean, sometimes its mind boggling where all the money went, considering we don't have the depth, or the one or two offensive superstars.

It's pretty obvious where the money went. It went to character guys like Zubrus, Langenbrunner, and Madden - who don't fill the scoresheet with goals but don't do very much wrong out on the ice. But you can't have a team filled with guys like this - the Devils did in the late 90s and it got them nowhere. Someone's got to have finish - it used to be Elias, luckily this year it's been Parise. But again it's also unfair to put the shutouts and offensive droughts all on the forwards, when the defensemen had little or no transition early in the year.

Stating the obvious here, but we desparately need Elias to be that superstar. With the salary cap, if you are going to invest 6 million into one player, you better be sure that he is able to be the superstar of the team. I understand why Lou thought Elias was that guy. I mean, obviously hindsight is 20/20, but back when Elias was signed to the long term deal, would you have listed him as one of the elite players where there's really no risk in giving the guy a long term, expensive deal with a NMC?

Yes. We all did. And even if we didn't, he was the guy out there. It was him or nothing for New Jersey. And if they didn't get him, they were going to have to massively overpay for someone else - and the team was in salary cap hell and would've had a very hard time acquiring that player for that price. 6 million dollars doesn't buy a superstar scorer anymore - that's a bargain on the open market for a 30-40-70 type come next July 1.

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many of us did. hell, my signature for a year was that Elias was a top 5 forward in this league.

When Elias came back and had like 45 points in 37 games, I probably said the same thing. However, giving a guy 6 years and a NMC who just came back from hepatitis was something that I remember doing a double-take on. We'll probably never know if his current play is a result if his past illness, which I know can affect one for a long time. Even if Elias was putting up 100 points a season today, if I questioned Lou when he signed him to the 6 year NMC back a few years ago, I don't think I'd be eating my words now. I'd obviously be thrilled that Lou did take the risk, but it probably wouldnt have been a risk that I wouldve taken at the time.

Triumph - if you were faced with the hypothetical situation of being able to magically get rid of Elias for free, and get his 6 million a year back to spend elsewhere, or keep him, what would you do? Is the market that inflated that you still think he's worth the risk? What if we could get rafalski back for that money? I'm pretty sure you're not a huge fan of his, but if Elias isn't going to show signs of having a real impact of the game, you still wouldn't rather still have Brian on the team?

Edited by metallidevils
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When Elias came back and had like 45 points in 37 games, I probably said the same thing. However, giving a guy 6 years and a NMC who just came back from hepatitis was something that I remember doing a double-take on. We'll probably never know if his current play is a result if his past illness, which I know can affect one for a long time. Even if Elias was putting up 100 points a season today, if I questioned Lou when he signed him to the 6 year NMC back a few years ago, I don't think I'd be eating my words now. I'd obviously be thrilled that Lou did take the risk, but it probably wouldnt have been a risk that I wouldve taken at the time.

How about an 8 year deal on a guy who's 5'9" - and an NMC?

The no movement clause is not that big a deal - lately the entire NHL has a no-movement clause. I don't see the fuss about this.

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I do think at a couple points in his career Elias was a top 5 forward. He might have been the most talented player offensively to play in a Devil's uniform. I don't see a big rebound for Elias, he looks much slower out there then he did pre lockout. I don't know whether it is getting older or the after effects of the disease or what, but he certainly doesn't have the same jump he used to have. His skating and shot release have both really declined and this year being shuffled around really exposes him. Patrik used to be one of the best at changing gears when he got the blue line, and today in Philly he looked hopeless at times trying carry the puck in the zone. If you watch clips on him when he was in his mid to late twenties he looked like a completely different player. I think its more then just the players hes been grouped with.

I don't expect Elias to break the 80 point barrier anymore. I think he will get better as the year goes along and gets more accustomed to what he is now, but I think Elias is going to only average around 50 points a season from here on out.

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Triumph - if you were faced with the hypothetical situation of being able to magically get rid of Elias for free, and get his 6 million a year back to spend elsewhere, or keep him, what would you do? Is the market that inflated that you still think he's worth the risk? What if we could get rafalski back for that money? I'm pretty sure you're not a huge fan of his, but if Elias isn't going to show signs of having a real impact of the game, you still wouldn't rather still have Brian on the team?

The market is that inflated now that the Devils don't get much for that 6 million. I haven't looked that much at this off-season's free agents but there's not that much out there - Marian Hossa, Wade Redden, and a lot of slop. I know Mats Sundin is UFA too but like Sakic last season he's probably a Leaf or nothing. Redden and Hossa are both 7M+, Hossa probably up around 10 million.

I'd rather gamble with Elias - at least he was something, once. I would not take Rafalski over Elias. And again, I do think Elias will come around, he's gone through this stretch before.

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If Wade Redden gets 7 million...there is something wrong with the game. I know he already makes 6.5 million but he is playing like he is worth 3.5 max.

He is a shell of the player he used to be. This guy just can't skate anymore. He isn't physical and he isn't very good at QBing the PP. He even made a pretty bad comment a few weeks back. I can't find it but it went along the lines of him feeling that he plays well when the team plays well and struggles when the team plays badly.

Edited by devilsrule33
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I feel like Elias is a player in transition right now. His best years were spent as part of something bigger ... the A-Line, the EGG line, etc. He played his best when he wasn't the whole show, but just a supporting character.

Ever since his breakout return from hep, he's been looked upon to be the whole show. His huge contract and the C going on his chest had a lot to do with that, but the fact of the matter is that the Devils are using him as their star player when, for years, he was used to compliment star players.

He's still supremely talented, but he seems to get caught taking too long to decide whether he should shoot, pass, or whatever Option C may be available. He's pressing, and he's been pressing since last season. Instead of letting instinct take over, it looks like he's trying too hard to make the perfect play ... on every shift for the last season and a half.

The way I see it, this will continue until one of three things happens: 1) He finally grows into the role and flourishes. 2) The Devils aquire or develop another star player for him to share the load with again (this could be Parise, but not yet). Or 3) He never snaps out of it and is forever remembered as the player who was good but could have been so much more.

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Ahhh...once again it is time for the "What do we do with Elias?" thread:

I agree with Tri at 6mil...he's probably still worth it as the going price on "elite-type"(or whatever you can classify) forwards will likely hit 8mil this summer. Equally so the asking price for elite defenders is likely to be over 6 - 6.5 million, especially if a bonehead GM goes out and blows it early. The days of affordable talent are gone - seriouslly - 4million for Dustin Penner. You get what you get for 3 million, unless you ccan overdose loyallty with Kool Aid ala Kid Parise.

Simply put, with the talent we currently have, and the defense depth we will need in the coming times, I can't see Lou going out and doing 8 million for a superstar.

So,.............. in short, Patty's going to be one of the faces of the franchise for a while, or until he really pisses off Sutter.So for those of you who though he might (or continue to)be the Devils answer to Sundin, Modano, LeCavilier...don't get your hopes up, or in reality,...wait a few more years for Parise to fully develop. Patty just has to make the adjustment for the new generation of Devils, and relinquish the "percieved role" of being the go to superstar - similar to what happened to Modano and Morrow in Dallas. I think that once he "lets go" and does this, without all the pressure, he will produce more effectively. We might see even different results next year when the body of the offense has been together for another year. Until then, relax, 6 million is still a steal compared to what we will see this summer. Just be gad that our GM didn't have to go out and spend 7 million on a VANEK. :rolleyes:

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I'm not a huge Elias fan, always felt Syk & Arnott carried him, but losing Gomer and resplacing him with a winger ( Zubrus) is just not smart management. Gomer did a few things that no one on this team does real well, 1 carryign the puck, and 2 distributing the puck...

The Devil have done NOTHING to replace those things...

That being said.. Elias is being paid to be a leader, he needs to lead, by example... right now he's just another piece, soem people expect him to the THE piece, Patty will never be that...

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I'm not a huge Elias fan, always felt Syk & Arnott carried him, but losing Gomer and resplacing him with a winger ( Zubrus) is just not smart management. Gomer did a few things that no one on this team does real well, 1 carryign the puck, and 2 distributing the puck...

The Devil have done NOTHING to replace those things...

That being said.. Elias is being paid to be a leader, he needs to lead, by example... right now he's just another piece, soem people expect him to the THE piece, Patty will never be that...

Arnott has 1 year scoring over 60 points since leaving playing with Elias.

Sykora has has not scored over 60 points since leaving playing with Elias.

Elias has an 81 point season and a season where he had a pro-rated 97 points.

Elias has performed much better than the other 2 counterparts of that line, signifigantly so in Sykora's case.

--------------------

Gomez' distributing skills are over-rated because while he makes some great passes he also makes a signifigant amount of turnovers due to trying to force plays and trying to make high risk plays a lot of the time. They look great when they work and are memorable but are a detriment since they work so few times.

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Arnott has 1 year scoring over 60 points since leaving playing with Elias.

Sykora has has not scored over 60 points since leaving playing with Elias.

Elias has an 81 point season and a season where he had a pro-rated 97 points.

Elias has performed much better than the other 2 counterparts of that line, signifigantly so in Sykora's case.

--------------------

Gomez' distributing skills are over-rated because while he makes some great passes he also makes a signifigant amount of turnovers due to trying to force plays and trying to make high risk plays a lot of the time. They look great when they work and are memorable but are a detriment since they work so few times.

Lou is to blame...he broke up the "A" line back then because he felt they were becoming bigger than the team....WHAT ????,

all they did was score goals like crazy, whats wrong with that.

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Lou is to blame...he broke up the "A" line back then because he felt they were becoming bigger than the team....WHAT ????,

all they did was score goals like crazy, whats wrong with that.

Or he saw Sykora becoming the player he became and the Arnott wasn't going to stay motivated to continue his level of play. You want to blame Lou, I say he deserves praises for taking action and getting what he could for these guys before their play dropped off. Not many GMs would of had the guts to do what Lou did but their play, especially Sykora's, shows why they were let go and why that tough move was the right move.

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yeah, as I remember the A line -- they started stinking and blaming everyone else for it instead of putting nose to the grind stone and working. Things don't just "click" and then last forever. It takes work and those three were not willing (?) -- or didn't have the know-how (?) or desire to make it work :noclue: I had no problem with their dissolution then or now.

As for Elias -- he's doing his best. He's doing anything he can right now to get things going for the team. It's apparant to me anyhow that he feels if the team is going in the right direction he will be as well. he's actually doing what I thought he should -- stop getting mired down with self. You just can't do it - he's doing what he can and I feel trying to channel his frustration appropriately.

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I supported Elias through much of last year and the very beginning of this season, but I think it's evident that the seven year contract has had an effect on his play. Why else would he go from being utterly dominant in the 05-06 season (many called him the best left wing in the game) to looking complacement and snake-bitten.

It is an issue with effort. There are games where Elias decides to exert himself, and it shows. He was the best player on the ice against Boston a couple weeks ago. Ever since then, he has been largely invisible.

Edited by Voros19
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Lou is to blame...he broke up the "A" line back then because he felt they were becoming bigger than the team....WHAT ????,

all they did was score goals like crazy, whats wrong with that.

the breaking up of the A-Line was likely what got cup #3. Sykora netted Freisen who was great during that run. Arnott netted Neiuwendyk and our current captain.

Again, the two that were shipped out were more of a detrement than a help. Sykora made his bed staying out of the playoffs and Arnott's belly aching got him moved.

i'm fine with those moves - then and now.

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Or he saw Sykora becoming the player he became and the Arnott wasn't going to stay motivated to continue his level of play. You want to blame Lou, I say he deserves praises for taking action and getting what he could for these guys before their play dropped off. Not many GMs would of had the guts to do what Lou did but their play, especially Sykora's, shows why they were let go and why that tough move was the right move.
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Who's playing better right now...Sykora or Freisen ?????

With a coach like Sutter...Sykora would be showning up to play almost every night, And I'd still like Arnott on this team, he has done very well since leaving NJ.

If a guy named Scott Gomez, was one of the most sought after free agents this past summer, and received a super crazy contract, why would the Devils just let him walk when we new he wasnt gonna re-sign with us???, Lou could have got at LEAST a first round pick for him, but decided to do nothing, how is that smart???

(and I dont care if Gomer is a dick, its his value as a player I'm talking about)

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Who's playing better right now...Sykora or Freisen ?????

With a coach like Sutter...Sykora would be showning up to play almost every night, And I'd still like Arnott on this team, he has done very well since leaving NJ.

If a guy named Scott Gomez, was one of the most sought after free agents this past summer, and received a super crazy contract, why would the Devils just let him walk when we new he wasnt gonna re-sign with us???, Lou could have got at LEAST a first round pick for him, but decided to do nothing, how is that smart???

(and I dont care if Gomer is a dick, its his value as a player I'm talking about)

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Who's playing better now - Brendan Morrison or Alexander Mogilny? Petr Sykora was finished once Arnott left, he sulked and basically got called a faker by Matt Loughlin. That trade didn't exactly work out for New Jersey, but something was rotten in that locker room. Also, Friesen has turned into Kiril Tulupov who's looking impressive in the QMJHL.

And yeah, dummy Lou trying to go for the Stanley Cup. Why couldn't he just see the future, know he wasn't going to win, and trade his top center for prospects in February? I'm sure all of you on the board would've loved that move.

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